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Cabbage - 3 ways

Cabbage, a humble ingredient that is fast becoming trendy and with good reason. This winter leafy vegetable is part of the “brassica” family of veggies, which include cauliflower, kale, brussels sprouts, bok choy (Chinese cabbage) and broccoli.

Cabbage is packed with vital minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals. Another bonus is that it is low in calories. A super veg of sorts. In SA we have the popular white cabbage, green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage and Chinese cabbage available to us.

Ways to enjoy cabbage

Eat raw, finely shredded in salads 

Incorporate into soups (e.g. Borscht soup made of beetroot, cabbage and potato).

Braised in stews and bredies.

Braised in a mixture of leeks, potatoes and bacon makes a delish side dish.

Braise with spices.

Simply braised in lots of butter and seasoned with freshly grated nutmeg

Blanch leaves and roll with a mince mixture, steam and brown in the pan.

Savoy cabbage and baby cabbage is delicious cut into wedges and roasted with garlic and olive oil.

Try your hand in homemade sauerkraut (fermented “sour cabbage”)

Red cabbage is lovely simply dressed in red wine vinegar and some sugar to taste – makes a lovely side dish or burger topping!

We've put together 3 easy and very moreish recipes using beautiful savoy cabbage and some baby white cabbage.

Something spicy…

Spicy Cabbage & Peas

A delicious accompaniment to a curry or stew – enjoy in a roti! This will also be an enjoyable vegetarian filling for spring rolls or samosas. 

Serves: 4


3 Tbs oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

2 Tbs cumin seeds

8 curry leaves

2 dried chillies

¼ tsp ground turmeric

2 small savoy cabbages, finely shredded

1 baby green or white cabbage, finely shredded

1 c (250 ml) frozen baby peas

Coriander leaves (optional)


Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds, cover and allow to pop briefly.

Add the curry leaves, dried chillies, split peas, and fry for 5 minutes, stirring often. 

Add the turmeric and cabbage, fry over low heat until cabbage is wilted and tender. Sir through the peas until heated through (no more than 2 minutes) Season with salt to taste.

Serve garnished with coriander leaves.

Something comforting…

Braised Cabbage, Leeks & Bacon

Serve on a bed of mash with succulent roast chicken or pork and gravy for ultimate love in your belly. 

Serves: 2-4


125 g streaky bacon or pancetta, diced

50 g butter

2 savoy cabbages (or 2 baby white cabbages), finely shredded

1 large leek, thinly sliced

Freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Salt and pepper to taste


Heat a pan and fry the bacon until crispy or until the fat has rendered.

Add the butter to the pan, once bubbling, add the leeks and sauté until softened and fragrant. 

Add the cabbage and sauté until wilted and softened.

Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. 

Serve immediately!

Tip: to make this dish even more luxurious, add a dash of cream! 

Something fresh…

Thai Cabbage Salad

This salad so versatile and delicious with any grilled meats. Enjoy with shredded chicken in wraps too.

Serves: 6



2 savoy cabbage, shredded

1 small white, green or red cabbage, shredded

60 g mange tout or sugar snap peas, sliced into thin strips

3 carrots, julienned

1 cucumber, seeds removed and julienned

4 spring onions, sliced diagonally

1 c (250 ml) coriander leaves

3 T (45 ml) sesame seeds


125 ml vegetable oil

10 ml sesame oil

30 ml soy sauce

60 ml rice wine vinegar

1 T (15 ml) sugar


Mix the salad ingredients together. 

Mix the dressing ingredients together and toss into the salad.

Serve garnished with coriander and sesame seeds.



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