Stewed Cabbage, a traditional Romanian dish that is hearty and absolutely delicious. It uses fresh dill for extra flavour. It's very easy to make with fresh seasonal cabbage, and on the table in about half an hour.
It might not sound too interesting, but once you had some, there is no going back, you'll find yourself cooking this cabbage recipe again and again. Best served with red or green chilli peppers and polenta.
Romanians love cabbage, either fresh, as a nice salad with vinegar and oil, braised, with or without meat, or pickled - sauerkraut, which is usually used to make our national dish Romanian cabbage rolls with rice and meat, usually pork, but chicken or beef are also common.
Cabbage loves dill and bay leaves, you could cook it without, but you won't get the full flavour and won't appreciate the real taste.This dish turns out to be really cheap, from one medium cabbage you can easily feed 2 or 3 people. Shredding cabbage might not be a pleasant task, or, at least l find it boring, but the result is just delicious.
Once the whole cabbage is shredded, you might think it's too much and won't go in the pan, that is why it has go in the pan in batches, because once it softens a bit, you realise it's not that much after all.
And that's because cabbage releases quite a lot of water when cooking. Pretty much like cooking mushrooms actually. Another tip is to rub it with some salt before adding it to the pan, it will cooked faster and it will definitely taste better. Be generous with the tomato paste, it brings the whole dish to the very next level.
- medium white cabbage - I used savoy cabbage, but the regular white one can do)
- vegetable oil
- red bell pepper
- tomato paste
- salt & black pepper
- bay leaves
- freshly-chopped dill
Step-by-step photos and instructions
This dish is so simple - and vegan too, although it can be served as a side dish, in Romania we actually serve it as a main dish.
- heat up the oil in a large pan
- add the chopped onion and cook on a low to medium heat until golden
- now the paprika can be added - give it a good stir
- add the chopped peppers, garlic and tomato paste, and leave to simmer for 2-3 minutes
- add the shredded cabbage in batches, stirring until the cabbage softens a bit
- cover with water, and leave to cook until the cabbage is tender and the water is reduced
- add the tomato paste, and season with salt and pepper
- garnish with fresh chopped dill
And that's all! Isn't it easy? It might not be an Irish dish, but it could certainly go down a treat on St Patrick's Day too.
I really love this dish, it takes me straight back home where l had the best childhood and the best food. You can't be a child again, but you can certainly taste the same awesome food. And that without spending a fortune. Isn't that amazing?
I used savoy cabbage for this dish, but regular white cabbage should do - it's so easy to shred them by using a large sharp knife.
This dish can be taken to the very next level by adding some delicious protein to it. My first choices would be bacon, sausages or leftover roast of any kind.
If you have it as a side, my favourite way to serve it is with Cornmeal Fried Fish and polenta. There is something so delicious about the whole combo, that I can't think of anything better as comfort food.
As a vegan/vegetarian option, I would definitely go for tofu, soya or vegan sausages - they would go down a treat. What would you go for? I can't wait to hear from you!
If you liked this stewed cabbage, how about my Cabbage Soup with Bacon? It's really delicious, and super cheap to make too.
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- 1 medium white cabbage ( I used savoy cabbage, but the regular white one can do)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly-chopped dill
- Shred the cabbage, sprinkle salt over it and rub it with your hands. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- Meantime, heat up the oil in a large pan, and fry the onions on a low to medium heat until golden.
- Add the peppers and cabbage in batches if necessary to allow it to soften - once it's soft, it will reduce its volume.
- Keep stirring with a wooden spoon, when the cabbage is starting to soften, cover it with water and leave to cook on a medium heat until very tender.
- Season with more salt if needed, add the black pepper, tomato paste and dill and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Serve hot with polenta and chilli peppers.