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Pointed cabbage with nam prik

Side BBQ
Serves 6 as a side

For many, many years now, we’ve been marking all sorts of ingredients with chargrilled stripes. The effect of the chargrill is to make things look great – those smart, black lines – and taste great, taking on the smoky flavours of the grill. But when the sun is not calling, we'll do this indoors, in the kitchen, on a ridged griddle pan, with a high flame on the stove and the extractor fan turned up to the max (or the window opened very wide). When it comes to this cabbage dish, the results are pretty much the same whether you BBQ or grill the veg indoors. But nothing quite beats the allure of food that’s cooked and eaten outdoors. Thanks to Calvin Von Niebel, our well-travelled chef at Ottolenghi, for coming up with the recipe that inspired this.


4cm piece fresh galangal (or ginger), peeled and roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce
1½ tsp aleppo chilli flakes (or 1 tsp regular chilli flakes)
1 tbsp tamarind paste
¼ tbsp soft light brown sugar
50g cherry tomatoes 
2 limes, 1 juiced, to get 1½ tbsp, the other cut into 6 wedges, to serve
3½ tbsp vegetable oil
2 pointed cabbages (aka sweetheart or hispi cabbage), quartered lengthways
5g coriander, finely chopped


  1. First make the nam prik. Put the galangal and garlic in the small bowl of a food processor and blitz. Add the fish sauce, chilli, tamarind, sugar, tomatoes and lime juice, blitz again, then tip into a small bowl and stir in a teaspoon and a half of the oil.
  2. Toss the cabbage quarters in the remaining oil and a teaspoon of salt, then lay them on a very hot barbecue or griddle pan, and grill for four to five minutes on each side (ie, 12-15 minutes in total), until it has clear grill marks all over, and has softened on the outside but still has a crunch. Transfer to a platter, overlapping the cabbage quarters in places. Add the coriander to the nam prik, then spoon evenly over the cabbage pieces. Serve either warm or at room temperature, with the lime wedges.