How often do you buy cabbage from the store? Do you use it for more than coleslaw? If not, then you might be surprised to find that you’ve been missing out on things. Here are some great cooking cabbage ideas to expand your culinary horizons!
My mom makes the best braised cabbage dish I’ve ever had. And since I love having that so much, I have spent plenty of time trying to recreate the magic in my own kitchen. Of course, the hardest part is reconciling the original recipe that’s doused in the nostalgia of my childhood with the reality of me making it. My solution to that? Just not putting so much pressure on myself when cooking cabbage and taking the dish and making it my own! And I think I’ve succeeded on that front.
This is a grand overture just for me to end up saying that cabbage is so much more than just the prime ingredient for coleslaw! You can cook it in a variety of ways to get so many different flavors and textures, not to mention different health benefits (looking at you, sauerkraut).
5 ways to enjoy cooking cabbage
1. Braised cabbage
This is such a delicious way to enjoy your cabbage, and it’s not that hard to make. What you have to do is slice the cabbage then shred it. Add a lot of salt to it and let it eliminate some of its liquid. Then saute some onions and bell peppers, add the cabbage and some water and let it soften and catch all of the flavors. My mom’s secret ingredient? Some bay leaf to give it some flavor while soaking in the liquid.
This dish goes best with some pork cooked right with the cabbage. Don’t be afraid to use some ribs or some pork belly, too. The flavors will be out of this world!
2. Cabbage rolls
My mother would probably say that I am giving away all of her kitchen secrets with this post alone. But so be it, because good food is to be shared and loved. So why not spread it around? So how do you make this? It might take a little while, but we promise it’s worth it.
Make a mixture of minced meat and rice, wrap in cabbage leaves and then simmer the rolls in some tomato sauce. What’s another wonderful tip? Use sauerkraut leaves instead of raw ones, they’ll bring some unique flavor to the proceedings. Which leads us to…
Everyone is talking about probiotic foods at the moment and sauerkraut is up there with the best of them. So why not make your own or buy some from the store? Sauerkraut is good for cabbage rolls, but you can also shred it and use it as a side salad for grilled meat and many other dishes.
Shred the cabbage, layer the shreds with salt, and then leave it to ferment in a jar. You pick the size. It should be ready in a few days, but the longer you leave it in, the tastier it will be!
Is stuffing the cabbage leaves with the mixture of minced meat and rice too much work? Why not just add all of the ingredients in a dish and make a wholesome delicious casserole? Braise the cabbage, make some sauce with the ground meat, and serve everything on top of rice.
Or you could try out something else, entirely, like this cabbage and endive casserole.
You can easily have a great time cooking cabbage soup using whatever type of broth you’d like – chicken, turkey, an even vegetable stock will probably do the trick quite nicely. We urge you to add some more vegetables – diced mushrooms and bell peppers would be fantastic for that. And since we’ve shown how well rice goes with cabbage, why not add some of that to the soup, too?
The result is customizable, but also clearly hot & sour, perfect for cold late fall or winter days. Spice it up a bit by adding some jalapeno as well!