Cabbage Prep 101

Microwave: 

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.

Sauté: 

Stir-fry sliced or shredded cabbage on its own, or in mixed-vegetable dishes for 1 - 2 minutes.

Steamer: 

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.

Boil: 

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).

Oven: 

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.

Freezing: 

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.
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