Last semester, I discovered a new vegetable that has become an essential on my grocery list: white cabbage. The cabbage is a versatile plant that can be incorporated into various cuisines and dishes. It’s also a great source of vitamins, antioxidants and fiber. Here are some ways you can incorporate cabbage into your meal.
Slice into thin strips for coleslaw
With mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and optional salt and pepper, you can easily create coleslaw at home with cabbage. All you have to do is shred raw cabbage into thin strips and dress it with condiments. Try creating your own sauce, whether it involves balsamic vinegar, poppyseed dressing or red pepper paste. Coleslaw serves well with any form of cooked protein, too.
Steam whole and use as a wrap
Use a simple food steamer (or, alternatively, boil in water) to cook the cabbage. This allows the cabbage to supply more antioxidants. I recommend cutting a whole cabbage in halves or quarters for a better wrap size. Remove from heat after six to seven minutes, or longer for a softer wrap. After the wrap has cooled a little, take a few layers and choose your fillings: rice, minced meat, canned tuna and vegetable strips are some of my recommendations. Top it off with a sauce of your choice. Depending on what and how much filling you choose, the cabbage wrap can be a variation of the burrito, fresh spring roll or ssambap.
Cut, boil and dip in sauces
Cut up the cabbage into two-inch blocks and boil in water for around five minutes. Dip it in ssamjang or peanut butter sauce for the perfect side dish, paired with any protein of your choice: tofu, chicken breasts, cubed steak or cooked shrimp. This makes a perfect quick, low-carb, high-protein meal and one that’s easy to pack for a mid-day meal as it tastes great warm or cold.
Stir fry or broil with rice, noodles, vegetables and/or meat
You can easily cut up and sauté cabbage in a pan to create all kinds of fried rice, fried noodles or braised dishes. It all depends on the size of cabbage, complementary ingredients and sauces you include. It’s often incorporated in dishes like tteokbokki, dak-galbi and yaki udon, all of which you can create at home by stir-frying or broiling cabbage with a choice of protein and seasoning.
To add a little color and flavor, combine white cabbage with other vegetables like purple cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. Experiment with your own sauce and forms of cooking. Because of its high versatility, it’s honestly pretty hard to go wrong with cabbage. If, in any case, it ends up not tasting the best, at least it will be nutritious!