Place wedges of cabbage in a microwavable baking dish with 2 tablespoons water, vegetable broth, or chicken stock. (For shredded cabbage, add 1/4 cup liquid to 2 cups cabbage.) Cook wedged cabbage for 5 - 7 minutes and shredded cabbage for about 5 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Stir-fry sliced or shredded cabbage on its own, or in mixed-vegetable dishes for 1 - 2 minutes.
This is the best way to conserve nutrients, color, and crisp-tender texture. If cabbage is steamed with no added water--that is, cooked in its own moisture--it will retain 68% of its vitamin C content, compared to 44% when cooked in water to cover. Place quartered, sliced, or shredded cabbage in a vegetable steamer over boiling water, or in a pan with 1/2" boiling water. Cook quarters or large wedges for 10 - 15 minutes and shredded cabbage for 5 - 10 minutes.
The pungent smell for which cabbage is notorious is caused by sulfur compounds that are released when the vegetable is heated. Cook cabbage quickly, in a large quantity of water, in an uncovered pot (don't use an aluminum pot, which promotes the chemical reaction).
Braise quartered or shredded cabbage in stock, apple juice, cider, or wine. Thinly sliced onions will enhance the flavor. Place the cabbage and just enough liquid to cover it in a heavy skillet, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer.
To freeze, discard coarse outer leaves then wash. Shred, cut into wedges, or separate individual leaves. Blanch shreds and leaves for 2 minutes; wedges for 3 minutes. Submerge in ice immediately after blanching. Drain. Place cabbage in freezable containers, leaving approximately ¼ of an inch head space.