Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Cabbage: A Perfect Match

By Alana Sugar, March 5, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar

From the naturally diverse region of the Mediterranean, we’ve been graced with everything from olive trees to miniature donkeys, from Cleopatra to cabbage.

You heard it right! The fancy name for cabbage is Brassica Oleracea, which actually refers to all cruciferous plants, including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, kale and cauliflower. Although seemingly different, they all share the same roots of the wild cabbage, which is native to the European Mediterranean.

Cabbage pairs perfectly with spices and herbs such as caraway, chives, tarragon, garlic, dill, celery seed, thyme and black pepper. It stands on its own or blends beautifully with root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, leeks, turnips, parsnips and rutabaga.

And cabbage isn’t choosy when it comes to proteins, equally complementing red meats, poultry, fish, pork, legumes, tofu and tempeh. Raw cabbage is slightly “spicy,” delicious and crunchy. Once sautéed, steamed, baked, boiled or braised, cabbage takes on a mellow, sweet flavor.

Our most cherished cabbage dishes include traditional coleslaw, corned beef and cabbage, stuffed cabbage leaves, cabbage soup, Korean pickled kimchi and German sauerkraut, but there are numerous other ways to chow down on cabbage. Here are some ideas:

Are you a fan of the ancient cabbage? Got a favorite recipe? I’d love to read your comments.




Dave Beaulieu says ...
I know that coleslaw may not be the most exotic use of cabbage on the planet (although you can use some pretty crazy ingredients), it, on top of a great Pulled Pork Sando may be the one of the greatest uses ever. It provides the perfect crunch and tang. I'll actually use it as a condiment for all kinds of sandwiches.
03/05/2012 9:27:48 AM CST
JoAnna says ...
I like to slice cabbage and cook it in a tiny bit of sesame oil. I then combine that with tofu and veggies stir fried with sriacha, soy sauce and some thinned out peanut butter for a healthier, vegan version of pad Thai. It's so tasty!
03/07/2012 3:23:02 PM CST
vanessa says ...
I also invented a dish which is so delicious i get one packet of smoked sausage chop it in small pieces fry it, then chop the cabbage in thin strips add half a can of corn and then add four table spoons of soy sauce let it steam for 20 mins and whoo a la! Its done its super good.
03/07/2012 3:36:48 PM CST
Kim says ...
My weeknight staple is sliced red onions, savoy cabbage, ginger & garlic sautéed with sesame oil, and a dash of brown rice vinegar and tamari. Sprinkle of sesame seeds, delicious! All the brown crispy bits make it seem like an indulgence!
03/07/2012 4:29:07 PM CST
Tori says ...
I brown some onions, add garlic and chopped up cabbage. I stir fry it in olive oil until it's browned. I add some steak seasoning. I then add taco meat to it and it's a very hearty low carb filling dish. It's a go to when I need to watch what I am eating.
03/07/2012 4:44:25 PM CST
Xuran333 says ...
The corned beef and cabbage rolls look absolutely delicious. However, for those of the vegetarians, change the corned beef filling might be better for them. Personally, I use carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts for the filling and cabbage leaves for the wrap. Firstly, you need to slice up the carrots and cucumber into thin slices, and then put bean sprouts in hot boiled water for 10 seconds and take it out immediately because you want them stay crunchy. Put the cabbage pieces in boiled water for about 30 seconds. Season the filling with sesame oil, salt and pepper. Then just wrap them with cabbage leaves.
03/08/2012 6:13:02 PM CST
Kathy says ...
Calling from my Polish/German heritage I love cabbage two ways. The Polish dish is Haluski.... Cook egg noodles to directions and drain. Then saute white cabbage and onions, add noodles to crisp the edges. Use salt and pepper to taste. The old way is to saute in butter, but I you could try various oils or an oil and butter combination. ---- The German dish is Rotkohl and it uses Red Cabbage. Goes best with German Sauerbraten, but could be used with pork or meatballs as well. Total prep/cooking time is 90 min. Heat 2tbsp oil in a Dutch oven and saute 2 small, sliced onions. Add 2# shredded red cabbage and immediately add 2 tbsp vinegar (white or cider) to prevent cabbage from color loss. Salt and a little sugar. Add 1 large finely chopped apple and 2-4 slices of chopped, uncooked bacon. (Bacon optional). Pour in 1/2 c red wine or grape juice and 1/2 cup hot beef or chicken broth. If not using broth use water... adding more wine or juice is not tasty. (I've never tried vegetable broth. I'm afraid of a flavor conflict, but if you had a mild vegetable broth you could try and see.) Cover and simmer 45-60 min. Cabbage should be tender, but not mushy soft. Makes 8 servings. (Recipe is from German Cooking book by Weathervane Books c. 1978 auth.Malinowski, Sinclair, & Nelson)
03/10/2012 6:49:59 AM CST
Heidi says ...
I use steamed cabbage instead of rice for sushi rolls. It's easier, healthier, and low-carb. It works well with vegetarian fillings like carrot, hummus, and avocado.
03/10/2012 8:30:53 AM CST
Kimberly says ...
I luv cabbage in soup!!
03/12/2012 9:47:28 AM CDT
Patricia Y. Montagne says ...
I love cabbage especially stuffed cabbage, and cabbage soup. Cabbage is great sautéed, steamed and topped with melted cheese, add some sauted nuts and onions. What I do is simply chop 1 to 2 cups of unsalted walnuts (almonds plain will work too), 1 cup of sliced onions, sauted with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. To that add one clove of chopped garlic, Add some fresh cracked pepper, a dash of sea salt, oregano, and stir in fresh sliced tomatoes ( one or two depending on the size). Saute all that in one pan. Serve immediately over stuffed cabbage garnish with cheese. Also can be added to your soups of any type as an added flavor. mmmmm--delicious!
08/12/2012 4:56:31 PM CDT
:Will Gwyn says ...
:Love the Korean pickled Kimchi, but can not find it in the Whole Foods Market in my area, can you help me?
12/29/2012 10:25:05 AM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@WILL - Unfortunately, our products vary between store locations so I do not have a way to look up where this product is carried. Were you able to talk to your store to see if possibly they were out of stock? A lot of Kimchi is perishable so we will not be able to ship this to you. If your store is out of the product, I would suggest trying an Asian market in your area.
12/31/2012 2:01:16 PM CST
Kris K says ...
OMG I love cabbage !!!!!!
08/25/2013 8:35:45 PM CDT
Stan czerno says ...
Do you sell polish golabki?
04/02/2016 11:02:33 AM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STAN - Our options differ between stores. Check with your local store and they will be happy to help.
04/15/2016 5:01:44 PM CDT
jill conner says ...
I had a hot chicken and cabbage dish at the whole foods hot bar today in Charlotte, NC. It was AMAZING!!! It was a little spicy and very vinegary. it had tiny bits of red pepper and I'm not sure what else. I would LOVE to have the recipe if you can get it. If I weren't so full, I'd go back and get more! Thanks!
06/01/2016 1:45:22 PM CDT