How to cook red cabbage?

How to cook red cabbage

When it comes to adding a splash of colour and a burst of flavour to your meals, red cabbage is a standout choice. This guide on how to cook red cabbage will walk you through the best methods to cook red cabbage, enhancing its natural flavours while diving into its surprising health benefits.

Selecting and Preparing Your Cabbage

First things first: choose a red cabbage that feels firm with shiny, crisp leaves. Strip away the outer leaves, quarter it, remove the core, and give it a good rinse to ensure it’s clean and ready for cooking.

Best Ways to Cook Red Cabbage

Sautéing: Heat a bit of olive oil in a skillet, toss in some minced garlic or sliced onions, and then add the cabbage. Stir it around until it softens yet retains some of its crunch, about 5 to 8 minutes. A dash of vinegar towards the end can cut through the sweetness, adding a nice zing.
Braising: If you’re after something softer, try braising. Combine the cabbage with slices of apple, a sprinkle of sugar, and a pour of apple cider vinegar in a pot. Cover and let it simmer gently, stirring now and then until it’s perfectly tender, which should take about 30 to 45 minutes.
Steaming: For a quick and healthy option, chop the cabbage and steam it over boiling water for about 5 minutes. This method locks in both the nutrients and the vibrant colour, making it an excellent addition to salads.
Pickling: To add some tang to your meals, pickled red cabbage is perfect. Boil up a mixture of vinegar, water, sugar, and your choice of spices, pour it over shredded cabbage, and let it cool. It’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, ready to perk up your dishes.

Pickled cabbage goes great with this chargrilled paprika lemon chicken recipe or even a kale salad.

Why Red Cabbage?

Beyond its culinary versatility, red cabbage boasts an impressive array of health benefits. It’s loaded with vitamins C and K, and its deep color comes from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that help fight inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Creative Ways to Use Red Cabbage

Red cabbage excels in variety. It brings a delightful crunch to salads and coleslaws, and its robust texture makes it ideal for stir-fries. For a comforting meal, mix it with apples and spices to serve alongside pork or duck. The tanginess of pickled red cabbage also makes it a great topping for tacos or burgers.

Cooking red cabbage is an easy way to bring both flavor and nutrition to your table. Whether you’re sautéing, braising, steaming, or pickling, this versatile vegetable can adapt to any meal, promising delicious results that are as healthy as they are colorful. So next time you spot red cabbage at your local market, don’t hesitate to add it to your basket and explore the various ways you can bring out its best flavors in your kitchen.