Food You Should Be Eating: Cabbage

Cabbage? Really?

Image by ubercultureImage by ubercultureYes. Cabbage. Really.

Cabbage isn't one of those rare ingredients. Everyone knows about it. Most of us use it. Still, most of us use it for one or two things... and that is unfortunate. Cabbage is an incredibly versatile food, and it is particularly great for the winter... when it is one of the few things in season.

Why cabbage? Really, the question is why not cabbage? Cabbage is inexpensive and nutritious. It stores incredibly well. It can also be delicious.

Don't believe me? In the last few weeks, I've used cabbage in the following ways:

  • I've roasted it. Cabbage that's been roasted gets nicely crisp and caramelized. It is surprisingly good, and it is hearty enough to work as a main course.
  • I've made cole slaw. Have I written a post about cole slaw? No? I need to do that. I make awesome cole slaw. The key is using mayonnaise made with olive oil (either homemade or doctored).
  • I've braised it. Braised cabbage is incredibly succulent. It is slightly sweet and very tender. More often, I put cabbage in soup... and end up stewing it, which has a similar effect. This might be my favorite way to eat cabbage.
  • I've added it to chicken salad and tuna salad. Cabbage adds a great crunch and flavor accent to both of these.
  • The other night we made potstickers. I ground up some chicken and added a bit of soy sauce and a mix of chopped cabbage, green onion, and garlic. This was incredibly easy, by the way.
  • I like to keep a bowl of vinegared cabbage and onions on hand. It's a great accent when you just need a bit of a flavor blast.

There are a ton of other things you can do with cabbage. These are just the things that I've actually done with it in the very recent past.

Do you have a favorite way to eat cabbage? ...or questions about cabbage? Leave a comment.


I'm a sucker for savoy & napa cabbage. I usually chop napa and add it to ground meat, like the pot stickers, or I just had sauteed savoy cabbage, with a bit of shallots. I find the taste is milder than regular white cabbage.

Stuart Broz's picture

Cool. I don't mind the stronger taste, myself.

Hey Stuart, now's the time to post a recipe or two, or even a sketch of one.

Stuart Broz's picture

Cole slaw recipe-ish-thing is forthcoming.

Take your typical baked mac-n-cheese recipe, substitute chopped cooked cabbage (pressed until reasonably dry) for about a third of the pasta. Makes it feel a little less heavy without costing richness, if that makes any sense.

Stuart Broz's picture

Yeah. I makes sense. How do you cook the cabbage? Saute? Braise might work, but it would be hard to dry...

Since I'm not looking to develop anything in the way of flavor here, I just microwave it with a little water in a covered dish. Steaming would have much the same effect, I imagine. And then drain / press it. The friend I got the idea from boiled his, but I imagine that removes a lot of the nutrients. He also didn't drain his very well, which lead to watery mac-n-cheese.

I like to buy cabbage from time to time. My favorite recipe with it right now is asian sauteed cabbage with peanut oil, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes. I also use it often in soups.

Stuart Broz's picture

What sort of cabbage do you like to use? Red/green? Savoy? Nappa?

Love Cabbage!

If there is any left over from say corned beef and cabbage, there is no better comfort food than cabbage pan fried in butter. Let it cook slowly and get that great carmel color going. A real treat.

I also like to use cabbage slaw on fish tacos. A little of the fresh pre shredded cabbage slaw from the bag, mayo, or yogurt with an acid like lime with a little salt and pepper. Adds a great crunch to the fish and great for you too.

Stuart Broz's picture

Fish tacos... good thought. I'm always shredding my own cabbage anyway.

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