Friday, April 12, 2024
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Brunei Town

Nostalgic comfort, reinvented deliciously

Ellie Krieger

THE WASHINGTON POST – This dish is more than comfort food to me. It’s like coming home, ringing of the flavours and aromas of my grandmother’s kitchen where she served up bowls of egg noodles with butter, braised cabbage, soups wafting with dill, and a dollop of sour cream on just about anything. She branched out often with dishes such as chicken a la king and spaghetti and meatballs, but the food she made most often spoke to her Eastern European roots.

This meal-in-a-bowl of silky egg noodles mingling with tender, browned cabbage and onions, seasoned with dill, salt and pepper, and served with a big dollop of yogurt conjures her love-infused cooking, but it’s not exactly the way she would have made it.

Rather, it’s a meal that reflects my way of cooking, too.

The noodles here are cooked until they are firm tender, as I prefer them, rather than super-soft, as she would have done. I used mostly olive oil and just a knob of butter to finish the dish, introducing that essential buttery flavour in a more healthful way, and I rely on Greek yogurt, rather than sour cream, for a more protein-rich finish. Stirring the cool, creamy yoghurt into the bowl of hot noodles so it melts into a creamy, tangy sauce ranks to me as one of the world’s most satisfying experiences.

I know my grandma would have loved this dish exactly as it is, not only because it’s nourishing and fulfilling, but because it’s a kind of teamwork between us, a meal that connects us and reflects us both.




– Eight ounces medium or wide egg noodles

– Three tablespoons olive oil

– One large yellow onion (12 ounces), halved and thinly sliced

– Half head large green cabbage (one-and-three-quarter pounds total), cored and thinly shredded (six cups)

– Three-quarters teaspoon fine salt, divided, plus more to taste

– Half teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

– Water

– Quarter cup coarsely chopped fresh dill, plus dill fronds for garnish

– One tablespoon unsalted butter

– Half cup plain whole-milk or low-fat Greek yoghurt


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until al dente, about one minute less than the package directions. Reserve half cup of the cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering.

Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, three to five minutes.

Add the cabbage, half teaspoon of the salt and the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is tender and browned in spots, about five minutes. Add a splash of water to the pan if it seems to be getting dry. Remove from the heat and set aside until the noodles are ready.

Add the cooked, drained noodles to the skillet, along with the dill, butter and the remaining quarter teaspoon of salt. Set the skillet over medium heat and warm the mixture, tossing it gently, until the butter is melted and everything is combined. Add some of the reserved cooking water as needed to loosen. Taste and season with additional salt, if desired.

Divide the mixture among the bowls, top each with a dollop of yoghurt and a couple of dill fronds, and serve.