Steam-Fried Cabbage

Have we mentioned? Perhaps just once or twice? We have a LOT of cabbages coming out of our fields right now! Although we love cabbages – they are sweet and juicy, delicious raw or cooked, super-duper healthy (they are packed full of vitamins C and K and have loads of fibre and other amazing properties) – we know that it can be a bit hard to get inspired by them in the kitchen. I’ve done a ‘4 Ways With…Cabbages’ blog already which you can read here (it was written for January King cabbages but the same recipes can apply to pointed, savoy etc) and sauerkraut recipes here and here. But this recipe is the one I actually use the most at home. It’s so easy and so delicious! Who would have thought that cabbage would be the star of the plate?

Steam-frying involves caramelising a side or two of the cabbage first before adding stock and a lid to steam the cabbages until cooked through. The result? Sweet and smokey, juicy and tender, succulent wedges of cabbage with a stunning broth. I love it served over a simple grain/pulse – this time I went for some nutritious quinoa – and topped with something really ‘punchy’ like the capers used here. Some other ideas using the same steam-fry technique:

  • Serve it over rice (make the stock miso or soy-sauce infused) and top with a drizzle of sriracha and some toasted sesame seeds?
  • Serve over mashed potatoes and top with a dollop of mustard and a side of sausages?
  • Serve over warmed butterbeans or chickpeas (put chopped tomatoes and garlic in the stock) and top with smoked paprika, chilli flakes and toasted almonds?
  • Serve over pasta (put lemon juice and garlic in the stock) and top with cheese or pesto?
  • Serve alongside a Sunday roast?

Have you got any good ideas on how to serve steam-fried cabbage? Share them in the comments below or over on our community facebook group here.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pointed cabbage
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 stock cube
  • quinoa and capers to serve (or see above for alternative serving suggestions)

Method

  1. Prepare your quinoa (or other base eg rice, potatoes, beans, chickpeas, pasta). For 4 people, I rinse a mug of quinoa through a fine sieve then pop it into a pot with a mug and 1/2 of water. Bring to the boil with the lid on, then turn to the lowest setting and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the water (about 10-15 minutes) and released it’s little tails. Take the pot off the heat but leave the lid on and let the quinoa rest.
  2. Meanwhile grab your largest pan that has a lid. A wide, shallow casserole dish is perfect. In fact, if you don’t have one of these, I highly recommend investing in an oven and hob safe one as they are so useful!
  3. Rinse the cabbage, remove any unwanted outer leaves and pop them in the compost bin. Use a large knife to carefully cut the cabbage into quarters, lengthways. You need to keep the core intact.
  4. Drizzle the quarters with the olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Then place, cut side own, into the pan. Put the pan onto a medium high heat.
  5. Fry the cut sides of the cabbage wedges until they are beautifully coloured and caramelised. Meanwhile crumble the stock cube into 500ml of just-boiled water.
  6. Once you are happy that all the wedges are nicely caramelise, add the stock to the pan and pop the lid on. Keep an eye on the cabbage now, you may need to turn the heat down a bit to stop the stock boiling over. After around 8-10 minutes, the cabbages should be tender. Test with a sharp knife. If your cabbage is very large it may take longer of course.
  7. Serve over the quinoa (or other chosen base) and spoon over the stock. Top with capers (or other chosen topping) and eat whilst still warm.

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