The Cat loves kalua pork and cabbage. Let me rephrase that, The Cat loves the cabbage in kalua pork and cabbage. Whenever she orders the dish, she requests more cabbage and not too much pork, which the vendors are too happy to comply.
It’s hard to make this at home because I end up eating most of the pork, not that I’m complaining, but it does kind of upsets the balance of cabbage and pork.
I’ve tried adding more cabbage but that kind of dilutes the pork flavor too much. I’ve also tried adding liquid smoke to plain stir-fried cabbage (without pork) with so so results.
I think I’ve finally hit upon a solution. I slowly render the fat out of two slices of thick cut bacon. The bacon slices are removed and one head of cabbage is added, rough chopped. The cabbage is slowly pan roasted in the bacon oil, salt and pepper to taste.
The bacon grease gives just enough smoky flavor and fat to approximate the kalua pork flavor, and I don’t have to eat all that pork. I used the bacon slices in the next post.
The other night, since I already had the sauté pan out, I also stir-fried some Maitake and Bunashimeji mushrooms in peanut oil with salt and pepper to taste.
Both dishes are not what I consider “pretty”, but they worked (The Cat liked them).