Cabbage is a versatile vegetable. There are a number of varieties which can be prepared in different cuisine styles. It can be served raw, boiled, steamed, stir-fried, braised, sautéed, prepared in a microwave or canned. Let’s concentrate on cooking with cabbage and see what can be learned.

You may have avoided cooking cabbage because you know it can smell rather foul. The rotten egg smell, caused by hydrogen sulfide, is often the result of overcooking. You can avoid this smell by cooking your cabbage quickly rather than following a long, drawn out recipe. Of course, if you’re trying to make homemade sauerkraut, you may just have to resign yourself to the fact that the smell will linger. The method you choose to cook cabbage can also have an effect on whether or not it causes a stink.

Did you know there are over 400 varieties of cabbage? Obviously your local grocery store isn’t going to have every variety, but you may be able to find some of these:

  • Green cabbage is the variety most people are familiar with. It is firm and dense with smooth leaves. It is often used in coleslaw, sauerkraut and wrapped around fillings for pigs in a blanket.
  • Red cabbage is similar in shape and size to the green cabbage except it is red or purplish in color. It is often used in stir-fry or cut up raw and placed in salads.
  • Savoy cabbage is an Italian variety. It has crinkly leaves as well as a milder, sweeter flavor which makes it a good choice for steaming.
  • Brussels sprouts are usually no longer than 2 inches long. They are generally boiled or sauteed in butter.
  • Napa Cabbage is often featured in Asian cuisine.
  • Bok Choy is a Chinese variety which has a peppery taste and is used in Asian dishes.

Cabbage rolls, or pigs in a blanket, is a dish where a pork filling is placed in the cabbage leaf, rolled up and then baked. Sauerkraut is commonly added to hot dogs or a Reuben sandwich. Kim Chee is Korean pickled cabbage. You can also find shredded cabbage in egg rolls as well as a number of other dishes.

Not everyone likes cabbage, but if you do you’re in luck. Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that can be used in so many ways. It is normally available year-round which makes it something you can prepare and serve your family whenever you like.