I had slight misgivings as I was shredding savoy cabbage for this stir-fry. Perhaps adapting Leela’s stir-fried Chinese morning glory (one of my favourite dishes!) for this sulphurous leaf was not a good idea after all….
But I needn’t have worried: the cabbage turned deliciously savoury-sweet and tender, with a flick of bright red chilli and lilac-skinned garlic providing colour and fragrance. It’s completely satisfying served just as it is with some rice or congee, but the addition of a little minced pork is also delicious. On the other hand, the dish can be made completely meat-free by using mushroom sauce rather than oyster. You can also use any fairly sturdy vegetable such as broccoli (either Chinese kai lan or European florets), brussel sprouts or asparagus.
By the way, Thai fermented soy bean paste is easily found in any East/South East Asian supermarket; you could try using any sort of salty bean paste, which would result in a rather different (but likely still delicious) flavour profile.
I'm a self-conscious dilettante with a degree in History of Art from SOAS and UCL. I've lived in Greater London all my life, interrupted only occasionally by brief trips to Thailand. The result is that I speak Thai with a Croydon accent (and sometimes Croydon with a posh accent, but that's another story).
Far from being a charming bilingual intellectual of the world who ably holds forth on every topic imaginable at dinner parties, most of what I actually say in either language is "Hello", "That's a nice painting", and "I'm hungry". My idea of a balanced diet is a bowl of Mama instant noodles in one hand and a chip buttie in the other, but I also don't mind a nice bit of duck confit or gaeng paa gai. I don't go to dinner parties, anyway.
I like looking at interesting things. Thai contemporary art, Early Modern English portraiture, and lowbrow art have so far held my attention.
I consume vast amounts of art and food, so I thought I would give something back by writing.