How to Cook Cabbage

Ultraversatile cabbage can be boiled, steamed, sauteed, or cooked in the microwave oven. It makes a nutritious side dish or meatless entree. Learn how to core and cut cabbage, plus four ways to cook it.

Purchasing Pointers

  • Cabbage is available in several varieties -- such as Napa, savoy, and red -- with the round green type being the most common in American markets. Not only is cabbage economical, it is also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.
  • Cabbage is available year-round. Select a head that is heavy for its size, brightly colored, and free of brown spots and withered leaves.
  • Store cabbage in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 5 days.

How to Prep Cabbage

Remove the loose outer leaves and rinse the head of cabbage with water.

On a cutting board, use a chef's knife to slice the head in half through the core. Slice each half into quarters.

Use the knife to remove the core from the wedges.

You can cook the cabbage in wedges or coarsely chop it. To chop, lay a wedge, cut side down, on a cutting board. Hold the knife perpendicular to the wedge and cut it into 1/4-inch-wide pieces. One medium head equals about 6 cups chopped cabbage.

To Boil Cabbage

1.        In a saucepan, bring a small amount of water to boiling. Add cabbage.

2.        Cook uncovered for 2 minutes. This allows some of the strong-smelling hydrogen sulfite gas that is emitted during cooking to dissipate.

3.        Cover the saucepan and continue to cook until crisp-tender (plan on 6 to 8 minutes for wedges and 3 to 5 minutes for chopped). Drain well.

To Steam Cabbage

1.        Cabbage wedges are recommended for this method. Insert a steamer basket inside a saucepan. Add enough water to the pan so the water level is just below the bottom of the basket.

2.        Bring water to boiling. Add cabbage wedges to steamer basket.

3.        Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender.

To Saute Cabbage

1.        Chopped cabbage is recommended for this method. For 6 cups chopped cabbage, in a large skillet heat 2 to 3 tablespoons cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped cabbage.

2.        Reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir cabbage for 4 to 6 minutes or until cabbage is crisp-tender.

To Cook Cabbage in the Microwave

1.        Place cabbage in a microwave-safe bowl along with 2 tablespoons water. Cover with waxed paper, vented plastic wrap, or a microwave-safe lid.

2.        Microwave, covered, on 100 percent power (high) until crisp-tender, rearranging or stirring once. Plan for 9 to 11 minutes for cabbage wedges and 4 to 6 minutes for chopped cabbage.

Our Favorite Cabbage Recipes

Sauteed Red Cabbage with Onions & Smoked Sausage

Breaded Pork with Cabbage & Kale

Wilted Cabbage & Brats

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