Are You Guilty of Overcooking Cabbage?

When I think of cabbage I get a throwback image of having a roast dinner at my grandparents house and tucking into some pale but relatively tasty boiled vegetable…that vegetable was cabbage. Now it seems cabbage has taken a bit of an unfair fall from grace and it seems to be neglected by modern homes almost entirely.

Cabbage comes in all sorts of varieties and colours; it is a naturally vibrant vegetable but is often boiled within an inch of its life until it becomes a flavourless, mushy mess. Unfortunately we are doing it a disservice and there are plenty of ways to cook cabbage to get the most out of it. Here are some of our favourites.

Um…Don’t Cook It
If you struggle with cabbage cooking times and your partial to the odd cooking mistake then one of the best pieces of advice when it comes to cabbage is to simply not cook it at all. It is a foolproof way to ensure that you get the most nutrients and colour from the vegetable! Yes most of us are used to having raw cabbage when it is being drowned in mayonnaise, but there are plenty of other recipes and methods to add raw cabbage to your diet without all the added salts and sugars that coleslaw gives.

One of the most basic ways to do this is to finely shred the cabbage and a few other raw vegetables like carrots and create a more healthy and natural dressing with lemon juice and olive oil. It is an incredibly simple side to make and it adds some nutrition and crunch to a meal.

Now to the cooking methods that require cabbage to be cooked! We all know that cabbage is a staple for the majority of stirfrys and it only requires a quick flash for a few minutes in the wok. This way you are making the cabbage slightly tenderer than it would be raw but you are also keeping a lot of its nutrients locked in too.

Cooking cabbage in water can be a tricky affair but as with the majority of vegetables, less truly is more. The trick is to check often for doneness! Don’t be afraid to pull a bit out and give it a quick taste, it’s a sure fire way to tell whether the cabbage is cooked without having to rely on guesswork. The key is to cook the cabbage so its edges soften but it keeps its raw edge in the centre, this way you’ll avoid having a mushy mess.

Braising cabbage is a personal favourite of mine and all it requires is a knob of butter and a few minutes to let the taste infuse. Simply pan fry the cabbage and feel free to add any seasoning or other vegetables to it. Cook the cabbage to your preferred tastes, we like ours with a bit of golden brown on it and then add it to your favourite Sunday roast dish.