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Jamaican Cabbage...Side Dish or Salt Ting..Issue #011
February 21, 2005
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Ok let’s face it; there are many people who cringe at the mention of eating cabbage. And in some cases I agree with them; after all, if you don’t prepare this vegetable with ample amount of seasonings, it can surely ruin a good meal. But to say that cabbage will not ever taste good is subjective and should be given a chance to prove itself. Cool?
Jamaican Cabbage dishes are used in two ways, as a side dish or as the main fare… like meat; we call it “salt ting.” Not much to with salt per se it’s the name we give to anything that is stewed, for example; fish, goat, beef, and poultry are called "salt ting."
Even though Jamaican cabbage is always prepared through a steaming process, we sometimes follow meat preparation procedures according to the occasion. And it is not unusual to find cabbage accompanying our favorite meat dish in the same pot.
Alright, let’s start with a basic cabbage recipe, YAH MON!
2 Large Cabbage (or any size)
2 Onions (chopped)
2 Plum Tomatoes (diced)
4 sprigs Thyme
1 tbsp. Black Pepper
1 tbsp. Salt
1 oz. Margarine
2 oz. Cooking Oil
Wash the vegetables and remove the outer leaves if they are not useable. Cut cabbages into four pieces; start from the bottom where stem is seen. Meanwhile you can sauté the onions and tomatoes with the rest of the ingredients, except the margarine, on high.
Here is a little trick I use to prevent the seasonings from burning; cover the skillet for a couple of minutes, this will also catch the flavor of the seasonings.
Now remove the heart of the cabbage from the pieces that you just cut into four pieces. Separate the cabbage leaves and add them to the skillet. Turn the fire down to medium low, cover the pot, and allow the cabbage to steam slowly. Turn the cabbage slowly after five minutes.
When the cabbage is almost cooked, add the margarine to the pot.
You can serve this with Rice, Bread, Boiled Yams or Potatoes.
Here is another variation of Jamaican cabbage:
This is a common cabbage recipe in Jamaica, cooked with “salt ting.”
Use the same ingredients above but this time you will add a can of corned beef, a.k.a. “bully beef.” Sauté the corned beef, until slightly brown, with the seasonings for three minutes then add the chopped cabbage.
You can use different kinds of “salt ting” such as, salted mackerel or salted codfish. Even shrimp will do.
And another way of making Jamaican cabbage is Ital. Ital is made without salt or margarine. And if you can get coconut oil, instead of vegetable oil, that will make it even tastier. Instead of the salt use 1 Scotch Bonnet Pepper with the above recipe. The combination of coconut oil and scotch bonnet peppers bring out the natural flavors in the cabbage.
Here is a cabbage/carrot salad you will like:
1 cup Cabbage (finely shredded)
½ cup Carrots (finely grated)
½ cup Vinegar ¼ cup White Sugar
Warm vinegar on the stove top; do not boil. Then add the sugar and make a solution. Toss cabbage and carrot together in a bowl until thoroughly mixed. Add vinegar and sugar solution to cabbage mix. Place this in the refrigerator to cool before serving.
Whenever you’re cooking cabbage for the home, add no more than 2 tablespoons of water to the pot, if you need to do that. And that’s a lot of water for cooking cabbage. Cabbage has enough juice in it to cook itself; so be patient and let the juices flow.
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