In Hong Kong, cooking at home is based on simple ingredients and time-honored techniques. The dishes have been prepared so often that they become as familiar as old friends. This recipe is the perfect example of this philosophy.
- 1 1⁄2 lb. Chinese cabbage
- 1⁄4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tbsp. Chinese rice wine
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1⁄4 lb. Smithfield ham, thinly sliced
- Trim cabbage, removing outer leaves. Cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise into 4 pieces. Trim away excess core at the bottom of each slice, but leave enough to hold the piece together. You will have 8 pieces. (See Using Chinese Cabbage in Stir Fry for our expert technique.)
- Combine stock, wine, and honey in a wok and cook over high heat until simmering. Add cabbage, arranging pieces so stem ends are in the center or hottest part of the wok. Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer cabbage to a serving bowl, leaving any liquid in the wok. Press excess liquid from cabbage into a bowl, stir in cornstarch, then pour into the wok. Cook over high heat until slightly reduced and thickened, about 5 minutes. Return cabbage to the wok, folding the sauce into cabbage. Transfer to a serving plate.
- Quickly fry ham in the wok, until lightly browned, then arrange slices on top of cabbage. Spoon a little of the sauce over the ham. Serve immediately.