Super Easy Stir-Fried Cabbage Recipe – Just 15 Minutes

by Ella

Stir-fried cabbage is a simple, delicious, and highly nutritious dish that can be prepared in minutes. This versatile recipe can serve as a main dish, a side, or a component in a larger meal. Cabbage is packed with vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet. This article provides a detailed guide to making a super easy stir-fried cabbage recipe, including variations, nutritional benefits, and tips for perfecting the dish.

The Nutritional Benefits of Cabbage

Before diving into the recipe, it’s essential to understand the nutritional value of cabbage. This humble vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients, offering numerous health benefits:


1. Rich in Vitamins


Cabbage is high in vitamins C and K. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radical damage, supports the immune system, and promotes healthy skin. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and bone health.


2. High in Fiber


Cabbage is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion, helps maintain a healthy weight, and lowers the risk of heart disease.

3. Low in Calories

Cabbage is low in calories, making it an ideal food for weight management. One cup of chopped cabbage contains only about 22 calories.

4. Contains Antioxidants

Cabbage contains various antioxidants, including polyphenols and sulfur compounds, which can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

5. Supports Digestive Health

The fiber in cabbage promotes a healthy digestive system by preventing constipation and maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.

Super Easy Stir-Fried Cabbage Recipe

Now, let’s get into the recipe. This stir-fried cabbage dish is quick, easy to prepare, and highly customizable. The following ingredients and instructions will guide you through making a basic version of the dish.


  • 1 medium-sized head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or any preferred cooking oil)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned (optional for added color and nutrition)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional for added flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes (optional for a spicy kick)


Prepare the Cabbage: Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut it in half. Remove the core and shred the cabbage into thin strips.

Heat the Oil: In a large skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.

Cook the Aromatics: Add the minced garlic and sliced onion to the skillet. Stir-fry for about 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant and the onion becomes translucent.

Add the Carrot: If you’re using carrots, add the julienned strips to the skillet and stir-fry for another 2 minutes until they begin to soften.

Stir-Fry the Cabbage: Add the shredded cabbage to the skillet. Stir well to combine with the garlic, onion, and carrot. Continue to stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes until the cabbage is tender but still slightly crisp.

Season the Dish: Pour the soy sauce over the cabbage and mix well. Add the sesame oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using). Stir to combine all the ingredients and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve: Remove from heat and serve the stir-fried cabbage hot. It can be enjoyed as a standalone dish, a side, or mixed with rice or noodles.

Variations and Add-Ins

Stir-fried cabbage is a versatile dish that can be modified to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some variations and add-ins you can try:

1. Protein Additions

Chicken: Add thinly sliced chicken breast or thigh pieces. Stir-fry the chicken first until cooked through, then proceed with the recipe.

Tofu: For a vegetarian option, add cubed firm tofu. Press the tofu to remove excess moisture before stir-frying.

Shrimp: Add peeled and deveined shrimp. Stir-fry until pink and cooked through before adding the cabbage.

2. Additional Vegetables

Bell Peppers: Add sliced bell peppers for color and sweetness.

Mushrooms: Add sliced mushrooms for an earthy flavor.

Snow Peas: Add snow peas for a crunchy texture.

3. Flavor Enhancements

Ginger: Add grated or thinly sliced fresh ginger along with the garlic for extra zing.

Hoisin Sauce: Add a tablespoon of hoisin sauce for a sweeter, richer flavor.

Oyster Sauce: Add a tablespoon of oyster sauce for depth and umami.

Tips for Perfect Stir-Fried Cabbage

1. High Heat and Quick Cooking

Stir-frying requires high heat and quick cooking to preserve the texture and color of the vegetables. Make sure your skillet or wok is hot before adding the ingredients.

2. Prep Ahead

Have all your ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking. Stir-frying happens quickly, and you won’t have time to chop vegetables once you begin.

3. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan

Avoid overcrowding the pan, as this can cause the vegetables to steam rather than stir-fry, resulting in a soggy texture. If necessary, cook in batches.

4. Consistent Cutting

Try to cut your vegetables into uniform sizes for even cooking. This ensures that all ingredients are cooked to the same tenderness.

5. Adjust Seasoning

Taste the dish before serving and adjust the seasoning if needed. Add more soy sauce, salt, or pepper according to your preference.

The Cultural Significance of Stir-Fried Cabbage

Stir-fried cabbage is a staple in many Asian cuisines, particularly in Chinese cooking. It’s a simple yet flavorful dish that showcases the natural sweetness and crunch of cabbage. In Chinese culture, cabbage is often associated with prosperity and good fortune, making it a popular ingredient during celebrations and festivals.

Chinese Cuisine

In Chinese cuisine, cabbage is commonly used in stir-fries, soups, and dumplings. It pairs well with a variety of flavors, from the umami-rich soy sauce to the spicy notes of chili. The simplicity of stir-fried cabbage allows it to complement more elaborate dishes, making it a versatile side.

Nutritional Information and Health Benefits

Vitamins and Minerals

Cabbage is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the growth and repair of tissues, and vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting and bone health. It also contains smaller amounts of other vitamins and minerals, including folate, manganese, and vitamin B6.


The antioxidants in cabbage, such as polyphenols and sulfur compounds, help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases. These compounds can neutralize free radicals, reducing oxidative stress in the body.

Digestive Health

The fiber in cabbage promotes healthy digestion by adding bulk to stools and facilitating regular bowel movements. It also supports a healthy gut microbiome, which is linked to improved immunity and overall health.

Weight Management

Due to its low calorie content and high fiber, cabbage is an excellent food for weight management. It can help you feel full longer, reducing the likelihood of overeating.

Common Questions About Stir-Fried Cabbage

1. Can I Use Red Cabbage Instead of Green Cabbage?

Yes, you can use red cabbage in place of green cabbage. Red cabbage has a slightly different flavor and a vibrant color, which can add visual appeal to the dish.

2. How Long Can I Store Stir-Fried Cabbage?

Stir-fried cabbage can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it in a skillet or microwave before serving.

3. Can I Make Stir-Fried Cabbage Ahead of Time?

You can prepare and chop the vegetables ahead of time, but it’s best to stir-fry them just before serving to maintain their texture and flavor.

4. What Can I Serve with Stir-Fried Cabbage?

Stir-fried cabbage pairs well with a variety of dishes. Serve it with steamed rice, grilled meats, tofu, or as part of a larger spread with other stir-fried vegetables.

5. Is Stir-Fried Cabbage Gluten-Free?

The basic recipe for stir-fried cabbage is gluten-free. However, if you add soy sauce, ensure it is gluten-free or use tamari as a substitute.

See Also: Cooking Chinese Cabbage


Stir-fried cabbage is a simple, quick, and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed in countless ways. Its versatility makes it suitable for various dietary preferences and cuisines. Whether you’re preparing a quick weeknight dinner or looking for a healthy side dish, this super easy stir-fried cabbage recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen. With the tips and variations provided, you can customize it to suit your taste and make it a regular part of your meal rotation. Enjoy the health benefits and delicious flavors of this humble vegetable in a dish that’s as easy to make as it is satisfying.



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