Cabbage is not only a nutritious and cheap vegetable, but also a wonderful ingredient for great meals to transition from winter to spring! This vegetable is one that can be a staple in many kitchens, but can easily get boring if you don’t mix it up after awhile. Whether it’s in a soup, braised, or pickled, cabbage can be used in many different ways. So many ways, that we decided to include 3 easy recipes to incorporate this low calorie vegetable that is rich in vitamin C in this month’s News from the Trail!
Vietnamese Style Cabbage Soup
This Vietnamese Style Cabbage Soup is a light broth that is great for transitioning from winter to spring. You can use different proteins in this soup depending upon what you like. We recommend adding in ground pork sausage that has been seasoned with classic Vietnamese flavors like ginger, mint, lemongrass or Thai basil. For a vegetarian style soup, add cubed tofu.
½ head of cabbage, roughly chopped
1 L water
1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
Generous pinch of salt
Ground pork sausage with Vietnamese flavors
- Roughly chop about ½ a head of green cabbage so you get large square pieces.
- Add the cabbage to 1 liter of water and add 1.5 teaspoons of fish sauce, plus 1 Tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari, and salt. Let the broth cook covered, on a low heat for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove from the heat and add in Vermicelli noodles. Do not bring the soup back to boil. Just set your timer for 5 minutes and cover the soup with the noodles. The noodles should be tender after about 5 minutes.
- Top with fresh cilantro and/or a hot sauce like Sriracha.
- Serve with steamed white rice or as a side for your favorite Asian-style meat or vegetable dish.
Cabbage & Pear Slaw
This Cabbage & Pear slaw is a great dish that can be used as a side salad for almost any meal! It combines seasonal flavors with other zesty, but neutral, ingredients to make a wonderful dish that can be served alone, or paired with salads, sandwiches, or main dishes. For larger gatherings, use a whole head of cabbage, a whole red onion, and double the rest of the ingredients to make a huge slaw that is a great size for a party or potluck with lots of mouths to feed!
2T Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper, to taste
Juice of ½ of a fresh squeezed lemon
2 D’anjou pears, julienned
2 Carrots, peeled
½ head of cabbage
½ red onion
- Chop the cabbage and red onion into very thin, uniform slices. A mandolin works great for this technique!
- Peel 2 carrots and julienne the D’anjou pears. Add these to the cabbage and onion mix.
- In a separate bowl, add the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper, and whisk together until fully incorporated.
- Pour the lemon Dijon dressing onto the sliced ingredients and toss.
- Add some extra fresh ground pepper on top. Voila! Slaw!
Sauerkraut is a great way to use up a whole head of cabbage when you don’t know what else to do with it! It’s a fantastic addition to sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, rice, or noodles. Because sauerkraut is a fermented food, it’s a great source of vitamins and beneficial for the digestive system. The best part about this recipe? You don’t need to make a brine separately.
A few tips for making sauerkraut:
- Use a very clean, sterilized glass jar for fermentation. You want this jar to be positively free of any soapy residue so that all of the good bacteria can thrive.
- Remember to keep the water line above the kraut during the fermentation process.
- You can add water to the top once you press the cabbage into the jar so that the water line stays over the stop of the kraut.
- You may want to have more than one large mason jar on hand incase the batch is large
Ingredients & Equipment:
Large mason jar
Twine or metal ring from mason jar
Weight – a small jar of beans or a very clean rock
1 Head of cabbage
3 T Kosher salt
Optional additional ingredients:
Beets & juniper berry combo
- To chop up your cabbage, begin by cutting the head in half and then into quarters. Thinly slice into ribbons.
- In a large mixing bowl, add about a third of the cut cabbage plus 1 Tablespoon of Kosher salt.
- Get a large mixing bowl. You may want to do this in small portions at a time because there is going to be a lot of cabbage!
- Begin massaging the cabbage and the salt by crunching it in your hands and pushing down. You’ll begin to see moisture start to come out from the cabbage leaves. As the cabbage begins to release moisture, it will start to wilt. This is the start of the fermentation process. Once you have room in your bowl, repeat this process of adding cabbage and salt until the entire head of cabbage has broken down.
- Once all of the water is pulled out of the cabbage leaves, get your mason jar ready. Grab a handful of the wet cabbage and press it down into the jar so the water begins to rise to the top (you might need to use a little elbow grease here and press down with your fist). If you’ve pressed all the way down and the water line isn’t sitting atop the kraut, add a little bit of water.
- Once the jar is filled and the water line is sitting atop the kraut, place a small weight on top, like a small jar filled with beans or a very clean rock, and press the weight down so that the water line stays above the kraut.
- Seal the top of the jar using cheesecloth and twine or cheesecloth and the metal ring that comes with the jar. Do not use the metal pop top that comes with the mason jar for this recipe, until the kraut has fermented.
- Place the kraut in a cool, dark, dry place. For the next 3 days, check the kraut every so often, to make sure the water line has not fallen below the kraut. If it has, put more weight on the jar or add a little bit more water, depending upon how much space you have in your jar.
- You can ferment the kraut for 3 – 10 days depending upon how you like it to taste. Once it is to your liking, store in the refrigerator.
What’s your favorite way to cook cabbage? Tell us in the comments below!
Pear & Cabbage Slaw Recipe adapted from Brooklyn Supper
Sauerkraut recipe adapted from Raw Vegan. Not Gross.