More cabbage, please
November 1, 2010 8:18 AM   Subscribe

Your tips for cooking cabbage and favorite cabbage recipes, please!

Intoxicated by the fall farmer's market, I ended up with many items including a head of cabbage. It was only a dollar!

Please suggest some cooking tips and recipes; I don't want my tiny apartment smelling like farts and I don't want to eat over-cooked cabbage that makes me feel like I'm in some Dickensian orphanage.

Kimchi and corn beef with cabbage are delicious, but I'm interested in other recipes. I'll leave kimchi to the pros. Slow-cooker recipes are fine, although I'm currently searching for a replacement lid.

Thanks for reading!
posted by mlo to Food & Drink (40 answers total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
Stuffed cabbage.
posted by quodlibet at 8:21 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Cole slaw
posted by mkultra at 8:22 AM on November 1, 2010

I like shaving cabbage really thin on a mandoline and making it into either a Tex-Mex style or Asian-style slaw. For Tex-Mex, combine the shredded cabbage with shredded red cabbage, sliced red onion, chopped cilantro, fresh lime juice, a little salt, and cumin. For Asian-style, combine the cabbage with red cabbage, shredded carrots, bean sprouts, thinly sliced onion, fresh cilantro again, and a dressing made from honey, soy, sesame oil, and cider or rice vinegar. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Either of these is a great side with seafood (scallops, shrimp, fish tacos) or even simple stuff like sandwiches.
posted by Miko at 8:22 AM on November 1, 2010 [6 favorites]

Oh, I wish I could still eat cabbage.

I liked frying it with onions and dressing it with a bit of apple cider vinegar. Sometimes I'd add sliced apples to it.

Dishes that are better when made with cabbage:

- colcannon
- bubble and squeak
- corned beef hash
posted by elsietheeel at 8:28 AM on November 1, 2010

Chop up bacon into tiny cubes. Fry until crispy. Steam or boil cabbage. Add bacon to cabbage along with butter and plenty of black pepper.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:29 AM on November 1, 2010

add caraway, butter, salt and butter.
posted by runincircles at 8:29 AM on November 1, 2010

Best answer: Its slow cooking in water that brings out the sulfur smell. Try stir frying in a neutral flavored oil with indian spices (esp mustard seed and scallions). Or sauteeing in butter with onions, cumin or caraway and juniper berries. Alternatively I like it roasted in a high heat oven with coriander, cumin and ginger. Toss with some oil and salt as well. this is also awesome drizzled with pumpkin seed oil once it is done cooking.

Under the raw cabbage label you could shave it very thinly and treat it like any other raw brassica - lightly dressed with sherry vinegar and olive oil with pecorino and walnuts? Or an ersatz low-cal caesar type thing with a smashed clove of garlic, a tsp of worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and lemon, sprinkled with a tblspoon of parmigiana.

I generally prefer Savoy cabbage to regular cabbage.
posted by JPD at 8:33 AM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

Bavarian cabbage

Not sure how that got classified as vegetarian, what with beef stock and pork lard! If you have leftover bacon fat from another recipe you can use that. Or else add bacon to the recipe itself. It makes a great side dish.

My husband and I had the slawa that Miko mentioned just last night - down to mine being Mexican-style and his being Asian-style. We made fish tacos and just added the slaws on top. Really simple, very tasty.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 8:34 AM on November 1, 2010

Stir fried cabbage, pork and shrimp:

Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in a wok until smoking hot, throw in a handful very finely sliced pork belly (preferably of the three or five layer kind), stir fry until beginning to brown.

Add a small handful of shrimp (in their shells). Fry, turning occasionally, until the skins are browning (you'll get a pungent barbecued shrimp aroma out of this). The pork should be crispy by this stage, with much of the fat having been rendered out.

Add a pinch (or two) of salt and toss through the crispy pork and shrimp.

Then add shredded cabbage. Stir fry and toss to coat with the oil. Cook until almost the texture you like, then add fish or soy sauce. Cook a minute longer, tossing.

Serve with rice.
posted by Ahab at 8:38 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I recently discovered roasted cabbage and am in love. Core it, cut it into wedges, brush it with olive oil and dust with salt and pepper, and roast it at 400 until it starts to get tender and brown around the edges. Squirt with lemon juice upon serving.

It gets a nutty flavor when roasted. So great.
posted by padraigin at 8:40 AM on November 1, 2010

Best answer: Raw: Slaw. Slice thinly, dress with flavorful, spicy dressing. (I like fresh minced jalapeno or ground cayenne + lime juice + garlic + olive oil + salt). If you don't like the super-crunch of raw cabbage, you can lightly salt it a few hours beforehand and let it sit in a colander (it will wilt a little), or you can dress it hours or a day before you want to eat it. I like it both ways.

Cooked: Roasted. Slice not-as-thinly or cut into wedges. Cover with olive oil, salt, and the spice of your choice (I like ground chipotle, ancho chili, or smoked spanish paprika). Bake/roast at 450 degrees until the edges are brown and crunchy and the middle is tender. (About 30 minutes, but depends a lot on your oven and the size of your slices).
posted by willbaude at 8:41 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Kielbasa and cabbage is yummy. I usually chop my onions up and caramelize them a bit too.
posted by cabingirl at 8:45 AM on November 1, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks all, keep them coming! Does anyone have any cabbage soup recipe? I love soup but not sure how cabbage soups work if I'm not supposed to cook them for very long.
posted by mlo at 8:52 AM on November 1, 2010

A housemate used to make an incredible cabbage soup with milk and leeks and potatoes. I've lost the paper I wrote the recipe down on and I've made lots of variations over the years. Basically, now, I just cook leeks in butter, add stock, potatoes, cabbage and top with milk. (like this) It's not as good as I remember, but it works.

Some delicious variations: Leek, potato, cabbage velote; Julia Child's bacon version; sausage version.
posted by crush-onastick at 8:53 AM on November 1, 2010

Have you ever tried making your own sauerkraut? It's actually pretty easy. Slice the cabbage into thin ribbons, and pack into a non-reactive crock, lightly salting each layer as you go. Pound it down with a pestle, muddle, or even a dowel, until it starts to release liquid (about 20 minutes). If the liquid is enough to cover the cabbage, great. If not, add a little purified water to cover. Weigh your cabbage down so that it stays underwater (I used plastic wrap and ziploc bags filled with water). Let it ferment in an out-of-the-way place for about a week (depending on the temperature). Check it every few days. Once it has soured to your taste, you can refrigerate it for several months.
posted by Gilbert at 8:54 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Boil a bag of egg noodles. Fry up a pound of sausage. Shred half a head of cabbage (as small as you like). Add the cabbage to the sausage and cook gently until the cabbage gets soft. Add the sausage/cabbage and a stick of butter to the noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Or yes, fry it with onions and apples. Yum!
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:55 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cabbage soup? You want cabbage soup? I'll give you my favorite recipe for cabbage soup!

Cabbage Soup

chopped cabbage (about 3/4 of a medium sized head)
6 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
3 T sugar
1/2 T salt
1 bay leaf
dash of allspice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 pound hamburger
2 6-oz cans of tomato paste

Combine all ingredients except tomato paste in a pot. Bring to a boil and simmer one hour. Add tomato paste and cook 15 minutes longer.
posted by DrGail at 8:59 AM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

If you like Indian food as well as lima bean...try this. It's one of my favorites.
posted by pghjezebel at 9:16 AM on November 1, 2010 [2 favorites]

My mom made this soup a lot when I was growing up. Honestly, I never cared for it. The rest of my family loves it, though. Similar to Dr. Gail's, but also different.

Cabbage Patch Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 can (16 ounces) chili with beans
1 can (about 141/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1/2 bunch celery, diced
1 head green cabbage, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paste-style beef base or about 8 teaspoons instant beef bouillon
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 quarts water
Salt to taste

In large soup pot or kettle, combine beef, chili, tomatoes, onion, carrots, celery, cabbage, chili powder, beef base or bouillon, seasoned salt and pepper; saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.

Add water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and ladle into bowls.

Makes about 1 gallon.
posted by mudpuppie at 9:25 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I enjoy the Sweet and Sour Cabbage recipe in the Better Homes and gardens cookbook. I don't have it here, so I can't copy the recipe, but a little searching reveals similar recipes from Epicurious and Simply Recipes. It's an excellent side with sausage and potatoes.
posted by TrarNoir at 9:25 AM on November 1, 2010

Quick and dirty for lazy me:

Brown a pound of ground meat, drain
Quarter the cabbage
put into crock pot
ADD, can of whole corn, bottle of mild picante

cook as long as you can, probably a few hpurs on low
posted by raildr at 9:29 AM on November 1, 2010

Raw cabbage is tasty to munch on, just kind of hard to make into uniform pieces. Slaw = shredded cabbage and salad dressing. Lately, I've been using a Miso dressing from WholeFoods on slaw; just don't overdress it. yummy.

sweet-sour red cabbage. There are lots of recipes and they all use different sugar:vinegar ratios, which just means there's a wide latitude for taste. Top with bacon.

I've been adding cabbage to roasted veg, and it is delish.

Cabbage soup = browned kielbasa (low-fat, pork, turkey, whatever), some potatoes, lots of cabbage, water or maybe some chicken broth, pepper. Cook till all is tender.

Boiled dinner. Layer in a crockpot: corned beef, onions, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, pepper (no salt). add a little bit of water, cook on low heat until the corned beef falls apart. If there are leftovers, breakfast is corned beef, cabbage, onions and taters, fried up.

posted by theora55 at 9:36 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Simple recipe for Dukabor borscht:

5 potatoes, peeled and whole
3 carrots, grated
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cabbage, thinly sliced
1 big can stewed tomatoes
Dill seed

Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until almost soft. Add carrots, onion, and cabbage, continue cooking until potatoes are done. Pull potatoes out and coarsely mash, return to soup. Add tomatoes, and seasonings to taste. I like it fairly dilly - maybe 2-3 teaspoons. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Surprisingly, this soup freezes pretty well. The potato texture changes a little, but the cabbage comes out fine.
posted by dorey_oh at 9:38 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

I believe this cabbage-Ramen salad (there are many variations thereupon) may be considered rather prole, but it is extremely tasty, and I find myself capable of eating it by the bowlful.
posted by drlith at 9:46 AM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

I really enjoyed Farikal while in Norway. It is a simple lamb and cabbage dish. Here's another link.
posted by koselig at 9:54 AM on November 1, 2010

Cabbage poriyal.
posted by galaksit at 10:49 AM on November 1, 2010

This is a variation on some of the above, but it's noteworthy for its extreme simplicity.

Slice the cabbage into ribbons using an ordinary kitchen knife. Heat a tablespoon or two of peanut oil or vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the cabbage and a half teaspoon of caraway seeds (optional) and rapidly stir fry for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle some red wine vinegar (optional) and put a lid on it to steam for a couple of minutes. That's it. Fresh cabbage is a really underrated vegetable, being nutritious, flavorful, and cheap A couple of minutes of light frying and it makes a delicious side dish. You just have to be careful not to overcook it.

Another great use for fresh cabbage is to slice it into thin ribbons and use it (raw) as a garnish for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, soups, stews, stir-fries, whatever.
posted by Maximian at 11:23 AM on November 1, 2010

Lazy Man's Cabbage Rolls!

1 tbsp. veg. oil
1 cup of onion, chopped
2 lbs. ground beef or pork or turkey
3 cups tomato sauce
12 cups cabbage, chopped
1 cup long grain rice (uncooked)
3 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tsp. salt & pepper (to taste)

Cook onion, add meat and cook till beef is cooked. Drain fat. Add tomato sauce,
cabbage, rice, broth, salt & pepper. Stir, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to
simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally until rice and cabbage are tender. Uncover
and cook about 5 minutes until excess liquid has evaporated. Stir well, Cover and let
stand 5 minutes before serving.
posted by torisaur at 11:51 AM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Whenever my CSA gives me a surplus of cabbage, I make garbure, a classic French peasant soup. Then you could have the novelty of pouring some red wine in your bowl for the customary chabrot!
posted by poq at 12:02 PM on November 1, 2010 [1 favorite]

Braised cabbage:
1 head cabbage
3 apples
6 cloves
1 bottle beer (darker is better)
1-2 tbsp honey

Saute cabbage briefly in oil to bring out colour, then add remaining ingredients, bring to boil, simmer for 1-1.5 hours until tasty
posted by crazycanuck at 12:32 PM on November 1, 2010

I make my own, maybe unorthodox, version of haluski. Saute some onions (lots, maybe 3 for a head of cabbage) in butter and a little vegetable oil, to prevent the butter from burning, in a big saute pan, until golden (make sure you've really got some color), and then add cabbage and saute over med-high heat until that's golden, too. Maybe add some shredded apple, too. Meanwhile, boil and drain some egg noodles. Add some more butter to the cabbage-onion mixture and wait for it to get a little brown. Mix the noodles into the cabbage-onion in the pan and fry the noodles a bit. It's ugly but delicious. It's especially good when you heat up leftovers in a frying pan, and the noodles get all crisp and yummy b/c they've dried out a bit in the fridge first.

If you've got some leftover meat, you can chop that small and stir it in, too.
posted by palliser at 1:18 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

Forgot to mention: cabbage should be roughly chopped before sauteeing.
posted by palliser at 1:20 PM on November 1, 2010

Favoriting Miko's Asian-dressed slaw about a thousand times. Raw cabbage is an awesome salad base. I also like to chop some coarsely and add to gyoza filling.
posted by cyndigo at 1:51 PM on November 1, 2010

Response by poster: thanks for the recipes, everyone!
posted by mlo at 6:17 PM on November 1, 2010

This is Molly Stevens's recipe for braised green cabbage and it's delicious!

1 medium head green cabbage (about 2 pounds)
1 large yellow onion (about 8 ounces), thickly sliced
1 large carrot, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
¼ cup chicken stock, homemade or store-bought, or water
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
Fleur de sel or coarse sea salt
1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly oil a large gratin dish or baking dish (9-by-13-inch works well).

2. Trimming the cabbage: Peel off and discard any bruised or ragged outer leaves from the cabbage. The cabbage should weigh close to 2 pounds (if you don’t have a kitchen scale, consult the grocery store receipt). If the cabbage weighs more than 2 pounds, it won’t fit in the baking dish and won’t braise as beautifully. To remedy this, cut away a wedge of the cabbage to trim it down to size. Save the leftover wedge for salad or coleslaw. Then cut the cabbage into 8 wedges. Arrange the wedges in the baking dish; they may overlap some, but do your best to make a single layer.

3. The braise: Scatter in the onion and carrot. Drizzle over the oil and stock or water. Season with salt, pepper, and the pepper flakes. Cover tightly with foil, and slide into the middle of the oven to braise until the vegetables are completely tender, about 2 hours. Turn the cabbage wedges with tongs after an hour. Don’t worry if the wedges want to fall apart as you turn them; just do your best to keep them intact. If the dish is drying out at all, add a few tablespoon of water.

4. The finish: Once the cabbage is completely tender, remove the foil, increase the oven heat to 400, and roast until the vegetables begin to brown, another 15 minutes or so. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with fleur de sel or other coarse salt.

Once you read through the recipe, you’ll see that there’s not much to it at all. Indeed, after you make the dish once, you won’t need a recipe—it’s that simple. The cabbage here is plain old green cabbage, and the seasonings are coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. The extended cooking time renders the cabbage intensely tender and sweet. If you stock fleur de sel in your pantry, a sprinkle before serving adds a crunchy counterpoint to the supple cabbage; if not, any coarse sea salt will have a similar effect. Serve as a wintertime side dish or as an appealing vegetarian supper with beans or mashed potatoes.

Wine Notes
The rich, aromatic whites of Alsace (Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, or a dry Gewürztraminer) make the best possible match for braised cabbage.

Working Ahead
Like many braises, this cabbage tastes even better the next day, either at room temperature or warmed in a moderate oven for about 20 minutes.
posted by Addlepated at 6:43 PM on November 1, 2010 [3 favorites]

My favorite version of braised red cabbage comes from Martha Stewart, a source I find to be quite reliable for such things:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (I usually use around 5)
1/2 cup sugar (I reduce to ~1/4-1/3 cup)
1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 pound tart apples (cored and cut into wedges)
1 large onion (red or white, peeled and cut into 1.5" wedges)
1.5 lb red cabbage, cored, cut into wedges
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water

This is supposed to be done in a dutch oven, with everything layered very thin, but I do it in a big stock pot to no ill effect.
Melt butter, add sugar and salt and mix. Add onions and apples, coat with butter mixture, cook on med-high heat until sugar is beginning to caramelize, mix occasionally.
Add cabbage, vinegar, water. Bring to just under a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for at least 25-30 mins until cabbage is tender and liquid is a syrup. If doing in a stock pot, uncover and let the liquid simmer off a bit at the end. You can leave this simmering on the stove for a looong time if you want. The apples should disintegrate, and everything should be soft but not too mushy. If you're a fan of sweet and tart, you will love this recipe.
posted by ch1x0r at 7:22 PM on November 1, 2010

Petjel! Super easy, super fast, super delicious!
posted by ch3ch2oh at 10:10 PM on November 1, 2010

I wanted to look up Chinese-style dumplings but ended up finding you this delicious-looking pierogi recipe.
posted by knile at 5:42 AM on November 2, 2010

Cabbage and Noodles, Gummy (my grandmother) Style...

Grind up cabbage (my grandmother had an old, heavy metal grinder that bolted onto the counter) and let drain. Fry in oil, lard, whatever. Boil some thin noodles. Throw both together in a big frying pan. Salt. Enjoy!
posted by kathrynm at 6:17 AM on November 2, 2010

I wrote this in my notebook over a year ago; it's the only red cabbage preparation that really excites me (even Ina couldn't impress me):

a new red cabbage recipe from Beth Hensperger I think will be my go-to one from now on. I've tried a lot of variations on this most basic of '50s-housewife themes--Ina Garten's, Orangette Molly's, various other food bloggers', my mom and grandmom's from Betty Crocker, etc., etc.--but this one I think takes the cake. Most of the ones I try, they're yummy, but feel only so because, you know, cabbage itself is yummy. They don't really elevate the material to me (of note, I don't find this necessarily true with green cabbage, just recipes for red for some reason). This one, finally, does: it involves tossing the cabbage with maple syrup (!), a pinch of salt, and my favorite kind of apple (Empires, if you're wondering; it calls for any tart, super crisp/crunchy apple, my preferred variable anyway), frying some fresh ginger and a spice mix of nutmeg, cinnamon, and cardamom (!!) for a brief moment to release scent and flavor, braising the whole thing for 20 minutes, and then pouring some vinegar over it and letting it steam off, leaving just the tangy flavor. It's crazy good--none of the awesome elements disappear flavor-wise by the end, which is something I get wary of sometimes with braising; you can still taste the maple syrup and the spices and the ginger and mm. And it's so fast too, which is awesome. Can't wait to post it.

Choucroute, savory hot winter-time borscht, kim chi, and Mediterranean stuffed cabbage leaves are my favorite other ways to eat cabbage. Oh, David Rosengarten's Fiery Marinated Szechuan Cabbage is also easy and yummy.
posted by ifjuly at 10:47 AM on November 2, 2010

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