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In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and cloves. In a separate bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce, the rice vinegar, and the maple syrup. Keep both close by.
Cut the stem end off of the cabbage. Next, cut it in half from the top of the cabbage down through the stem. Place the flat, cut side against the surface of your cutting board, then each half into quarters (again, from the top down towards the stem). Turn each quarter crosswise, then cut into thin, 1/8-inch strips. Keep handy (I like to pile my cut cabbage into a bowl as I go).
Heat a large, deep skillet, Dutch oven, or wok with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once hot and shimmering, add the chicken. Cook, breaking up the meat. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce. Continue cooking until the meat is fully cooked through and any liquid that has collected in the pan has mostly cooked off, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl. Make sure you have the skillet lid handy.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet. Add the cabbage and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is just starting to wilt.
Add the soy sauce and spice mixture. Cover the skillet and cook over high heat for one minute, until the cabbage is completely wilted but isn’t mushy.
Uncover, and stir in the green onion, cilantro, and reserved chicken. Let cook 30 additional seconds. The cabbage should be crisp tender (if it’s not, cook it a bit longer). Serve hot with rice or noodles and an extra dash of soy sauce as desired.