Fragrant, sautéed cabbage makes for a satisfying and healthy side dish. This recipe keeps the vibrance and crunch of the cabbage intact while toasty garlic, ginger and spicy chili oil bring robust flavor!
Once you have your mise en place assembled and your pan hot, this dish is ready in no time! With help from flavor-forward ingredients like; ginger, garlic, scallion and chili oil, an ordinary head of cabbage transforms into something spectacularly flavorful. As an added bonus, leftovers are fantastic for the next day’s breakfast served over steamed rice and topped a poached egg!
This recipe calls for chili oil. There are so many amazing chili oil and chili crisp (you can use either) brands at the market right now. Some of my favorites are; Fly By Jing, Lao Gan Ma, and even Trader Joe’s has their own version. You can even make your own.
This recipe is ripe for riffing. Feel free to adjust the spice level to your preference–add as much, or as little chili oil as you like. Kale or Swiss chard can be swapped out for spinach. Snap peas, broccoli, or bok choy are all welcome additions. Most importantly–leave a comment below and share with us how you made this recipe your own!
Ingredients You’ll Need:
8-simple ingredients is all you need: cabbage, you can use any type of green cabbage you like, chili oil, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, green onion, sesame seeds and spinach.
Recipe Step by Step:
Step 1. Break Down the Cabbage
Grab your sharpest chef knife and cut the cabbage down the middle, splitting it into two equal halves. Locate the hard, white core for each half. Carefully cut out and discard the core. Next, place each half flat side down and cut into 2-inch strips then turn the cabbage 90 degrees and slice the strips into squares with a series of vertical cuts perpendicular to the ones you just made. The goal is bite-sized squares of cabbage that are roughly the same size so that they cook evenly in the pan. It doesn’t have to be perfect!
Step 2. Sauté the Aromatics
In your largest skillet sauté the garlic, scallion and ginger until soft and fragrant then add in the cabbage. Depending on the size of you pan, you may need to add the cabbage in stages, it will cook down quite a bit.
Step 3. Serve
Once the cabbage is soft and tender, bit still has a little bite left, add in the spinach, soy sauce, and chili oil. Toss until evenly combined. Serve with toasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion.
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Sautéed Cabbage with Garlic, Ginger and Chili Oil
- 1 small head cabbage green, savoy or Napa
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 inch knob ginger peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 scallions whites cut into 1-inch pieces, greens finely chopped and reserved for garnish
- 3 tbsp Sichuan chili oil or chili crunch homemade or store-bought
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 3 heaping cups baby spinach
- First, cut the cabbage down the middle, splitting it into two equal halves. Locate the hard, white core for each half. Carefully cut out and discard the core. Next, place each half flat side down and cut into 2-inch strips then turn the cabbage 90 degrees and slice the strips into squares with a series of vertical cuts perpendicular to the ones you just made. Note: it doesn't have to be perfect. We're going for bite-sized pieces that will cook evenly.
- Place a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the neutral oil–as soon as it starts to shimmer add in the sliced garlic, ginger and scallion whites. Sauté, stirring frequently until the garlic starts to turn golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.
- Next, increase the heat to medium-high and add in the cabbage and a generous pinch of salt. Depending on the size of your skillet (and your cabbage) you may need to do this in batches, adding more cabbage in as the first batch cooks down. Sauté the cabbage until its soft and tender but still has a bit of bite left, about 8-10 minutes, stirring often.
- Last, add in the spinach, chili oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Toss to coat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer the cabbage to a bowl and top with the reserved sliced scallion greens. Serve warm.
- Cabbage: You can use any type of green cabbage you like; green, savoy or Napa. Red cabbage is not recommended as it will turn the whole dish purple.
- Chili Oil: There are so many amazing chili oil and chili crisp brands at the market right now. Some of my favorites are; Fly By Jing, Lao Gan Ma, and even Trader Joe’s has their own version. You can even make your own.
- Spinach: Any leafy green can be used instead of spinach; kale, Swiss chard. Even snap peas, frozen peas, bok choy would all be welcome additions to this recipe.
- Sautéed cabbage will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat on the stove top in a sauté pan over medium-low heat or in the microwave. Note: leftovers are fantastic for the next day’s breakfast served over steamed rice and topped a poached egg!