Cabbage was originally found growing wild on the seashore of Southern Europe, England, and Denmark. Some varieties of cabbage were known as far back as the early days of Greece. Other vegetables that have developed from the early strains of cabbage include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and kohlrabi.
For information on cabbage varieties in Ohio, contact your county educator in agriculture and natural resources at Ohio State University Extension, or a master gardener volunteer.
- Look for well-trimmed heads, heavy for their size and solid for the variety.
- Leaves should be crisp. The stem end should be dry.
- Avoid decayed, burst, or broken heads.
- Yellowed, wilted leaves indicate age.
Types of Cabbage:
Green cabbage is the most common type. Popular varieties include:
- Early (December through May) has a conical (pointed) head, is not tightly packed, and is light green.
- Domestic (May through Autumn) has a slightly flat head, is firm and tightly formed with leaves that are crisp but brittle and is moderately green.
- Danish (late variety) has a smooth, round head, is very hard and compact, and is almost white.
Red cabbage has a pointed head and is purple red in color.
Savoy cabbage (October through December) has a flattened head, is loosely formed with yellowish-green crimped leaves, and is great for coleslaw.
Chinese (michikli or celery) cabbage has a long tapering head with crinkly leaf ends and a solid core.
Due to many variables including moisture content, size, and variety, it is difficult to give specific recommendations. The following recommendations are approximations.
- 1 bag or crate = 50 pounds.
- 1 bushel = about 32 pounds.
- 50 pounds = 16–20 quarts.
- 10 pounds shredded cabbage = 3–4 quarts sauerkraut.
- 1 medium head of Chinese cabbage or 1 head (about 1½ pounds) of green, savoy, or red cabbage = approximately 4 servings.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends 2½ cups of a variety of vegetables each day as part of a healthy diet. Cabbage is an excellent way to help meet that nutritional requirement. Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable. It is full of antioxidants that help prevent cancer and provides wide range of nutritional benefits:
- It is rich in vitamin C, with 1 cup of shredded raw green cabbage containing 22 mg of vitamin C, which is 1/3 of the daily requirement.
- Cabbage is a fair source of thiamin, riboflavin, fiber, and potassium.
- One cup of shredded raw green cabbage has only 17 calories.
- Cabbage stores well at 32 degrees Fahrenheit and 90 percent relative humidity if well-ventilated.
- Cabbage wilts rapidly in dry storage.
- Domestic and early cabbages do not keep well.
- Remove and discard outer leaves and ribs.
- To remove dirt, bacteria, and possible pesticide residue, wash cabbage thoroughly in cold water. Lift out of the water to prevent redepositing of dirt and residues, drain, and then rinse the cabbage several times with cold water.
- Do not use soap, detergent, or bleach when washing because the cabbage may absorb these liquids.
- Shred just before using to minimize exposure to air.
- Use in coleslaws or tossed salads (especially red cabbage). Include a variety of other fresh produce.
- Stir-fry in a small amount of oil at medium-high heat (see recipe below).
- Sauté by heating 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add several cups of shredded cabbage and pan fry until just wilted (about 10 minutes). Stir often. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Boil cabbage wedges or shredded cabbage in a saucepan with approximately one inch of boiling water. Cover the pan. Cook wedges 10 to 15 minutes; shredded cabbage 3 to 10 minutes or until tender crisp. Add salt or other seasonings. Allspice, caraway seed, cloves, curry, mustard, or tarragon work especially well.
- Cook quickly in a small amount of water because vitamin C is lost in water. Serve immediately. If not, cool quickly. Use cooking liquid whenever possible.
- Use as the only vegetable in soups, stews, or cabbage rolls.
Deconstructed Egg Rolls
Yield: 2–4 servings
Time: Approximately 30 minutes
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- ½ cup slivered red or green pepper
- ½ cup grated carrots
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- four 6-inch wonton wrappers
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, divided
- Heat a large saucepan over burner until warm.
- Place wonton wrappers in one at a time and heat until browned slightly, about 2 minutes. Turn wonton wrappers over and brown until crispy (about 2 minutes). Set aside.
- In same saucepan, add oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add shredded cabbage, carrots, peppers, and mix and toss over medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Mix in soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil and cook for 3–4 minutes.
- Add 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
- Cut wontons diagonally and place on serving platter.
- Top with cabbage mixture and sprinkle with remaining cilantro.
For information on preserving cabbage, go to ohioline.osu.edu or contact your local Ohio State University Extension office for the following fact sheet:
Kelly, Tammy, and Jennifer Stroud. 2018. “Cabbage, Quick and Easy Healthy Dinners and Sides.” Lenoir County Center, North Carolina State Extension. lenoir.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/06/cabbage-quick-and-easy-healthy-dinners-and-sides.
National Center for Home Food Preservation. n.d. University of Georgia, College of Family and Consumer Sciences (website). Accessed June 28, 2021. nchfp.uga.edu.
University of Illinois Extension. n.d. “Cabbage.” Watch Your Garden Grow. Accessed July 15, 2021. extension.illinois.edu/veggies/cabbage.cfm.
U.S. Department of Agriculture. n.d. “My Plate, U.S. Department of Agriculture.” Vegetables. Accessed July 15, 2021. choosemyplate.gov/vegetables.
Williams, Treva, Snyder, Abigail, and Bergefurd, Brad. 2017. “Making and Preserving Sauerkraut.” Ohioline (The Ohio State University) HYG-5364. 2017. ohioline.osu.edu/factsheet/hyg-5364.
Revised 2021: Amy Meehan, Program Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension
Original reviewer: Lydia Medeiros, PhD, RD, Specialist, Ohio State University Extension
Original author: Barbara A. Brahm, Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension