Napa cabbage tabouli

by Heguiberto on December 28, 2009

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Napa cabbage

Napa cabbage tabouli

The other week Steven and I went to Japan town to the Sundance Kabuki movie theater to see A Single Man, Tom Ford, the famous clothing designer’s first movie. I heard that he financed the whole project with his own money! That takes balls! We loved it even though it’s really sad. Based upon this Christopher Isherwood novel, it takes place in Los Angeles in the 1950’s. It’s about this depressed guy, Colin Firth, whose partner of sixteen years recently died in a car accident, and how he comes to terms with the loss. Visually, the movie’s impeccable. Colin Firth and beautiful Julienne Moore, who plays his long-time friend and sometime-in-the-distant-past lover, are breathtaking. Their houses are stunning, too. Steven’s still recovering from real estate envy more than a week later. Check it out!

But what does this tabouli have to do with “A Single Man?” Well, nothing really. We just happened to go shopping at my favorite Japanese supermarket, Nijiya, after the movie ended. It’s quite nearby the Kabuki movie theatre, about a block away. I love going there to get miso paste. They have all kinds from dark red to white made from soybeans, barley, rice, etc. Each tastes different from all of the rest, but all have amazing flavors. I didn’t really need anything, but it’s fun to wander the aisles looking at the exciting products. I couldn’t pass up the big beautiful Napa cabbage in the vegetable section. It was ultra fresh and crisp with bright green leaves on the top. And it was very cheap at 39 cents a pound. So Tom Ford and Napa cabbage are my inspiration for this dish.

Napa Cabbage Tabouli

1 cup coarse cracked wheat
3½ cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
3 small Kirby cucumbers, in small dice
2 vine ripened tomatoes, in small dice with juices
2 chopped whole scallions
½ small onion, chopped into small cubes and rinsed
Leaves from 4 sprigs of mint, chopped fine, with a few reserved for garnish
Juice from 2 lemons
Salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup of good extra virgin olive oil

How to:

Place cracked wheat in a bowl and soak it with 3 cups of hot water. Let it stand for 20-30 minutes. Drain using a strainer. Transfer cracked wheat to a kitchen towel. Fold the towel to enclose wheat. Squeeze it until most of the water has drained away. Place into a bowl along with all the other ingredients. Toss together then let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes so flavors can marry. Make individual portions and serve with Kalamata, feta cheese garnish.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean December 30, 2009 at 10:40 am

Dude, I have two heads of napa cabbage from my CSA — and DPaul hates cabbage. I’m scrounging for recipes to disguise the stuff in. This fits the bill nicely. 🙂

Heguiberto December 30, 2009 at 2:24 pm


OMG I love cabbage of all kinds!
Try this recipe on him. He will never notice it lol
I don’t suppose DPaul would eat eat my napa kimchi then

Happy holidays!


tasteofbeirut January 17, 2010 at 7:35 am

Actually there is a tabbouli made with cabbage in Lebanese cuisine; it is made during the winter!

Heguiberto January 18, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Hello there,
Thanks for honoring us with your comments! Your blog is fabulous and we will be coming back to learn more about your cooking! I love your recipes from what we have seen. As a kid growing up in Brazil I remember my mom making tabouli with whatever herbs or green vegetables were available these included parsley, scallions, escarole, cabbage, butter lettuce and so on. Simply delicious! Cheers

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