Saute my cabbage

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Silver

Senior Member
Chinese,Cantonese,Sichuan dialect
Hi,

I order some cabbage in a restaurant and I want to eat it first, then I asked the cook:

Saute my cabbage, please.

V.to cook in a small amount of fat;
pan-fry. (wordreference.com:saute)

I wonder if it's natural to say so.
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I think it is, Silver, but I would probably have used "stir-fry my cabbage" if I was talking to a cook in China and I was referring to the idea of cooking cabbage in a little oil or fat in a wok.
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Oxford Dictionaries Online list its usage as a verb: Fry quickly in a little hot fat.

    But their 'More example sentences' all show it used in the context of a recipe. I don't think I'd ask someone in a restaurant to sauté something for me.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It's a chef thing - redolent of French expertise. Normal people fry things in their own kitchen. If you are in a restaurant asking for something that is not on the menu then you need to ask a question. Your OP suggestion is a command, not a question.

    In the UK you rarely see cabbage on the menu at all. Or if you do: it's part of a finished dish .. for example braised red cabbage is popular in the winter. My favourite Indian restaurant serve a cabbage dish which is basically stir-fried with a few spices, so I have never had to ask for cabbage to be cooked a certain way.
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    "Sauté my cabbage!" sounds like a humorous variant on the lewd insult "Bite/Suck my (appendage)!" It could also be an original version of an expression of astonishment such as "Well, I'll be darned!"
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    'Sauted' is used in English as distinct from 'deep-fried', a classic example being potatoes. You wouldn't ask for stir-fried potatoes, because they would be raw inside. Sauteeing them would ensure that they were cooked inside and a nice golden-brown on the outside.

    I think "lightly sauteed vegetables" could be equivalent to "stir-fried vegetables", though veg for stir frying is generally cut smaller I think.

    I don't know of any restaurants where I could order a dish of lightly-sauteed cabbage, unless it was on the menu already.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    I don't know of any restaurants where I could order a dish of lightly-sauteed cabbage, unless it was on the menu already.
    :thumbsup: I dread to think what Gordon Ramsay would do to you if you visited his restaurant and asked for the cabbage to be done your way rather than his.
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    "Sauté my cabbage!" sounds like a humorous variant on the lewd insult "Bite/Suck my (appendage)!" It could also be an original version of an expression of astonishment such as "Well, I'll be darned!"
    :D

    That was exactly my first reaction Ain'ttranslation, although it seems even weirder having "please" on the end:
    "Suck my (appendage)! Please." Almost as if you are commanding in one breath and then begging in the next! :eek:o_O:)
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    AE (US English)
    I order some cabbage in a restaurant and I want to eat it first, then I asked the cook:

    Saute my cabbage, please.
    This is not what you say. Of course they will cook the cabbage dish that you ordered. It is meaningless to tell them again to do that.

    You need to say "I want (to eat) the cabbage dish first, before the others." That is new information for them, and you must request it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I order some cabbage in a restaurant and I want to eat it first, then I asked the cook:

    Saute my cabbage, please.
    I agree with dojibear but would say "I'll start with the cabbage - can you sauté it please?" / "I'll start with the cabbage - sautéed." - however, and velisarius has pointed out in #9, in BE at least, "to sauté" would be replaced by "to stir-fry."
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I agree with dojibear but would say "I'll start with the cabbage - can you sauté it please?" / "I'll start with the cabbage - sautéed." - however, and velisarius has pointed out in #9, in BE at least, "to sauté" would be replaced by "to stir-fry."
    Sautéeing and stir-frying are not the same thing. And in any case if it's not specified on the menu you quite simply don't ask for it : you get your cabbage the way the chef has prepared it.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Sautéeing and stir-frying are not the same thing.
    In the case of shredded cabbage - I think it would be hard to tell the difference.
    OED:
    sauté, adj. and n.
    Etymology: French, past participle of sauter to leap
    Cookery.
    A. adj. (Sometimes as pa. pple.) Of meat, vegetables, etc.: Fried in a pan with a little butter over a high heat, while being tossed from time to time.​
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Maybe it's because I'm a foodie living in a foodie country and my son's a chef, but I still distinguish between sautéeing and stir-frying. The difference is explained here (cookinglight.com).

    Edit. In any case I suspect that when Siver said 'sautéed' he actually meant 'stir-fried'....
     

    Trochfa

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I think the difference between sauté and stir-fry is the heat level and the amount of stirring. When stir-frying you have a very high heat and have to stir continuously. The definition of sauté says "tossed from time to time".

    [Cross-posted]
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In Italy they sauté mussels and cockles and the like in olive oil and garlic without cooking them first, because they cook so quickly. On the other hand, if you sauté broccoli (for example) in olive oil and garlic the broccoli has to be cooked first (lightly boiled or steamed). If you want to sir-fry broccoli it need to be cut into very small pieces and cooked rapidly over a very high flame. The result is different (as it would be for cabbage).
     
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