Stir-Fried Cabbage With Creamy Peanut Sauce

June 25, 2021
13 Ratings
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

I stood over a half-a-head of cabbage, which seemed to triple in size once I sliced it thin. Would I be forced to make a bucket of coleslaw or an endless supply of sauerkraut? No, there had to be a better way to use all this cabbage! I don’t remember how I came up with this recipe -- I think I was craving soy sauce, so I started sautéing the cabbage shreds in a pan and adding in dashes of this and spoonfuls of that. I ended up with an irresistible dish that reminded me of creamy noodles covered in peanut sauce, minus the carbs. Add in shredded chicken or strips of tofu for an entree or make this as a side dish. You might want to garnish it with thinly sliced scallions and crushed peanuts, too. —Dorie Colangelo

Test Kitchen Notes

I'd eat this three meals a day, and I'd still look forward to the leftovers. That half cabbage in my fridge was just waiting for this recipe. It's quick, simple, and delicious. Next time I might add another tablespoon of vinegar or some other veggies -- this is too good to stop here! —susan g

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 3 large carrots, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or more to taste
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon each sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, and/or sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 dash lime Juice or sriracha sauce, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 servings cooked shredded chicken or tofu (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant, a few seconds.
  2. Immediately add the cabbage and carrots and toss rapidly until they are slightly wilted.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, peanut butter, and red pepper flakes, then pour the mixture into the pan; toss well to fully coat the cabbage and carrots.
  4. Serve hot, garnished with any or all of the following: sesame seeds, crushed peanuts, scallions, a squeeze of lime juice, and sriracha. If you like, you may also add cooked shredded chicken or tofu.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Adrian Lings
    Adrian Lings
  • Victoria John
    Victoria John
  • Marsha Gainey
    Marsha Gainey
  • Adrienne Wright
    Adrienne Wright
  • Chef Lisa
    Chef Lisa

42 Reviews

emanne April 22, 2021
This is great and tastes like noodles. When I make it I have trouble not eating all of it immediately.
Dorie C. April 22, 2021
Yay! So glad you liked it!
HenOfTheWoods December 11, 2020
Omg this was seriously delicious! The only thing I did differently was add ginger and the Sriracha in the beginning plus a whole green Serano chili sliced lengthwise in strips. I kept the rest unchanged and ate 3/4 of this in one sitting!
Dorie C. December 11, 2020
Ooh, nice and spicy! So glad you liked it! I hope this recipe helps you with all your future leftover cabbage:)
2wksnotice May 18, 2020
Wow. This recipe is delicious, and VERY flexible. I adapted for my limited pantry, and it was still great. I had more carrot than cabbage, and I substituted white vinegar for rice vinegar, chives for scallions, and Cholula for Sriracha / red pepper flakes. Also garnished with crispy rice noodles - which were a great addition. Served over rice for 3 dinners in a row to a happy family.
Dorie C. May 22, 2020
I'm so glad you were able to use what you had to make this dish! I love that you got 3 dinners out of it. Cabbage just goes and goes! Hope you and your family stay safe and keep finding tasty things to make!
Adrian L. May 7, 2020
I made this and put it on top of some Vietnamese pork fillet in a sandwich for a family brunch during the lockdown as we are trying to use everything to reduce the amount of times that we go shopping.
All I can say is wow.
It went down a storm.
Normally the kids turn their noses up at veggies but they demolished the lot.
Definitely on my go to list now
Dorie C. May 7, 2020
I'm so glad you tried this recipe and it was a hit for the fam! Love that you used it as a slaw for tasty sandwiches. Stay safe and healthy and eat well!
Victoria J. November 4, 2019
Delicious. Very filling. I will be making this again. Thanks for the inspiration.
AMRossie September 24, 2019
This was exactly what I was needing and I will be making this again! Thank you! I used crunchy peanut butter because I didn’t have anything else, and it tasted just as great!
Dorie C. September 25, 2019
AMRossie, so glad you tried this recipe and liked it! Crunchy PB sounds great, kind of like how pad Thai has crunchy peanuts as a garnish. Awesome!
Elaine K. February 23, 2019
I was looking for a way to fix cabbage with peanut butter, and found this. I know I will coming back to it. I made it into a main course by cutting up some tempeh strips and putting them in with the veggies.
Dorie C. February 24, 2019
Awesome! So glad you found this recipe and turned it into a great meal! Enjoy:)
Sandra M. February 23, 2017
I chopped one onion and sauteed ground turkey in butter then followed recipe and it all turned out very good. Thanks for the recipe.
Marsha G. October 14, 2016
Had about one-third of a medium-sized cabbage to use up, found this saved recipe and made it. Excellent! Wonderful nutty undertones from the PB, the peanuts and sesame seeds gave a great crunch, and the lime juice meant a citrusy pop. I used nearly all the optional ingredients. After a couple of bowls, I added a smidge of sriracha b/c just a pinch of red pepper flakes wasn't hot enough, which was just what the dish had been missing. It was a vegetarian entree for me b/c I didn't have any shredded meats or tofu on hand; I will be making this again with a meat or a meat alternative in there. Fairly fast prep and definitely fast cook time.

Adrienne W. March 12, 2016
Based on what I had on hand, I used grapeseed oil, coleslaw mix, seasoned rice vinegar, and extra chunky Jif peanut butter, plus the other ingredients called for, but I didn't have Lime Juice, Sriracha, or protein. I thought it was very good, but next time will not used the seasoned rice vinegar- in my opinion it was too much. I'll try unseasoned or even apple cider vinegar. I added a little sugar to cut the vinegar- for me it was too vinegar-y. Joe loved it, however. There was none left! I was sad I didn't have lime, that sounds great. Will definitely try again!
Veronique January 8, 2016
I love this recipe! Have made it a few times, and modified a bit the last go around.. and it was sublime! Here's what I've added:
-After heating the oil, add 2 tsp curry powder and 1 tsp ginger (fresh or powdered). Sautee 1 onion, thinly sliced, before adding the garlic.
-Mix together the peanut butter, vinegar, soy sauce + 1 tbsp sriracha sauce into a small bowl. Sautee the carrot and cabbage, then 5 minutes before cooking is complete, add the peanut butter mixture.
-Serve with a lime wedge, fresh basil, bean sprouts and a poached egg.
Marsha G. July 1, 2015
This was all right. My carrots were too crunchy. I added chicken and made this into an entree that I got four meals out of. I also served it over brown rice. I added all the optional things and I highly recommend adding the lime juice as it gave a great zingy finish. But the sriracha was too much along with the crushed red pepper flakes. I suggest doing one or the other.
Chef L. December 17, 2014
Like I said, "a beauty"!
Chef L. December 4, 2014
Can't believe I just found this beauty. It's what's for dinner tonight!
Dorie C. December 4, 2014
Yay! Let me know how it goes Lisa!
Bonnie December 2, 2014
My family loves this dish. They all agree that it's a delicious low carb substitute for Pad Thai. I made it as a side dish with grilled salmon and can't wait to make it again.
Dorie C. December 3, 2014
Hi Bonnie, thanks for giving it a try! True, you could dress it up like pad thai with crushed peanuts, sprouts, fried egg, cilantro and a dash of fish sauce. I've gotta try that soon!
Girlfromipanema November 9, 2014
Wow, this was good. Made three times the quantity at once, using sweet potato pieces instead of carrot and threw in some sesame seeds. A really unique way to eat cabbage, fantastic.
Dorie C. November 10, 2014
Hi Girlfromipanema, so glad you tried it and enjoyed it!
Cristina S. October 30, 2014
I made this last night and it was delicious. I served it with some sushi rice, plus ground pork cooked with onion, chili sauce, fresh ginger, and copious garlic.
Dorie C. October 31, 2014
Oh wow, that sounds amazing! I'll have to do this next time:)
Cristina S. October 31, 2014
It was really tasty! I'm going to make it again soon myself :) Thanks for the great recipe!
Evilyn G. October 24, 2014
I'd love to make this for a main course w. chicken or tofu. Any suggestions on how to add a little color and variety? Carrot slivers?
Dorie C. October 24, 2014
Hi Evilyn, yes definitely. When you're done cooking it you can throw in some extra fresh carrot, shredded fresh purple cabbage, thinly sliced scallions. Or if you can find chinese broccoli, that would be some good green to cook with the cabbage if it's thinly sliced.
AntoniaJames October 13, 2014
Excellent made with almond butter. My cabbage was quite sweet, so I doubled the vinegar. A keeper!! ;o)
Dorie C. October 13, 2014
Hi Antonia, great to hear that the almond butter worked out well! I'll have to give that a try soon.
lmikkel October 10, 2014
This is a wonderful dish! We loved it and are looking forward to making it again. Sadly, though, there wasn't enough left to try it as a leftover....
Dorie C. October 13, 2014
Hi Imikkel, I'm so glad to hear that you loved this recipe! Thanks for giving it a try!