Cabbage could be one of the hardest vegetables to convince kids to eat. We always have to find creative ways to make it tasty for them. This quick caramelized shrimp & cabbage fry is one of my kids’ favorites. The key is to avoid overcooking the cabbage since kids usually do not appreciate mushy vegetables.
Introduction to growing cabbage
My recipes are all inspired by what I grow in my garden. Cabbage is one of those plants that take a considerable amount of space. And since my garden is not that huge, I always look for varieties that take little space with a great outcome. After experimenting for a few years, I settled on three cabbage varieties: Sweet Choi, Napa, and Caraflax.
Nutritional value of cabbage
According to Healthline, cabbage is an overlooked vegetable despite it being very nutritious. It is low in calories, so you can eat as much as you want of it without it affecting your calorie intake. It is also high in antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. If you got digestive problems, cabbage might be the cure for you. Its high content of insoluble fiber heals the gut by feeding friendly bacteria.
What you need for this recipe
This recipe is very simple and does not require a lot of ingredients.
- Cabbage: you can any kind of cabbage, but if you like your veggies to have a bite after cooking, regular cabbage would be a better choice.
- Shrimp: we enjoyed this dish with shrimp, but it comes out great with chicken too.
- Cooking oil: this recipe requires quick cooking on high flame, so choose an oil with a low smoke point. My go-to cooking oils for stir-fries are sesame or grapeseed oil.
- Spices: in addition to black pepper and salt, paprika is the dominant spice. It will give the beautiful red color and if you use smoked paprika, it will add an extra level of flavor.
- Soy sauce: say stir-fry, say soy sauce.
- Honey: this one is optional, but helps with the caramelization of the shrimp.
- Garlic: if you don’t like garlic, you may omit it. Make sure not to burn it as it turns bitter and will ruin the dish.
How to clean cabbage?
Due to its tightly layered leaves, cabbage may hold dirt and bugs that you may not see. The best way to clean it is by chopping it first. Then submerge it in a big bowl of water. Leave it for a few minutes to allow the rubbish to sink to the bottom of the bowl. Try to scoop the cabbage from the water instead of dumping it in a colander. This will keep the sunken dirt undisturbed and prevent it from falling back on the cabbage.
Marinate the shrimp
Marinating the shrimp or chicken is an important step. It will absorb a great deal of flavor and enhance its color. To make the marinade, mix the soy sauce, honey, paprika, oil, crushed garlic, and black pepper in a bowl. Then put in the shrimp and allow to marinate for at least one hour.
Caramelized Shrimp & Cabbage Fry
- A wok
- 2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 lb cabbage, chopped and washed
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 5 garlic cloves, pressed
- 5 tbsp cooking oil
- sesame for garnish
- In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, paprika, black pepper, garlic, and one tablespoon of the cooking oil. Cover and refregirate for at least an hour.
Make the dish
- Preheat the wok or the saute pan, then add in the remaining oil.
- Saute the shrimp in batches, making sure it caramelizes on each size.
- Remove the shrimp and set aside. Wipe the wok to avoid burning any remaining marinade.
- Add two tablespoons of oil and the cabbage and start frying it while flipping it over using a spatula. It should take two minutes or less.
- Put back the shrimps and mix them together. Check the seasoning and rectify it at your likings.
- Serve with a bowl of rice, burghul, or mashed potatoes.