Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage

November 5, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 40 min


  • 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
In This Recipe


  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.

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Reviews (187) Questions (3)

187 Reviews

allison October 30, 2018
Darling husband said " I don't really like cabbage, but I like that". Will defiantly make again!<br />
allison October 31, 2018
"I'd never thought I would have leftover cabbage for lunch" said my husband. Proof this recipe is a keeper.
Sarah P. August 31, 2018
We added a bit of Cajun seasoning, cinnamon and red pepper flakes but otherwise followed the recipe. Both my extremely cabbage-dubious boyfriend and I agreed this was excellentand that we will definitely be making this again - maybe even for guests at Thanksgiving!
a292 April 29, 2018
Made this tonight and it was amazing! Subbed the cream for full fat yogurt, added a heaping tablespoon of black pepper and about a teaspoon of garlic powder on top of the specified garlic, and served with a balsamic red wine reduction on ratatouille. The reduction complimented the ginger peppery flavor really well. Thanks!
watercupcake March 21, 2018
I love this recipe! Been making it for about 5 years now. I always make i around St. Patricks day when I have leftover corned beef to dice and add or when I have leftover ham. The spiced meats go so well with the seasoned cabbage. A big favorite in this household.
Fran M. March 13, 2017
I love this. The women I have shared this with love it, the men not so much. I don't understand. I think it's fabulous.
lisa March 8, 2017
Good. Far from "suspiciously delicious."
Idalu March 1, 2017
I love this dish but was wondering if it freezes well. Anyone out there has ever tried.
Carey L. February 15, 2017
I served this cabbage dish topped with the chicken from "Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Cabbage" and it was so insanely delicious together I want to make it for dinner again tomorrow night!!!
cookinalong February 1, 2017
I've commented before about this, but it deserves another. After nearly 3 yrs. of putting this on the table, the raves just keep on coming. Now with grandkids old enough for table food, the fan base grows by the year! I usually use coconut milk because I'm more likely to have it on hand than heavy cream, but both are out of this world! It's made a cabbage lover out of one of my DILs, and that was no mean feat! Kudos!
Elyse M. December 12, 2016
Just mde this with half cup whole yogurt in lieu of cream, and a squirt of Dijon. Delicious!
Mel October 30, 2016
I am of eastern European background and grew up on cabbage although it was primarily in the form of my father's homemade coleslaw of my mother's go-to cabbage rolls drenched in amazing sauerkraut. Stumbled across this recipe to make something a little unique for a fall-like cookout. Other than purchasing ginger in paste form and pre-shredded cabbage, all other ingredients and method of cooking was exactly as detailed. During the cooking phase, the smell was amazing and the taste of the end product exceeded my expectations. I was impressed at how simple the recipe was in terms of number of ingredients and timing. A wonderful recipe, very hearty and delicious. Thank you for sharing it.
tamater S. October 13, 2017
This caught my eye - Your "mother's go-to cabbage rolls drenched in amazing sauerkraut." Sounds really intriguing... have you shared it here yet?
Big P. October 18, 2017
elegy P. April 16, 2016
This is easily one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. Thank you for this amazing recipe, can't wait to use it to trick my boyfriend into eating cabbage
candace April 1, 2016
Surprisingly hearty and delicious. I don't always love ginger outside of Asian fare, but it's so subtle. I didn't have cream so I subbed a couple tablespoons of greek yogurt. Yum!
candace December 12, 2016
Update: I have since tried this with cream and I MUCH prefer the yogurt route :) Just my two cents.<br />
Regine February 19, 2016
Wow. Definitely lickingly (if there is such a word) delicious. Only issue I had was that my cabbage was sweating too much to allow caramelization. Maybe I did not dry it enough after washing it. So I ended up draining all liquid, and added 2 additional tbsp butter. Cabbage finally caramelized. I will be eating it with Jasmine white rice.
Idalu October 30, 2015
Highly recommend this recipe. I have rediscovered cabbage. Prepare all the ingredients before starting and it'll be a breeze.
Rajani September 26, 2015
This was absolutely delicious! My whole family (including my husband, who was highly suspicious indeed) devoured it!
Stephanie March 29, 2015
why is this under vegan
Susan W. March 30, 2015
I see it tagged under vegetarian, not vegan.
Stef January 28, 2016
I also did a search for vegan dishes, and this dish came up. Why???
Bill T. December 28, 2016
It's here to trick you into eating dairy.
Ema P. March 17, 2015
"This cabbage is great" says my 11 year old, I agree!
AnneHD January 18, 2015
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
dagmaraelza January 14, 2015
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.