Stir Fried Cabbage Recipe (Quick + Easy!) (2024)

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If you’re looking for a quick and easy healthy side dish to serve at your next family dinner, look no further than this simple 10-minute Stir Fry Cabbage recipe. Featuring tender cabbage stir fried with crisp veggies, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil, this Asian dish complements everything from chicken and fish, to pork, beef, tofu, and even eggs! (low-fat, low-carb, vegetarian, vegan-option, gluten-free option)

Featured comment: What a wonderful tasty dish! We loved it and almost ate too much! Thanks for this easy to follow recipe!” – Carola

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Update: This recipe for stir fry cabbage was originally published in March 2020. I’ve made updates to the article below to include more information about making the stir fry with cabbage at home.

Table of Contents

  • About this stir fried cabbage
  • What is stir fry cabbage?
  • Ingredients for stir frying cabbage
    • Stir fry sauce
  • FAQs: cabbage for stir frying
    • What to look for when you select cabbage
    • How to store fresh cabbage
    • What type of cabbage to use in stir fry?
    • How to cut cabbage?
  • How to stir fry cabbage?
    • Step-by-step photos: frying cabbage at home
  • FAQs: fried cabbage
    • How long to stirfry cabbage?
    • Tips for the perfect stir fry with cabbage
  • What to serve with cabbage stir fry?
    • Entree suggestions
    • Side dish suggestions
    • More stir fry recipes
  • Tips for storing cooked cabbage
    • How long will sauteed cabbage keep?
    • Can you freeze cabbage stir fried?
  • Is stir fried cabbage and carrots healthy?
    • Health benefits of cabbage
    • Calories and carbs in this recipe
  • More recipes using a head of cabbage!
  • Stir Fry Cabbage Recipe
    • Equipment
    • Ingredients
      • Stir Fry Sauce
    • Instructions
    • Notes
    • Nutrition

About this stir fried cabbage

If you are looking for an insanely quick and easy side dish, this recipe for stir fried cabbage is perfect for you! This Asian dish is an absolute breeze to prepare and it cooks in under 10 minutes!

Crunchy yet tender, this stir-fry cabbage is full of delicious textures and flavors! Featuring a mixture of tender cabbage stir fried with crisp carrots, mellow onions, delicate scallions, fragrant garlic and warm ginger; finished with a simple slightly spicy and sweet stir-fry sauce, this sauteed Chinese cabbage gives new life to the often overlooked, humble head of cabbage!

You can pair this alongside grilled chicken, pork or an Asian-inspired main for a fake-out take-out dinner at home. Or, top this fried cabbage recipe with sliced beef, pork, tofu or even scrambled eggs for fast and flavorful weeknight dinner!

What is stir fry cabbage?

Cabbage stir fry is a dish in which cabbage is quickly fried in a small amount of hot oil while being rapidly stirred in a wok. Stir fry is a cooking technique that originated in China.

Stir fry can be served as a main dish topped with chicken, pork, seafood, and/or tofu; or it can be enjoyed as a side accompanied by a main dish.

Ingredients for stir frying cabbage

The exact ingredients in cabbage and carrots stir fry can greatly vary.

However, cabbage in sauce is a simple dish where the vegetables and sauce are the star. Therefore, it is imperative you use fresh ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to grab for stir frying cabbage:

  • Cabbage: Cabbage is the main ingredient. Make sure you purchase the best looking, fresh cabbage at the store. (Tips for how to select and store cabbage below)
  • Carrots: Carrots add a fresh, crisp, sweetness to the dish.
  • Onions: Yellow onions add a nice balance of slight bitterness and sweet flavor to the stir fry.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a powerful, pungent flavor and is a must in stir fry.
  • Ginger: Ginger is another aromatic that lends unique mild, warm, and slightly woody flavor to stir fries. You’ll need to peel the ginger root and grate it for this recipe.
  • Scallions: Scallions are fresh young onions that give the dish a delicate, fresh flavor.

Stir fry sauce

  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is the base of most stir-fry sauces. Make sure you use low-sodium soy sauce so you can control the level of saltiness in the dish.
  • Honey: Honey adds a touch of sweetness.
  • Unseasoned Rice Vinegar: Vinegar is mild in flavor and helps round out all the flavors in the sauce.
  • Mirin:Mirin is similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content. It has a sweet flavor that contrasts the salty soy sauce beautifully.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: Oil gives the dish a delicious depth of flavor. However, sesame oil is strong, so you only need a little bit.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Red pepper adds a bit of spice to the dish to balance out the sweetness.

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FAQs: cabbage for stir frying

Since cabbage is the star of this fried cabbage recipe, it is imperative you select a crisp and fresh head of cabbage at the store.

What to look for when you select cabbage

  • Color: Cabbage should have a bright color that is slightly shiny in appearance. Avoid any cabbages that have a lot of dark spots or show signs of rotting.
  • Firm: The outside should feel firm and dense to the touch versus soft and spongy.
  • Compact head: Choose cabbage with a tight, compact head.
  • Leaves: The leaves should look crisp and green rather than soft. A few loose hanging leaves is fine, but the whole cabbage should not look undone. If you are selecting a leafy cabbage variety, the stem should be firm.
  • Weight: It should feel heavy for its size.

How to store fresh cabbage

  • Keep the cabbage whole: Do not cut the cabbage until you are ready to use it.
  • Crisper drawer: Whole heads of cabbage should be stored in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.
  • Discard outer leaves: If any leaves have withered during storage, remove and discard them before using.

Properly stored, compact heads of cabbage, such as green cabbage, will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Leafy varieties of cabbage, such as Savoy or Napa cabbage, will keep for up to one week.

What type of cabbage to use in stir fry?

The type of cabbage you use when stir-frying is completely up to you! Each type of cabbage will offer a different type of flavor, texture and color.

  • Napa Cabbage: Also referred to as Chinese cabbage, Napa cabbage is oblong in shape with frilly, light green leaves. Napa cabbage has a wonderful mild, slightly sweet flavor with a slightly peppery kick.
  • Savoy Cabbage: Also known as curly cabbage, savoy cabbage has lacy ruffled leaves. While it is similar in shape to green cabbage, its leaves are more loosely layered and less compact. Savoy cabbage is more tender and less crisp than Napa cabbage with a mild, slightly earthy flavor.
  • Green Cabbage: Green cabbage is the most well-known of all the varieties. It has tightly packed, pale-green leaves. Green cabbage has a strong, slightly peppery flavor and crisp texture.
  • Red Cabbage: Red cabbage is similar to green cabbage, except it has a beautiful purple hue. However, keep in mind that its vibrant color does tend to bleed and stain or color the ingredients around it.

How to cut cabbage?

Cabbage can appear intimidating at first, but it is actually incredibly easy to cut! All you need is a large cutting board and sharp chef’s knife to slice cabbage into beautiful thin shreds. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Prepare cabbage: Remove any tough or loose outer leaves. Rinse the cabbage and dry well!
  2. Cut in half: Place the cabbage so the bottom stem is resting against the board. Hold the cabbage securely and carefully cut down through the stem to cut the cabbage in half.
  3. Cut into quarters: Place the cabbage cut side down on the cutting board. Cut each half into quarters by slicing down through the stem.
  4. Remove the core: Cut out the core by cutting an upside down ‘V’ shape into the cabbage around the core. The core is tough to eat, so discard it.
  5. Slice the cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise into long, thin shreds. Now you’re ready to use your sliced cabbage in stir fry cabbage recipes!

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How to stir fry cabbage?

This recipe for fried cabbage is incredibly easy to make and comes together in under 10 minutes!

(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page)

  1. Make the sauce: In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all the ingredients from the sauce list. Whisk well to thoroughly combine. Set aside.
  2. Stir-fry onions & aromatics: In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and stir-fry until almost softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan along with the white/light green parts of the scallions. Cook, stirring, until fragrant about 1 minute.
  3. Add cabbage & carrots:Increase the heat to high and immediately add the cabbage and carrots to the pan and stir well. Let the cabbage cook for 1 minute undisturbed (you want the cabbage to slightly char). Stir and toss the mixture well and then allow to cook undisturbed for another 1 minute. Toss rapidly and continue to cook, stir-frying, for 1 minute.
  4. Add sauce: Add the sauce to the pan and toss well so everything is coated. Cook until the cabbage is just tender and softened, about 1 minute.
  5. Taste: Remove from heat and stir in the dark green parts of the scallions. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, pepper, fresh lime juice and/or sriracha. Transfer to a serving plate.
  6. Serve: Top with optional garnishes and serve hot. Enjoy!

Step-by-step photos: frying cabbage at home

(Don’t forget to scroll down for the detailed instructions in the complete printable fried cabbage recipe at the bottom of the page.)

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FAQs: fried cabbage

How long to stirfry cabbage?

Cabbage cooks extremely quickly. You should stir fry cabbage until it is slightly charred and just softened and tender. Avoid overcooking the cabbage as it will turn mushy and unappetizing.

The precise length of time will depend upon the variety of cabbage you select, how thin it is sliced and heat level under the pan. Thinly sliced napa cabbage will take about 3-5 minutes tops, while thicker cut green cabbage can take up to 10 minutes to cook.

Tips for the perfect stir fry with cabbage

  • Prepare all the ingredients before cooking. Make sure you have all your ingredients prepared and ready to go before you start cooking. Stir-frying is a quick cooking technique and things move rapidly, so it is important to be prepared and have all your ingredients close by.
  • Use a wok or cast-iron pan. A wok is made for stir-frying as it has a large surface area and retains heat well. If you don’t have a wok, a cast-iron pan works great as it retains heat better than pans made from other materials.
  • Cook hot and fast. While you have probably heard the phrase “low and slow” when it comes to cooking, stir fry is the opposite. You want to cook over high heat (but not smoking hot!) and move quickly.
  • Stir often. In order to ensure everything is evenly cooked, you want to stir as often as the recipe states. Once the cabbage is charred to your liking, add the sauce and stir fry constantly for 1 minute.
  • Do not overcook. Cook the cabbage until it is just softened and tender-crisp. If you overcook the cabbage it will turn out mushy.
  • Garnish. To really enhance the dish, make sure you garnish your stir-fry with fresh herbs, fresh lime juice, sesame seeds and chopped peanuts.

What to serve with cabbage stir fry?

You can serve this vegetable stir fry with cabbage and carrots as a side with your favorite Asian dishes. Or you can easily customize it to turn it into a hearty family meal. The serving options for stir fried cabbage are only limited by your imagination! Below are some serving ideas to inspire:

Entree suggestions

  • Any Type of Protein: Fire up the grill, oven, air-fryer, sous-vide, whatever and cook whatever protein you love most – beef, steak, steak, pork, chicken, shrimp, fish, tofu, or eggs. Slice it thin (if applicable) and pile it high on this cabbage dish.
  • Stir Fry Entrees: Keep things quick and easy by pairing your stir fried cabbage with more stir fries! These are my favorites: If you’re looking for more fuss-free, fast stir fry dinners, try these recipes next: Zucchini Steak Stir Fry,Ground Beef Stir Fry with Hoisin,Ground Chicken Stir Fry with Lemon, Pepper Steak Stir Fry, and OrangeBeef Chinese Food.
  • Raw Protein: If you prefer raw fish, top your stir fried cabbage with spicy tuna, spicy salmon, or spicy crab.
  • Vegetables: You can add more vegetables to make this a hearty vegetarian dish. Asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, mushrooms and zucchini are all terrific options.

Side dish suggestions

Here’s a few delicious sides to serve with this Asian cabbage dish, if you’re looking for some inspiration:

  • Edamame
  • Spring rolls and summer rolls
  • Egg rolls
  • Dumplings
  • Soup – miso, egg drop, wonton, hot and sour
  • Cucumber salad
  • Green Salad
  • Macerated Fruit Salad
  • Kimchi
  • White, Brown or Fried Rice
  • Rice Noodles, Lo Mein Noodles or Ramen

More stir fry recipes

Pair your Chinese fried cabbage with stir fried main for a delicious dinner that will transport your tastebuds directly to Asian:

  • Vegetable Noodle Stir Fry
  • Udon Noodle Stir Fry
  • Chinese Beef Orange
  • Chinese Pepper Steak with Onions
  • Steak and Zucchini Stir Fry
  • Chinese Beef Stir Fry
  • Ground Chicken Stir Fry
  • Chinese Chicken and Veggie Stir Fry

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Tips for storing cooked cabbage

Follow the simple tips below to ensure you are properly storing, freezing and reheating your cabbage stir fry leftovers!

How long will sauteed cabbage keep?

Leftover cooked cabbage should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Properly stored, this stir fried cabbage recipe will last for up to 3 to 5 days.

To further extend the shelf life of cabbage and carrot stir fry, freeze it. (Instructions below)

Can you freeze cabbage stir fried?

Absolutely – this stir fry cabbage recipecan be frozen.

To freeze, prepare the recipe as directed. However, make sure youdo notcook the cabbage all the way through until tender. Stir-fry the cabbage until almost softened and tender to avoid any texture changes after defrosting.

Allow the dish to cool completely. Transfer stir fry with cabbage into individually portioned freezer-safe resealable plastic bags. Squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag. Label the bag and store in the freezer for 3 months.

To use, thaw the cabbage in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the cabbage in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat until it is just heated. Avoid overcooking the cabbage or it will turn mushy.

Is stir fried cabbage and carrots healthy?

This recipe for cabbage stir fried is packed with vegetables and good for you ingredients.

Cabbage is part of the plant species known as Brassica Oleracea. Kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and collard greens are all actually part of the same plant species as cabbage.

Health benefits of cabbage

  • Low in calories and carbohydrates
  • High in dietary fiber and supports a healthy gut.
  • Packed with vitamin and minerals, such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.

Other ingredients and their health benefits

  • Carrots: Good source of carotene, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and antioxidants.
  • Yellow Onion: Nutrient-dense they are rich in antioxidants and low in calories.
  • Scallions: Excellent source of vitamins A, C and K. Plus, it is a good source of iron and has a high amount of folic acid.
  • Ginger: Aids in digestion and lowers blood sugar
  • Garlic: Combats the common cold and helps detoxify your body

Calories and carbs in this recipe

The exact number of calories and carbohydrates will depend upon the precise measurement and brand of ingredients used. This stir fry cabbage recipe serves six and has approximately 78 calories and 13 grams of carbohydrates per serving.

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Insanely fast and easy to make, this stir fried cabbage recipe is perfect when you need a quick vegetable side dish! Plus, it can be topped with protein and double as a speedy weeknight dinner! Healthy and delicious, it’s the perfect recipe when you are in a pinch!

Until next week, friends, cheers – to speedy stir-fry!

Cheyanne

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More recipes using a head of cabbage!

  • Mexican Cole Slaw
  • Jalapeno Coleslaw
  • Blackened Shrimp Tacos with Slaw
  • Thai Slaw Salad

The best Fried Cabbage Recipe👇

Stir Fried Cabbage Recipe (Quick + Easy!) (7)

Stir Fry Cabbage Recipe

5 from 7 votes

Author: Cheyanne Holzworth

Total Time: 17 minutes mins

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 7 minutes mins

Servings: 6

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

This Stir-Fried Cabbage is SO delicious and incredibly easy to make! Flavored with garlic, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil, this flavorful dish is ready in 10 minutes or less! You can serve this stir fry as a healthy side dish, or add beef, pork, chicken, fish and even tofu for a fast weeknight meal!

Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.

Equipment

  • 1 Small Mixing Bowl or Liquid Measuring Cup (for the stir fry sauce)

  • 1 Wok or Cast-Iron Large Skillet (for stir frying)

Ingredients

  • 1 TBS EACH: Unsalted Butter & Neutral Oil (Peanut, Vegetable or Grapeseed)
  • 2-3 Cloves Garlic – peeled & finely diced (substitute: 1/2 - 3/4 garlic powder)
  • 2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger – grated (substitute: scant 1/4 teaspoon ginger powder)
  • 1 small Head Cabbage – thinly sliced (about 2 pounds) (SEE NOTES)
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – thinly sliced
  • 2 large Carrots – peeled & shredded
  • 3 large Scallions – sliced; white/light green part and dark parts separated
  • To Taste Kosher Salt & Black Pepper

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 2 TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBS EACH: Honey & Rice Vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp Mirin
  • ¼ tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1/8 - ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes – or more to taste
  • Optional Garnishes: Sesame Seeds and Crushed Peanuts, Chopped Cilantro, Lime Wedges, Sriracha
  • Serving Suggestions: Cooked Chicken, Beef, Pork Chops, Corn Beef, Tofu, or Eggs

Instructions

  • Make the sauce: In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine all the ingredients from the sauce list. Whisk well to thoroughly combine. Set aside.

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  • Stir-fry onions and aromatics: In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Add the onion and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir-fry the onions until they are almost softened, about 3 minutes. Then, add the garlic and ginger to the pan, along with the white/light green parts of the scallions. Cook the onion mixture, stirring constantly, until fragrant about 1 minute.

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  • Add cabbage and carrots: Increase the heat to high and immediately add the cabbage and carrots to the pan and stir well. Let the cabbage cook for 1 minute undisturbed (you want the cabbage to slightly char). Stir and toss the mixture well and then allow to cook undisturbed for another 1 minute. Toss rapidly and continue to cook, stir-frying, for 1 minute.

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  • Add stir fry sauce: Add the sauce to the pan and toss well so everything is coated. Cook until the cabbage is just tender and softened, about 1 minute.

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  • Adjust to taste: Remove from heat and stir in the dark green parts of the scallions. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt, pepper, fresh lime juice and/or sriracha. Transfer to a serving plate.

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  • Serve cabbage stir fry: Garnish the top of your stir fried cabbage with optional toppings and serve hot. Enjoy!

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Notes

  1. Varieties of cabbage: You can Napa (shown here), Savoy, Green or Purple Cabbage. Napa and savoy cabbage can be used interchangeably, however green or purple cabbage will take longer to cook. If you use green or purple cabbage, stir fry the cabbage in step 3 until it is almost just tender. Then add the sauce and stir fry 1 minute.
  2. To thinly slice cabbage into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces: Place the cabbage on a clean work surface. Cut the cabbage in half down through the stem. Place the cabbage cut side down and cut down through the stem into quarters. Cut out the core by cutting an upside down ‘V’ shape into the cabbage around the core. Remove the core from each half and discard. Place the cabbage cut side down and slice lengthwise as thinly as possible, as if you were making a coleslaw mix.
  3. Pan for best results: For the best results, I recommend using a wok or large cast-iron skillet for stir fry recipes.
  4. Do not salt the dish until the very end, right before serving. Salt pulls water out of the cabbage, so wait to add salt until you are ready to serve.
  5. Vegan Option: Replace butter with equal amount of neutral oil. Replace honey with agave or vegan honey alternative.
  6. Gluten-free option: Replace soy sauce with coconut aminos or tamari. Replace rice vinegar with equal amount of apple cider vinegar. Note: Always be sure to read product labels to ensure the particular brand is gluten-free.

Nutritional information is an estimate based upon 6 servings. Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.

Nutrition

Calories: 78kcal Carbohydrates: 13g Protein: 3g Fat: 2g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 5mg Sodium: 221mg Potassium: 495mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 7g Vitamin A: 4669IU Vitamin C: 45mg Calcium: 137mg Iron: 1mg

Course: Side Dish

Cuisine: Chinese

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Stir Fried Cabbage Recipe (Quick + Easy!) (2024)

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