Know your Cabbage

I hated cabbage when I was a kid. It smelt like farts and I always thought it was bland and horrible. My mum, bless her cotton socks, wasn’t the best in the kitchen when I was a kid, and she just used to boil it up then jazz it up with black pepper. No wonder I was put off. These days I cook and eat it on the regular. Some varieties are cheap as chips, and well, I love a bargain!
RED CABBAGE – loaded with Vitamin C and photonutrients, I use this guy raw in coleslaw or shredded and mixed through leafy green salads for colour. It lasts forever in the fridge. Awesome for a beetroot/cabbage kraut mix or slow cooked and sweetened for the perfect match to gamier meat like duck.
GREEN CABBAGE – a.k.a. White cabbage or cannonball cabbage. This is the guy my childhood culinary nightmares was made of, but these days I appreciate his sweetness raw in salads and slaw, he works well in stir frys and lately I’ve been playing around with roasting slices and wedges, and next I’m going to try a whole roasted one so watch this space. Use this guy for sauerkraut.
SAVOY CABBAGE – the large leaves of this guy are nice and tender, so they’re great for using as wraps. They’re also nice sauteed with garlic and bacon, and good for making cabbage rolls.
CHINESE CABBAGE – a.k.a. Napa cabbage or Wombok. I use this guy in Asian-inspired slaws and salads, added to curries and laksa soups. You can use it to make your own kimchi if you can be arsed.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS – this little mini-cabbages have become a side dish fave whenever I’m making a roast. I like shredding them up, then braising them with leeks and bacon in a little white wine and chicken stock. I also love them roasted. It’s important to always cut them in half before cooking, as this helps to release some of the bitterness.
PAK CHOY & CHOY SUM – we call it Bok Choi in Oz. These were always a staple for me when I lived in Australia, just because they were so readily available and Asian-style stir frys were pretty cheap, quick and easy for a single gal making her way in the world. If you get your hands on them they’re great in curries, soups, stir fries or braised with awesome flavours like sesame, ginger and chilli.