A succulent yet modest side dish. It’s a buttered cabbage that will please your tongue as well as it graces the plate.

Cabbage is an excellent replacement to carbohydrate heavy sides, like rice or pasta. Finding suitable side-dishes is often a problem when sticking to a low-carb diet, so this recipe is a welcome addition to the healthy kitchen.  I’ve kept the flavour mild, allowing you to pair it with a stronger main. You can eat it on its own, though I find a good partner brings out a strong flavour contrast.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get a decent tasting white cabbage dish. The preparation consists mainly of slicing the cabbage and bringing water to a boil. It’s likewise a forgiving recipe that’s hard to get wrong. Variation on the quantities on the ingredients is fine. Leaving it cook too long, or taking it off too early, no problem either — though erring on the side of too short is best, lest it get needlessly mushy. This makes it perfect to cook alongside another dish, one that might be more demanding of your time.

It’s possible you have a look of disbelief now, because hey, it’s steamed cabbage. Your memory may scream “bland” about now. I guess you must trust me on this. The spices lightly accent the flavour, but the frying in butter enriches the taste. Put aside past experience and allow yourself to rediscover the cabbage.

Pictured: Topped with some sliced spring onions and roasted tomatoes, alongside a soy and tomato chili.

Steamed and Fried Cabbage


  1. 1 medium
    White Cabbage
  2. 3 teaspoon
    Fennel Seed
  3. 2 teaspoon
  4. 2 clove
  5. 3 teaspoon
    yellowMustard Seed
  6. 100 g
    Sweet CreamButter
  7. ¹⁄₂ teaspoon


  • steamer / large pot with steamer inset
  • pot
  • stove



  1. Add water to steamer, or to a large pot with a steamer inset. Turn on the stove.
  2. Slice the cabbage into fine strips. Add to the steamer.
  3. Dice the garlic and add to the steamer.
  4. Add fennel seed, peppercorn, and mustard seed to the steamer.
  5. Once the water is boiling, reduce to a low temperature. Let steam for about 15 minutes.


  1. Remove the cabbage with spices from the steamer and put it into a pot. If you used a steamer inset you can dump out the water and reuse the same pot.
  2. Add butter and salt to the pot.
  3. Turn stove to high and fry until lightly browned, or about 10minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and serve hot.