Ginger Larb Cabbage Cups
These ginger larb cabbage cups take less than thirty minutes to make, and are the perfect weeknight meal for so many reasons. For me, it checks all the boxes: Fast, Healthy, Satisfying. Pick your poison with ground pork OR tofu, or combine both if you please! I was so happy with this meal that I didn't even require a sweet bite at the end of it, which is verrryyy unusual for me! The secret here is the toasted rice powder. Rice is browned in a dry skillet, and then ground into a tangy, nutty, toasty powder that is a key ingredient to any larb dish. Leave the rice powder out, and you simply won't have the same result! If grains ain't yo thang, play with using very finely ground roasted peanuts. The second key ingredient is of course, the sauce. Use Spice Mama's Zinging Ginger to make a gingery, limey dipping sauce that will match up to your savory ingredients perfectly! Use the code CABBAGECUPS to get free shipping on your order!
1/2 lb okra
1 tbsp + 2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp vadouvan spice blend or other yellow curry blend (prefer vadouvan due to high onion and shallot content)
1 lb ground pork or minced firm tofu (can also mix and do 1/2 lb of each)
6 small shallots
8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
handful mint leaves
1 head green cabbage
2 tbsp Spice Mama Zinging Ginger sauce
1/2 tbsp coconut sugar
2 tsp fish sauce (or tamari if vegan)
2 tbsp white basmati rice (or peanuts if grain-free)
Preheat oven to 400. Slice okra into rounds - you should have between 8-10 circles per piece of okra. Toss okra with 1 tbsp avocado oil and 1 tbsp vadouvan spice blend. Place on baking sheet with silicone lining or on parchment. Place in oven for 20 minutes. At the very end, place under broiler for 2 minutes.
In stainless steel or cast-iron skillet (not nonstick), cook shallots with avocado oil over low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Shallots should slowly brown and caramelize, but not burn. This caramelization is important to give the pork or tofu flavor! In a separate skillet, place the rice or peanuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Watch this and give the skillet a shake every minute or so. Watch for the rice or peanuts to brown. This will take around 5 minutes. The rice should be golden brown before removing.
Meanwhile make the sauce by combining the juice of 3 limes, Zinging Ginger, coconut sugar, and fish sauce. Set aside.
After the shallots start to turn golden brown (this may take longer than 7 minutes), add thinly sliced garlic. Cook for two minutes on low medium heat until garlic softens.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the tofu or ground pork. Stir every 45 seconds or so until pork is cooked through, about 4 minutes. Tofu will take a little bit longer, about 10 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from heat.
Make sure you've removed the okra from the oven - it should be crispy. If not, let sit under the broiler for another 30 seconds to a minute. Grind toasted rice or toasted peanuts into a fine powder. Mix 2 tbsp of ground rice or peanuts into your sauce. Pour half of the sauce into the ground pork or tofu mixture, and reserve half for dipping.
Carefully remove leaves from cabbage head to create cups. Serve pork or tofu mixture in lettuce cups, topped with crispy okra, with dipping sauce on the side. Top pork or tofu mixture with rice powder and chopped mint before eating.
Serves 2 as a hearty main course, or 4-6 as an appetizer.