How to Cook Cabbage in the Microwave

Steaming cabbage in the microwave is faster, more nutritious and less smelly than boiling it.
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Like other cruciferous vegetables, cabbage is rich in fiber, vitamin C and beta-carotene, according to the University of Illinois Extension. Unfortunately, cooking cabbage by boiling may leach away some or all of these valuable nutrients.

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Cooking it in aluminum pots can also cause the cabbage to release sulfurous compounds into your kitchen, per the University of Illinois Extension. Microwave cabbage in non-metal containers to help preserve its nutrients and prevent it from creating a smelly house. Microwaving also speeds up the cooking process, and you only have to add water to make a nutritious steamed cabbage recipe.

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Here's how to microwave cabbage in a few simple steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Cabbage

  • Water

  • Sharp knife

  • Food processor (optional)

  • Large microwave-safe container with lid

  • Your favorite seasonings

  • Plastic wrap (optional)

  • Fork

1.​ Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and discard them.

2.​ Rinse the head of cabbage under running water to remove any dirt, debris or chemical residue from it.

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3.​ Cut the cabbage into wedges or remove the core of the cabbage and shred it by hand with a knife or in a food processor.

4.​ Place the cabbage into a microwave-safe container that can accommodate all of the cabbage you have. Add a small amount of water — no more than a few tablespoons — to the container.

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You can sprinkle salt, pepper or other seasonings to your cabbage either before or after the cooking process to add some flavor.

Mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice or red wine vinegar to red cabbage before microwaving to help preserve its color when cooking it — it also adds a tangy flavor to your cabbage and won't add unnecessary fats or calories to it. Along with vinegar, you can also add some apple slices, raisins, cloves and a bit of sugar to your cabbage before microwaving it for a sweet-and-sour cabbage dish.

5.​ Cover the container with its lid or with plastic wrap, and poke a hole in the wrap to vent it.

Warning

When using plastic wrap to cover your cabbage, don't allow it to touch the cabbage — plastic wrap can melt. Doing so prevents any chemicals from being transferred to the cabbage from the plastic during the cooking process, per Harvard Health Publishing.

6.​ Cook the cabbage for around 6 to 14 minutes in the microwave on high. Stop the microwave after 4 minutes to stir the cabbage, which ensures even cooking.

Continue to check the cabbage every 5 minutes until it is tender when you poke it with a fork. Allow it to sit for a few minutes before serving.

How to Buy and Store Cabbage

Buy cabbage that isn't bruised or damaged. Wash cabbage thoroughly under plain, running water before cooking, as advised by the FDA. Refiregate cabbage within 2 hours after you cut, peel or cook it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Store your cooked cabbage in the refrigerator, set to around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, for 3 to 5 days, or freeze it for up to a year in an air-tight container at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

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