We enjoyed living around the corner from a public library when we lived in Memphis. I found an interesting Chinese cookbook there. Each recipe was given in English on one page, and in Chinese on the facing page. When I cook this one, the family leaves the house until the steam clears. Be forewarned. It can be painful. But it’s worth it.
2 pounds cabbage
6 dried red chiles
5 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 tablespoon peppercorns
2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon vinegar
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
Tear cabbage into bite size pieces about 2″ by 1 1/2″; cut leaf spines into smaller pieces. Set aside.
Clean the red chiles and cut into 1″ pieces. Remove the seeds.
In a wok, heat the oil over a very hot flame. Add the chiles and cook quickly. As soon as they turn dark, add the whole peppercorns and the cabbage, stirring briskly. Cook about 3 minutes.
When the cabbage has begun to soften, add the salt, sugar and soysauce. Stir for one minute. Add the brown vinegar and the sesame oil. Mix well.
Chill well and serve cold.