Stir-fry cabbage

Jen Ren 2020-04-29 2 minute read

This is a super easy and quick vegetable dish to add to the table. It’s tart and bright because of the vinegar, so it pairs well with most umami dishes. It’s also a go-to because it involves few ingredients, is very cheap to make, and doesn’t take up too much fridge space so you can stock up (I find that I’m able to leave out cabbage at cool room temperatures for a week).


  • 1 green cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped or pressed (optional)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  • vegetable oil (optional)
  • bacon (optional)


If using bacon, first chop into small bits (roughly half-inch thickness). In a large tall pan or wok, fry the strips to desired doneness (I prefer crunchy). Set aside the bacon bits when done and keep remaining bacon fat in the pan.

If not using bacon, heat up some oil (roughly half a tablespoon) in the pan on medium heat. Add in 1 tsp of the black pepper to the oil and the garlic. Fry lightly to release the flavors into the oil.

Add in the white parts of the cabbage first (they are the toughest and need more time to cook down), then the leafier parts on top. The pan will likely be near overflowing, but that’s ok. The cabbage will cook down quite a bit as it releases water. Add a generous pinch of salt atop and gently stir to get the aromatics off the bottom of the pan. Add 2 tbsp of white vinegar and, if using, the soy sauce. Let the cabbage cook down for about 10 minutes uncovered.

After 10 minutes, stir the cabbage in the pan to get the browned parts off the bottom of the pan and mix in the liquids. Add soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper to taste. Continue to cook down the cabbage until translucent.

Once cooked, taste test again and adjust with salt and pepper as desired. If you have bacon bits, now turn off the heat and mix the bits into the pan. Serve!