The photo is of the leftovers of the braised cabbage. I'm making more of it tomorrow but I was anxious to get this recipe posted. It's that good! I'm not sure where the idea came from for this. Oh, yes I do. I was thinking about carrot raisin salad and then slaw and the notion for a braise with figs popped into my 5-watt brain. Peter added the idea of bacon. It's a 3-way made in heaven.
Cabbage braised with bacon and figs
2 strips thick-cut bacon or 3 thinner
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 medium head cabbage, halved and stem removed
2/3 cup unsweetened dried figs (Sunsweet are what I found), in 1/2" dice
splash of Xiaoxing cooking wine (or dry white wine)
splash of Chinese black vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or wh. wine vinegar)
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the bacon into 1/2" pieces and cook in a large saute pan until crispy. Drain on paper towels.
While the bacon cooks, slice the cabbage into thin strips more or less as you would for a slaw. When the bacon is done add the garlic to the bacon fat and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and toss thoroughly. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the cabbage starts to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the figs, wine and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and black pepper (I used white pepper). Toss everything together.
When everything is hot, serve it and enjoy it.