Stir-Fried Cabbage with Bacon
A simple and satisfying Chinese-American stir fry from Tane Chan, owner of San Francisco’s famed Wok Shop.
Tane Chan, owner of San Francisco’s Wok Shop, remembers her mom making this dish at their home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the 1940s, using what she could find at an American grocery store to replace the traditional Chinese cured pork belly and Napa cabbage. This recipe is adapted from Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge.
Featured in: The 2020 Saveur 100: 41-50
- 4 thick bacon slices, cut into ½-in. wide pieces (3 oz.)
- 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 1 lb. green cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into ¼-in. wide shreds (about 8 cups)
- 1-2 Tbsp. canola oil (optional)
- 1⁄2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tsp. soy sauce
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a cold, flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet, spread the bacon pieces in an even layer. Cook over medium heat, undisturbed, until the bacon begins to release its fat, about 1 minute, then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry on medium heat until the bacon begins to brown and more fat has been released, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and continue stir-frying until the garlic is fragrant, about 10 seconds. Add the cabbage and continue stir-frying until the cabbage just begins to wilt, 1-2 minutes more. If the mixture seems dry, add 1-2 more tablespoons of canola oil, then swirl in the stock, cover the wok, and steam until the cabbage is just tender, about 30 seconds. Uncover, add the soy sauce, season to taste with salt and black pepper, and continue stir-frying until the cabbage is tender and the juices are mostly reduced, about 1 minute more, then transfer to a wide bowl and serve.