A simple quick and easy fried cabbage side dish made by caramelizing cabbage on high heat to give it a bit of char but still retains a crisp texture and then tossed with a sweet ginger soy sauce.
I should be better at eating my vegetables but I’m not, so to motivate myself to eat veggies more often I like to keep the recipes simple but flavorful.
Personally, I find cabbage and brussels sprouts very similar in texture and flavor and I find that a bit of char really brings out the nuttiness to this vegetable so it’s no surprise that there’s also a bit of char in this recipe.
When cooked, cabbage has a natural sweetness to it, so I enhanced the sweetness a bit more with a sweet ginger soy sauce which brings everything together quite well. There is no meat in this dish, since I chose to keep it strictly vegetable to make it a side but if you want to make this into a meal you definitely can add some meat in – leftover meats especially work great with this fried cabbage recipe.
For this sweet ginger soy fried cabbage recipe, almost all ingredients can be found at your local grocery store with the exception of dashi powder. Dashi powder can be found online, or at an Asian grocery store – I usually find mine at a Japanese or Korean grocery store.
Dashi powder is optional for this fried cabbage recipe. It adds a bit more salt, and a slight smoky umami flavor but is not required. Although I highly recommend buying a small jar if you do a lot of stir fries or fried noodle dishes. A teaspoon of this adds quite a bit of umami flavor for any kind of stir fried and noodle dishes 🙂
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
How I Like to Remove the Cores of Cabbages
Personally, I find cutting cabbage to be a bit of a pain because of how tough it is to cut through and how wobbly it can be but once I get the core out – cutting it is a breeze.
To cut out the core, I like to first cut the cabbage in half. Once I cut it in half I cut an upside ‘V’ out of the bottom to remove the core. Once the core is out, I usually like to cut the cabbage halves into half again before slicing for smaller bite sized cabbages leaves.
Do You Really Need to Grate the Ginger?
No, you don’t have to grate the ginger, but if don’t then you should keep the ginger intact in larger slices.
Grating the ginger helps spread the ginger flavor into the cabbage and the sauce without biting into large chunks of ginger (which can be overpowering) while you are eating the cabbage.
Not everyone has a grater small enough to grate ginger though, so to work around that you can slice the ginger into large slices. That way, you can still brown the ginger in the beginning with the garlic to infuse the oils with ginger flavor and when you are finished cooking, you can easily fish out and discard the large ginger pieces.
Caramelizing Cabbage Without Burning the Onions
Caramelizing the cabbage and giving it a bit of char gives this dish a bit more flavor, but onions cook and burn a lot faster than cabbage so my work around to charring the cabbage without burning the onions is to add the onions after the first round of cabbage charring. Don’t worry, the onions will cook along with the cabbage during the cabbage’s second round of charring. (There’s 2 rounds in total)
Sweet Ginger Soy Fried Cabbage
- ½ cabbage
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cm x 2cm ginger (grated)
- ½ tablespoon butter
- Cut the cabbage in half, and then cut out the core by cutting an upside V around the cabbage core
- Slice the cabbage into slices and set it aside for later
- Cut the onion into slices and set it aside
- Peel the garlic and finely chop it and set it aside
- Grate the ginger and set it aside (if you don't grate the ginger, cut them into slices instead, so you can remove them later before serving)
Making the Sauce
- In a small bowl combine all the ingredients from the 'Sauce' ingredient list and set aside
Putting It Together
- In a large frying pan, add a bit of oil and ½ tablespoon of butter and set the stove to medium high heat
- Add the garlic and ginger and brown it for approximately 1 minute until it is slightly brown and fragrant. Make sure to move it around so it doesn't burn
- Add the cabbage into the frying pan and stir it a bit and flip the garlic and ginger from below the pan so that it is on top of the cabbage so they don't burn
- Add the onions on top of the cabbage
- Let the cabbage char by not touching it for about 1-2 minutes
- Once 1-2 minutes pass, stir the cabbage around and mix the onions into it. Once it is well mixed, let it sit untouched again for another 1-2 minutes to let the onions and cabbage char again
- Once the 1-2 minutes has passed again, add in the sauce and mix the cabbage well with the sauce and let the cabbage soften by letting it cook for another 1 minute
- Turn off the heat and plate it and enjoy with rice or noodles. (If you cut the ginger into slices, remove the ginger slices)
- Grating the ginger helps spread the ginger flavor throughout the dish so that you don't bite into chunks of ginger (which can be very overpowering). If you can't grate the ginger, cut it into slices instead. Once you are done cooking, you can easily remove the ginger slices before serving the cabbage.
- I have tested this recipe with ginger powder and it works great! 🙂 If you can't get a hold of fresh ginger, substitute it with 1 teaspoon of ginger powder.
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