3-ingredient Charred Cabbage, aka a better, healthier and tastier fried cabbage recipe! This recipe is as simple as can be, and the flavor lies in the cooking technique. Instead of sautéing the cabbage, char it in a ripping hot skillet with oil. The only other thing it needs is a bit of salt and pepper.
Why I love this Recipe
This recipe was born out of a savory breakfast craving/experiment. High heat + oil + cabbage + salt are a simple combination that results in spectacular savory flavor.
The most important step is cooking over high heat in oil—we’re basically lightly frying the cabbage. But unlike most fried cabbage recipes, instead of stirring and sautéing it, we’re letting it char. That brown char is what gives the cabbage so much umami flavor.
What I love most about this recipe is that it’s so dang simple yet you’d never know it by looking at the ingredient list
Just 3 Ingredients for Fried Cabbage
- Red or green cabbage
- Avocado oil, or other high heat oil such as safflower, soybean, or sunflower
- Kosher salt or flaky sea salt
Step-By-Step Instructions for Charred Cabbage
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet over high for 5 minutes. This ensures the pan is evenly heat and very hot!
- While the skillet preheats, cut the cabbage in half, then into ½-inch to ¾-inch slices.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot skillet and swirl to coat, or use a pastry brush to brush the oil around the skillet.
- Add the cabbage planks to the skillet in an even layer. They won’t all fit in the large skillet all at once, so you’ll need to cook the cabbage in batches.
- Let the cabbage fry, without moving, until deeply browned on the first side. Season with salt then flip and continue to cook until the second side is browned.
FAQs & Test Kitchen Tips
Quite frankly, the cast-iron skillet is very important for getting that nice browning on the cabbage, but you can absolutely make this in a nonstick skillet. You may need a few more minutes per side to achieve nice browning.
I serve this charred cabbage as a side dish! It’s great alongside pork chops, corned beef, burger, skewers, and more. It has a slightly Asian flavor to it, so it’s also great when served as a bed for tofu with tons of fresh herbs.
I don’t recommend making this fried cabbage too far in advance. It’s best served warm or right out of the pan. I usually cook each batch then transfer it all back to the skillet to keep warm until I’m ready to serve it.
Variations on this charred cabbage recipe
- Cut the cabbage into wedges instead of slices.
- Add some heat by seasoning with black pepper or red pepper flakes.
- Make it kinda smoky by seasoning with smoked paprika in the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Make it more Southern by cooking some bacon in the skillet then frying the cabbage in bacon grease. Add the crispy bacon to the charred cabbage right before serving.
- Make this with green cabbage and finish with a little acid—vinegar or lemon juice would be delicious.
More Cabbage Recipes to Love…
Did you make this fried cabbage recipe? Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!Print
This simple recipe is a great go-to side dish. Savory, full of charred umami flavor, and totally versatile. Serve with pork chops, corned beef, burgers, tofu and more.
- 1 small red or green cabbage
- 2–3 tablespoons avocado oil or high heat oil
- Kosher salt or flaky sea salt
- Preheat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut cabbage in half, top to bottom. Then lay cut-side down and slice crosswise into ½- to ¾-inch planks.
- Decrease heat to medium, add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and swirl to coat, place about 4 cabbage planks in an even layer in skillet. Cook, without moving, until charred on the first side, about 5 minutes; season with salt, flip and continue to cook until charred on second side, 5 more minutes.
- Transfer to a platter or shallow bowl and repeat process with remaining oil and cabbage.
- Season with salt to taste. Optional, season with pepper to taste.
It's important to use a high-heat cooking oil here. I recommend avocado oil, though safflower, soybean or sunflower oil will also work.
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 43
- Sugar: 4.5g
- Sodium: 496mg
- Fat: 1g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 8.5g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: charred cabbage, fried cabbage