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Dec 20, 2007 07:54 PM

Cabbage at China Village - written in Chinese?

I'm planning a big meal at Panda Country Kitchen in SF tomorrow, and I see on their menu that they have "Spicy Charred Stir Cabbage" - I am curious to see if this is similar to the charred cabbage dish we ate at the chowdown at China Village last month.

Is it possible for someone who has/knows the China Village menu to write out their name for the dish in Chinese? Scanning a picture would work too, although hopefully good enough resolution so that I can then copy over the characters onto paper.

Thanks a lot, I'll be sure to report on any cabbage dishes we try at PCK.

Dave MP

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  1. Here is a picture of the Panda Country Kitchen menu. #67

    1. The Places entry for China Village has a link to its menu.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Sorry, it didn't take. Let's try again.

        China Village
        1335 Solano Ave, Albany, CA 94706

        Panda Country Kitchen
        4737 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94118

      2. I just had this dish there on Monday night. The intent is the same as China Village's: cabbage charred in a wok, tossed with a bit of vinegar and little else. The execution, however, was disappointing. Panda's cabbage was far from charred, so none of the caramelized sweetness came out. I thought they added sugar since I detected some sweetness but no caramelization. I probably would have liked Panda's version had I not tried it last month at China Village, but now that I'm spoiled by China Village's version I won't bother again with Panda's.

        Panda's wontons in chili oil were as good as I remembered from our previous visit, and I really liked the hot Chongqing noodles -- much better than their dan dan mien.

        4 Replies
        1. re: david kaplan

          I made fire-charred brussel sprouts (had a big stalk of them before T-giving, so I tried it with a few of the biggest sprouts at the top) and was stunned by the amount of sugar I had to put in to get them to taste right - maybe 3-4 Tbsp for about 3 cups of sliced sprouts? Going to try it again with cabbage sometime, and when I have the proportions figured out, I'll post it on Home Cooking. For anyone else trying this at home, I think black Chinese rice vinegar (Chinkiang vinegar) is key.

          1. re: daveena

            I've tried the cabbage at home and only needed to use a couple pinches of sugar for a head of cabbage. My lousy home burner got it better-charred than Panda did. And I agree that Chinkiang vinegar makes all the difference here.

          2. re: david kaplan

            What are the hot Chongqing noodles like? I'll definitely order the wontons!

            Dave MP

            1. re: Dave MP

              More sesame and vinegar and less chili oil than dan dan mien. Good firm thicker noodles. Ground meat.

          3. What I gather from just seeing the five-character descriptor (“qiang chao bao xiao cai”) is but a general indication of a blanching of a bundle of leafy vegetable (not specifically cabbage) followed by a toss cooking in the wok. I therefore venture to suspect in all probability that any similarities between dishes though identically named by two different restaurants (China Village and Panda Kitchen, in this case) would be entirely coincidental. To the degree that the vegetables are cooked to a charring or not (depending on the vegeatable), or with vinegar, sugar, and/or a sauce, however spicy, would seem entirely subjected to the individual imagination/creativity of the chef.

            3 Replies
            1. re: CYL

              Er, what I saw was "bao xin cai" ("wrapped heart vegetable") which specifically refers to head cabbage.


              1. re: Xiao Yang

                Yes, as corrected! Erred in hastily reading "xiao" versus "xin!" The general description of the dish, albiet specifically with cabbage, nevertheless, still opens to a wide lattitude in cooking/preparation.

                1. re: CYL

                  It's a common dish in Shanghainese home-style cooking, with the only variables being the degree (or lack of) charred-ness and the degree of spiciness. Incidentally, Shanghainese usually refer to that kind of cabbage as "juan xin cai" (卷心菜) rather than bao xin cai so it might show up that way on menus.