Nov 20, 2015

Sour and Spicy Cabbage Stir Fry - 醋溜高麗菜

If you ever want to try something "heavier" than simple stir fry veggies, this sour and spicy version can be the answer. A good amount of vinegar and chilies were incorporated but the end result was refreshing instead of greasy and oily. 

Traditionally sour and spicy cabbage stir fry calls for rice vinegar, the kind with pale yellow hue. I've also added one of my kitchen staples - fresh lemon juice to further brighten up the flavor.

Sour and spicy cabbage stir fry - 


  • 1 small cabbage or 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 6 dried chilies
  • 4 slices fresh wood-ear 
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorn oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


Wash the cabbage and tear into smaller pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and quickly dip in the wood-ear, about 10 seconds. Drain well, chop the wood-ear into smaller pieces and trim away the tough center if any. 

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn oil and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in the garlic and dried chilies, cook till the garlic almost gets burned. Sprinkle some salt during the process.

Turn up the heat and add in wood-ear pieces, cook for about 30 seconds then add in the cabbage. Higher heat can speed up the process while creating that distinct Chinese stir fry aroma to the dish. The edges of the cabbage can also browned nicely. If higher heat can't be obtained, just try your best and cook till the cabbage wilts a little.

Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, and corn starch in a small bowl first then pour into the pan. Give it a quick stir, taste and see if need to adjust the taste with more salt. Squeeze in 1/2 lemon juice when the cabbage is almost ready.

You can even skip the lemon juice and substitute with black vinegar for a stronger taste. 

Other Asian stir fry recipes:

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