Surprise Steamed Cabbage

Surprise Steamed Cabbage

Surprise Steamed Cabbage

For years I didn’t even consider boiling cabbage because of boarding school memories. But then one day I was in a rush and I needed to use up some cabbage. Boiling had worked with broccoli… Maybe?

And so I gave it a shot, expecting the worst but hoping for the best.

Of course the fact that you’re reading this recipe is a give away to the results! I still can’t believe how much I love cabbage cooked this way. Just damn delicious. And comforting. And good for you!

I still couldn’t bring myself to call it ‘boiled cabbage’ though so have settled on Surprise ‘Steamed’ Cabbage. The surprise being how delicious it tastes!

enough for: 2
takes: 10 minutes

1/2 large cabbage
2-3 tablespoons butter

1. Bring a largish pot of salted water about 2cm (1in) deep to the boil. Meanwhile slice cabbage as finely as you can be bothered, but no more than 1cm (1/3in) thick.

2. Add cabbage to the boiling water. Cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes so the cabbage that isn’t submerged will cook in the steam.

3. Drain well and return to the pan (off the heat). Add butter and toss until melted through.

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Variations & Substitutions

different veg – broccolini, asparagus, green beans, snow peas, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli. Adjust cooking time as needed.

dairy-free – replace butter with extra virgin olive oil.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

cabbage (white) – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks, even months. Can be frozen but will have a wilted texture once defrosted.

butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.

Recipes to Use Your Cabbage

Prepare Ahead

Yes! Just cook as per the recipe. Will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or can be frozen. Serve cold, at room temp or warmed in a little oil or butter.


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  • The human brain is so funny.

    I had planned to make this to have instead of pasta with some
    Simple Meatballs. But when it came time to cook the cabbage, I was skeptical.

    But decided to trust my past self. So glad I did. Such a quick easy way to cook cabbage. And even more delicious for me than a bowl of

  • Hi – I remember always being told that the only ways to cook cabbage were under 4 minutes or over an hour. Anything else liberated the sulphur content and make it taste – well, like mass cooked school cabbage. I have done this – either Chinese stir fry, quick boiling as per above or long cooking – minestrone, stuffed cabbage etc.

    I have converted many people. Even son-in-law asks for some of that special cabbage!

    • I think you’re right with cabbage being best either fast cooked or slow Jenny!

      Glad you’ve been converting many people to the joys of this humble veggie!


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