I recently found myself with a fridge full of cabbage. What some might consider a burden, I saw as an opportunity. I made a list of all those curious cabbage recipes I’d stumbled upon and set out on a mission to finally give them a shot. Unfortunately, I never made any of them. Instead, I found myself making this cabbage over and over and over again because it was just that darn good.
Here's how that happened: Before I could even decide which of the cabbage recipes I should try first, I threw together a quick lunch with what I had on hand. I cut a head of cabbage in half and hacked it into thick strips. I found some white miso and soy sauce in the fridge and mixed them up with a touch of brown sugar. I sautéed the cabbage in a hot pan until it began to brown. Once the smell of charred cabbage began to fill the kitchen, I removed the pan from the heat and tossed it with the sauce, and in minutes found myself enjoying a bowl of sweet, salty, incredibly delicious cabbage.
After making this recipe a few times, I learned that cabbage can go from “al dente” to soggy in a flash. To avoid that dreaded result, here are a few tips on how to keep the cabbage crisp. First, err on the side of thick stripes rather than thin ones. The bigger, the better. Second, don’t stir unless necessary. Doing so will expose the cabbage to more steam, making it wilt and preventing it from browning. Third, once the sauce is added, remove the pan from the heat and toss. This will allow the sauce to glaze the cabbage rather than cook it further.
This recipe serves one or two for a light lunch. If you wanted to serve more, you could double it, but it would be wise to cook in batches to prevent sogginess. —Grant Melton
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Miso–Brown Sugar Cabbage
1 to 2
light brown sugar
cabbage, shredded into 1/4-inch thick pieces (about 1/2 a head of cabbage)
In a small bowl, using a fork, mix together the miso, soy sauce and brown sugar until well combined. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat. Once hot, add the sesame oil. Add all of the cabbage. You should hear a sizzle when it hits the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the cabbage bigs to char, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir the mixture just once and then let sit for another 1 to 2 minutes to let the cabbage char a bit more. Remove the pan from the heat, add the sauce and toss to combine.
Grant Melton is an Emmy Award-Winning Producer of the Rachael Ray Show, food writer and recipe developer. He's a contributor to Food52, Food Network Kitchen and Rachael Ray Every Day Magazine. His favorite food is chocolate chip cookies (with salt.)