Monday, January 24, 2011

Cabbage & Poppy Seed Noodles with Sour Cream

It is officially comfort food season.  It is ridiculously cold around here.  The sun is shining, and it deceivingly calls you outside for a ice skate or a cross country ski session.  But the minute you step outside, your breath is taken away and any exposed skin has 10 minutes before it burns, dries up and falls off.  Oh, sorry, not very appetizing for a food blog eh?  This morning we shattered a 41 year old weather record, isn't that great for us!?  It is currently -25°C (-13°F) and Environment Canada has issued a cold weather warning urging people to stay indoors.  I would have loved to throw in the towel this morning when my car didn't start, and just hover over a hot stove at home all day.  Boo hoo.  On days like this, your body needs nourishing, hot food.  Stick to your ribs, starchy, simple, and may I stress, HOT food.  This dish is inspired by my Hungarian Grandmother's dish called "kaposztas teszta", a savoury/sweet mixture of cabbage and noodles. It has a simple taste that is so satisfying and comforting.  I added poppy seeds and a sour cream garnish to this classic Hungarian dish. 

Cabbage & Poppy Seed Noodles with Sour Cream
Origin: Hungarian Classic, Jaime, Impeccable Taste

Notes:  Egg noodles are a must for this dish.  My grandmother buys these 1 1/2 inch square flat noodles at a European deli which are awesome.  I usually buy artisan dried papardelle and break them into pieces.  You are looking for a broad flat egg noodle.  The most common brand around here is "Lancia". 


250g (1 package) flat, broad egg noodles
1 small green cabbage, (or 1/2 large, about 8 cups chopped)
1 very large onion (about 2 cups chopped)
1/4 vegetable oil (sunflower, safflower, coconut etc.)
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
sour cream for serving

Cut the cabbage into quarters, cut out the core and slice into thin ribbons (no more than 1/4 inch thick).  Cut onion(s) in half and slice into thin half moons.  Everything should be about the same size, thin strips of onion and cabbage.

Heat the oil in a very large skillet over medium high heat (you could probably use a dutch oven or a big soup pot too).  Add the onions and cabbage, toss to coat everything with the oil.  Cook for about 10 minutes, until everything is glossy and starting to shrink down a bit.  Add the poppy seeds, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  You may need to add a little more oil as you cook if it seems dry.  Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes more, stirring the cabbage mixture frequently, scraping the browned cabbage from the bottom of the pan and mixing thoroughly.  The whole mixture will caramelize and cook down significantly. 

While the cabbage cooks, boil the noodles according to package directions, making sure your water is well salted.  Drain the noodles but reserve about a cup of the cooking liquid.

When the cabbage is all browned and cooked.  Add the noodles to the skillet and toss thoroughly.  Add a little cooking liquid to the skillet to help loosen up the cabbage and distribute it evenly.  Cook just until the noodles are hot.  I like to time my pasta to cook when the cabbage is just finishing up.  I transfer the noodles with a slotted spoon directly to my skillet, taking some pasta water with them.  Then I toss it all, and serve immediately

Add more salt and pepper if desired.  Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream.  Serves 4.


  1. hey Jamie
    I,ve been enjoying your blog ever since Naomi sent me the link-but today I especially enjoyed it! Why-you ask? Well , my Hungarian mother raised me on a diet of Kapostas teszta
    and other such treats-and I got very nostalgic for this comfort food.
    hmm....-maybe I'll make some for my gang tomorrow night!

  2. Hi Zahava! This dish is so comforting and nostalgic for me too. This is not quite how my Grandmother makes it, but I love it this way. Thanks for reading, and for your nice comments!

  3. looks beautiful and reminds me of my polish lazanki w/ cabbage minus poppy seeds :)