Quarter 1 3-pound head of Napa cabbage lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 2-to 3-inch pieces. Toss with 3 tablespoons salt in a large bowl and let stand, tossing occasionally, 2 hours. Rinse cabbage well, then drain. Squeeze out excess water with your hands and transfer to a large bowl. Purée 2 Tbsp chopped garlic and 1 Tbsp chopped, peeled ginger with 2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce and 2 tsp distilled white vinegar in a blender until smooth, then pour over cabbage. Add 1 bunch scallions, chopped (about 1 cup) and 2 – 3 Tbsp Korean red-pepper flakes. Toast 3 Tbsp sesame seeds, crush with the side of a heavy knife, and add to mix. Toss to coat. Peel 1 Asian pear, then grate on large holes of a box grater (avoid core and seeds). Add to cabbage mixture and toss well. Marinate at least 1 hour.
– David Tombs, Terra Restaurant, 326 Victoria St, Kamloops, 250-374-2913, www.terrarestaurant.ca. Always lots of “umami”!