Napa with Cumin & Lime


  • Summer


1-1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
2 Tbs. canola oil
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black peppercorns
1 T hot peppers, finely chopped  (or sub. dried chilies)
6 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
2 cups julienned or grated carrots or spring turnips (about 3/4 lb.)
2-1/2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
1-1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro sprigs, finely chopped
3 Tbs. fresh lime juice


Toast 1 tsp. of the cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until deeply browned and beginning to smoke, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
Heat the oil with the remaining 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, the coriander, and peppercorns in a large wok, Dutch oven, or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, and cook until the cumin is browned, about 2 minutes. Add the jalapeño and cook until sizzling and just starting to soften, 30 to 60 seconds, and then add the cabbage and carrots. (If using a skillet, the pan will be crowded at first.) Cook, stirring occasionally until the cabbage has wilted yet is still al dente, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the freshly ground cumin, salt, and sugar, and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and taste for seasoning.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

**tip is to be sure to add the salt and sugar right at the end or the cabbage will release a lot of water and the stir fry will get soggy**