I absolutely adore cabbage; however, I'm incredibly picky when it comes to who prepares it. Most people simply chop a head of cabbage into oblivion and then thrown into a pot of boiling water until it is a heaping pile of green mush. This delicious vegetable is often overlooked because it is rarely prepared properly, causing you to miss out on many delightful dishes.
The following three mistakes are commonly made when preparing cabbage, and should be avoided at all costs.
Mistake #1: Not using enough salt
If you are mixing raw cabbage into a dish with other ingredients, such as coleslaw, always add salt first. This will prevent your slaw from becoming soggy before it can be served.
Shred an entire head of cabbage and then place it into a colander. Toss with 1 tablespoon of salt, and cover with a tea towel. Let this sit for roughly 1 hour, and then squeeze out as much liquid as you can. The salt is not going to alter the flavor of the slaw, and removing this excess liquid will keep the cabbage fresh and crisp.
Mistake #2: Always boiling
There are so many various ways to prepare cabbage, so try to avoid simply boiling it if you can. Cutting a head of cabbage into wedges, coating them with a bit of olive oil, sprinkling them with salt and pepper, and then roasting them makes a delicious side dish to steak and potatoes.
Sautéing chopped cabbage in a bit of bacon grease and then combining it with cooked, chopped bacon and a few fried onions is another delicious way to prepare this healthy vegetable.
Mistake #3: Using the wrong variety
There are more varieties of cabbage than just the standard green ones you see most commonly in the grocery store. Depending on the dish you're preparing, using the wrong type of cabbage will not only take away from the visual appeal, but also the overall flavor of your meal.
Savoy can be used as a replacement in any recipe that calls for standard green cabbage. This is a great cabbage to use for sandwich wraps, because it's leaves are large and tender. If you're preparing the stir-fry, you want a cabbage that has a sweeter flavor, such as Napa. Bok choy is the best variety to use in sautéed dishes. Because it can turn odd colors once it is cooked, red cabbage is best used in raw dishes.
If you're looking for a delicious way to prepare coleslaw, check out my recipe for The Best Coleslaw.