Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage

By • November 5, 2010 • 165 Comments

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Author Notes: I cook a lot of cabbage during the winter months - there aren't too many other options for greens if you're trying hard to go with local produce! Most often I cook traditional recipes I learned from my mom, but you've got to switch it up sometimes. This was an experiment based very, very loosely off of a kale recipe I was intrigued by (though looking back at the kale recipe now, it's actually totally different, oh well). When we were eating it with dinner my husband exclaimed, "what did you put in this cabbage?! It's suspiciously delicious. Is it actually meat or something?" No meat involved though. The cream picks up the browned bits from browning the cabbage as though it were the base for a gravy. It also mellows out the spicy ginger so everything practically melts together. It makes a delicious cold weather side dish, and I bet it would also be lovely tossed with pasta. - fiveandspicefiveandspice

Food52 Review: With a recipe title like this one, expectations are bound to be high. Happily, this cabbage is both refined and undeniably delicious -- it's the kind of dish that inspires you to keep sneaking forkfuls long past the end of the meal. Fiveandspice has you caramelize the crisp cabbage strands in butter that's been infused with onion, garlic and the key ingredient, fresh ginger. When the cabbage is tender and flecked with tasty brown bits, you add some cream and simmer just long enough for the flavors to meld. -A&MThe Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 1 medium green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. In a very large pan, heat the butter over medium heat until it is melted and starting to bubble a little. Stir in the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened.
  2. Stir in the ginger and cook for about a minute. Then, add in the cabbage, stirring well to coat it with the butter and other flavors. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, until the cabbage has softened and caramelized.
  3. Turn the heat to low and stir in the cream making sure to scrape any browned bits up from the pan bottom. Cover and cook over low for about 10 minutes. Uncover, add salt and pepper to taste. Then cook for a few more minutes, stirring once or twice, to let some of the liquid evaporate. Adjust seasonings as desired and serve.

Tags: cabbage, cream, Side Dishes, Vegetarian

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Comments (165) Questions (3)

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29 days ago Stephanie

why is this under vegan

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28 days ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I see it tagged under vegetarian, not vegan.

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about 1 month ago Ema Phelps

"This cabbage is great" says my 11 year old, I agree!

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3 months ago AnneHD

Thank you so much for this recipe. I LOVE it! It has become an essential part of my cabbage recipe repertoire (and recipe repertoire at large). I've made it at least 4-5 times so far <3

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3 months ago dagmaraelza

I agree with b priest, surprisingly, my 15 year-old son declared this delicious. I increased the garlic and ginger a bit and used sour cream, because it felt right. Don't be shy with the black pepper. I thought of walnuts, too, but decided to keep it plain for the first go-around.

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5 months ago neighome

This is quite tasty! It never occurred to me that cabbage would make fond. I used red cabbage and whole milk because it's what I had on hand. I used a large 14inch across 3.5inch deep saute pan, but was only able to fit about 2/3 of my "medium" head of cabbage. After reading some comments about adding anchovies for umami inspired me to use Indian black salt. It's stinky when initially added, but added a nice umami undertone. After a couple of bites I felt that it needed a bit of acid. A bit of lime zest and a bit of juice did the trick. I'll be making this again!

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5 months ago Denise

Does this need to be served right away? I would like to make it to bring to Thanksgiving but am worried about keeping it warm/reheating it?

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5 months ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

It reheats really nicely, so you can definitely make ahead.

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6 months ago maggiepcs

Served this with egg noodles tonight along with a little smoked kielbasa on the side. Amazingly delicious comfort food!

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6 months ago Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Made this today. OMG!! It's amazeballs. A definite plate licker. I usually follow recipes as written the first time, but the pancetta was yelling at me to include it in the recipe. Otherwise, I followed the recipe. It's absolutely delicious.

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3 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Susan W, you know how to live. Seriously. ;o)

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9 months ago b priest

This was so good it received exactly zero eye-rolls from the teenagers in my home! I added a generous handful of toasted walnuts and served with veggie pasta.

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10 months ago Jodi

This was delicious! I used what I had on hand for this: green onion instead of yellow, and a bag of coleslaw I was looking to use up, and man, this was good. Also I'm vegan so I replaced the butter with Earth Balance and replaced the heavy cream with vegan sour cream thinned with almond milk. Came out so delicious!!!

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11 months ago Steffanie

Thank you for changing my life. Seriously. I buy local, Paris is fairly north so we get lots of cabbage. This winter thanks to you we all enjoyed it. Now when I say I'm making some Surprisingly OK, the kids are happy about it. Why the name change ? My Sherlock fan daughter renamed it to refer to the middle episode in the latest season :) Again, thank you !

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12 months ago Double Helping

So good!

Alice

about 1 year ago Alice Gardner

Mmmm. This was so good. I used half and half with no ill effects. My go-to cabbage recipe has gotten a little stale to me as of late. I'll have to make this again!

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about 1 year ago Sam

Incredibly simple and delicious! I didn't have any cream so I used 2% milk instead and it worked fine. I'll be bringing this recipe out again next year during the holidays!

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about 1 year ago LaToya

I loved this recipe and so did my kids!! Didn't and that much cream(only a dap) and one slice of butter added a little water to replace it and a spoon full of sugar loved the ginger in it we have rediscovered cabbage thanks :)

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over 1 year ago suepig

I have used a recipe very similar to this that appeared in the NYT many, many years ago. Only it was with brussel sprouts that you sliced thinly. It has become a Thanksgiving staple in our family

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Oh I am so trying this with brussels sprouts. Yum!

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over 1 year ago Hilary G.

I lacked cream in my fridge when I set out to make this, but even so the recipe was wonderfully comforting and tasty. Thanks, butter. The smell of it cooking was also divine.

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over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Fabulous!

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Em, thinking of doing this with shallots (out of onions; what?) and serving atop whole wheat pasta. Maybe w/ some crumbled bacon too. What do you think?

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

I think that would work wonderfully!

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almost 2 years ago Texas chicki

This is a wonderful dish by itself and I think pasta would muddy the flavor of the cabbage.

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Ok, so I riffed on this by caramelizing, in bacon fat and butter, a whole Savoy cabbage, a mess of shallots and some garlic. To that I added some cream, zest of a lemon, a decent amount of finely chopped mint, a hefty shower of Parm and some pasta water. Tossed it with whole wheat spaghetti and more Parm. Wonderful!

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almost 2 years ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Oh, and some garlicky breadcrumbs too!

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almost 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Sounds awesome Em!

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about 2 years ago tota

For Texas chicki--I learned a trick for grating ginger from a local chef.Keep knobs of clean ginger in freezer,wrapped in foil and then when you want to use,a spoon easily scrapes peel away and its easy to grate.

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about 2 years ago DragonFly

Best cabbage I have ever had! I put half the amount of cream and butter and it was still perfect. Thank you

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about 2 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Fabulous! I'm glad you enjoyed it!