Cooking with wombok

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Cooking with wombok

Postby Pepper Pig » Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:41 am

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby Busybee » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:06 am

Coincidentally Tesco subbed iceberg lettuce with Chinese cabbage this week.

My sister and I were discussing that we always had it at home in the 80’s but haven’t really eaten it recently. That will change this week!


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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby Earthmaiden » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:17 am

Wombok is a new word to me but I've been eating 'Chinese leaves' since the 70s. It used to be a favoured winter salad leaf when lettuce wasn't available all year round.

As they say, it is quite versatile- and usually keeps for ages.

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby Badger's Mate » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:36 am

I've grown the stuff for decades. It usually goes to seed if you sow it before midsummer, although some of the newer F1 hybrids might be better in that regard. It is thus a timely reminder for me to get my oriental greens sown. I use it for stir fries, obviously, would make kimchi if Mrs B liked it, but my favourite recipe is 'Cold sweet and sour Chinese leaves' from the BBC Ken Hom book, a pickle with Sichuan pepper, ginger and garlic. I also grow pak choi, - that's generally sir fried in this house.

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby mistakened » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:19 am

I have always known it as Chinese Leaves/cabbage

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby karadekoolaid » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:36 am

When I first saw the title, I read " Cooking with Wombat"
:shock: :shock: :shock:
I´ve also been using Chinese leaves for years and years. I love the slight sweetness. I frequently make an Asian-style slaw with it, although I´d be pushed to find Macadamia oil and Chardonnay vinegar over here.

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby mistakened » Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:07 pm

karadekoolaid wrote:Macadamia oil and Chardonnay vinegar over here.


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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby Stokey Sue » Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:08 pm

I like Palisa Anderson, she’s grown on me, that’s a good article imo

I too have been using Chinese/ Napa / celery cabbage since it appeared in Sainsbury’s in the 70s, my first Chinese cookbook (Buwei Yang Chao, How to Cook and Eat in Chinese) was written by a Chinese doctor living in the US in the 50s so “Napa cabbage” was one of the few Asian veg available to her and there are a lot of recipes for it

Fuchsia Dunlop was bemoaning the lack of U.K. grown Chinese veg on sale yesterday, I’ve noticed that sellers in our market grow them but mainly chuck them into salad mixes

I was wondering what to replace the macadamia oil with, prohibitively expensive if available outside Australia, any nut oil or olive I think but sesame won’t survive caramelising. Chardonnay vinegar could be replaced with any white wine vinegar, preferably fairly mellow

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Re: Cooking with wombok

Postby sunflower » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:33 pm

Chinese cabbage has so many names. In UK we called it Chinese leaves, US as Napa cabbage. I reckon down under they called it wombok possibly from Cantonese who called it wong-ah-bak. I prefer to buy them in winter or early spring they are sweeter and the stalks much thicker and juicier.

Looking at the recipe, don't you think the pungent fish sauce, ginger and chilli will interfere with the delicate macadamia oil and chardonnay vinegar? Why not just use a plain oil like unroasted sesame oil or good quality vegetable oil or just light olive oil with rice vinegar? Fried curry leaves in a salad I have never tried before. This recipe really is east meets west, interesting but I am not sure.

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