Remember that last trip to the farmers market? You know – the one that got out of control? You remember.
Well, despite being a bit out of control, it was a good trip. In fact, I found one of the cutest little vegetables on that trip. Cabbage sprouts. You heard me right – cabbage sprouts, not to be confused with Brussels sprouts.
So what is a cabbage sprout? I know what you’re thinking – baby cabbages – they’re little cabbages that haven’t grown up yet. Nope. But I’m with you – I thought so too.
Wait. Here’s a perfect example of why you should visit a farmers market. Not only did I find something unusual, I was able to ask the farmer about them. See, without being able to talk to the farmer, I too would have been under the assumption they were just baby cabbages.
But it’s not so – cabbage sprouts have nothing to do with being baby cabbage! Cabbage sprouts are what grows in the spot where cabbage heads are harvested. Pretty cool, right? It’s like cabbage is the vegetable that just keeps on giving!
I think cabbage sprouts sort of look like Brussels sprouts gone wild. Almost like if Brussels sprouts and baby bok choy had a baby. What do you think?
Cabbage sprouts, and cabbage, and Brussel sprouts, and, yes, even baby bok choy are part of a group called cruciferous vegetables. Full of nutrients, they’re a good source of fiber and just ½ cup provides 45% of recommended daily intake of vitamin C. But there’s one thing that sets this group of vegetables apart from the others. They contain a group of substances called glucosinolates. This unique phytochemical gives off a pungent aroma and imparts a spicy, bitter taste. Much research has been done on glucosinolates and its protective effects against different types of cancer. Pretty cool, huh?
So, I hope I didn’t scare off when I said “pungent aroma and… spicy, bitter taste”. If you tend to shy away from cabbage or Brussels sprouts, try these little sprouts! Their taste is milder than cabbage and Brussels sprouts, but a bit stronger than bok choy. I think it is a great balance between the two and not overpowering.
Just like cabbage, cabbage sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. I think they would be great roasted in the oven, but this time I decided to try something a little different. I used my little sprouts in a favorite stir-fry recipe with ground turkey and a black bean sauce. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list, it really is a super easy and a tasty dish!
Have you ever tried cabbage sprouts? I would love to hear what you think of them!
- 1 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground Szechuan pepper
- 3 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster mushroom sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 pounds cabbage sprouts, ends trimmed, and cut in half
- 4 tablespoons Chinese wine (Shaoxing)
- 3 tablespoons Chinese fermented black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup chicken broth mixed with 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 teaspoons + 2 teaspoons Canola oil
- Mix ground turkey with sesame oil, Szechuan pepper, soy sauce and two of the garlic cloves minced.
- Heat a wok or a large frying pan with 2 teaspoons of canola oil.
- Add the turkey and cook through making sure to break the meat up.
- Once cooked, remove from pan into a bowl and set aside.
- Add another 2 teaspoons of canola oil to the pan.
- Add the other 2 cloves of minced garlic, onion and ginger, cook until the onions soften.
- Add mushroom caps and stir. Then add the cabbage sprouts, Chinese wine, oyster mushroom sauce, and fermented black beans.
- Cook until the cabbage sprouts start to soften a bit.
- Then, add the cooked ground turkey to the pan and stir to incorporate with the mixture.
- Pour the chicken stock-cornstarch mixture and allow to simmer and thicken for a minute or two.
- Once the sauce has thickened remove from heat and stir in the parsley and scallions.
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