I’ve never met a cabbage I didn’t like, so I really love this traditional British dish. Bubble and Squeak, which is a relative of Irish colcannon, is basically a potato cake made from leftover cabbage and smashed potatoes. I usually make it from scratch. To give a twist to this classic, I use tender Napa cabbage and carrots to add sweetness and color, and mint to give a fresh bite. Napa cabbage has soft leaves with wide crunchy central stems, so the thickest parts of the leaves are cooked before the leafy tops. Eat this with eggs for breakfast or brunch, or with a piece of grilled chicken or some chicken sausage. It’s quite delicious.
1. Put the potatoes into a pot, with just enough water to cover them and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, drain and mash. Set aside.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil in a heavy cast-iron or non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
3. Add the shallots and carrots and stir-fry until they start to soften. Add the thicker stalk ends of the cabbage, reserving the tender parts of the leaves. Continue to stir-fry until they start to soften.
4. Turn the heat down to medium. Sprinkle the vegetables with the remaining salt and cover.
5. Cook for about 5-8 minutes or until the cabbage has softened and started to brown. Add the reserved cabbage leaves and mix in well. Cover again and cook until the leaves have wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the mint to the cabbage and fry for 1 minute.
6. Mix in the mashed potatoes to the cabbage mixture. In the pan, form it into a thick round cake. Brown the bottom of the cake over medium heat, about 5-8 minutes.
7. Cover the pan with a plate and flip the cake onto the plate with the browned side up.
8. Carefully slide the cake back into the pan and brown the other side. It’s done. Serve immediately.
- ½ to 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes (about 3), cut into large dice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot, sliced into thin julienne strips
- 8 to 10 leaves Napa cabbage, cut roughly into 1-inch triangles, leaves and stems separated
- 2 sprigs of mint, stripped of their leaves and cut in a chiffonade
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Ann's Tips and Tricks
If you have left-over mashed potatoes in the fridge, this is a delicious way to use them up.
And if you’re making it from scratch, for more fiber don’t bother to peel Yukon Gold potatoes. Just mash them up, skin and all.