Sautéed Cabbage with Miso and Scallions

March 7, 2015 at 9:16 pm (B plus (3.5 stars, like a lot), Cook's Illustrated, Cruciferous rich, Derek's faves, East and SE Asia, Quick weeknight recipe)

Alma is six weeks old tomorrow, and I’m finally finding a tiny bit of time to do some cooking. Derek brought home a savoy cabbage and a bunch of scallions, and I decided to try this Cook’s Illustrated recipe, even though it calls for green cabbage, not savoy cabbage. The recipe recommends soaking the cabbage briefly to reduce bitterness / sulfurous and provide extra moisture to help the cabbage steam. I wasn’t sure if the savoy cabbage needed this step, but I did it anyway.


  • 1 small head green cabbage (1 1/4 pounds), cored and sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded (I didn’t have any carrots so I subbed in a few crimini mushrooms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced to paste
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Place cabbage in large bowl and cover with cold water; let stand for 3 minutes. Drain cabbage well and set aside. Meanwhile, whisk miso, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, and pepper flakes together in bowl.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrot, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer onion mixture to small bowl.
  3. Return now-empty skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and heat until shimmering. Add cabbage and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, without stirring, until cabbage is wilted and lightly browned on bottom, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir and continue to cook, uncovered, until cabbage is crisp-tender and lightly browned in places, about 4 minutes longer, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in onion mixture, miso mixture, and scallions. Season with salt to taste, transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and serve.
  5. Serves 4 to 6.

My notes:

I had already sliced my cabbage and removed the core, so I tried using 1 pound 2 ounces of sliced cabbage, figuring the core would weigh around 2 ounces. But when I tried to fit all that cabbage in my 12-inch skillet, it would not fit. I think in the end I could only fit in a little under a pound of sliced cabbage. Maybe green cabbage is less bulky, and I could have fit more in?

After cooking the cabbage for 3 minutes without stirring, it had started to burn in quite a few places. Either I had the heat to high or I had let the cabbage dry off too much, since I ended up soaking the cabbage several hours before I finally managed to cook it. (I had to feed and change and entertain the baby in between.) I ended up adding several tablespoons of water to prevent the burning.

I forgot the rice vinegar in the recipe, and had a bit of trouble getting the miso mixture mixed in evenly. So some bites were more miso-y than others. But in general the recipe turned out well. We ate it over brown rice, and both Derek and I enjoyed it.

Cook’s Illustrated has three other variations in this recipe line that I’d like to try: Sautéed Cabbage with Fennel and Garlic (see post here), a spicy version with red onion, jalapenos, lime and cilantro (Sautéed Cabbage with Chile and Peanuts), and a pretty basic one with just onion and a little lemon juice (Sautéed Cabbage with Parsley and Lemon). But I probably won’t try them for a while, since my mom thinks I should try laying off the cruciferous vegetables for a week, to see if the baby is any less gassy.

I haven’t served Alma this miso-version yet, but I hope to give it a try soon. I think she’ll like it, except for perhaps the scallions.

Note that the original recipe called for a nonstick skillet, but we have had no problems making this in our heavy 12-inch stainless steel skillet.


  1. Tallulah said,

    It’s nice to see that you have found a little time to cook 🙂

  2. Sautéed Cabbage with Fennel and Garlic | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] in March I made the Cook’s Illustrated recipe Sautéed Cabbage with Miso and Scallions, and we liked it, so I wanted to try some of the other variants. This week I tried the version with […]

  3. Spring Rolls | The captious vegetarian said,

    […] I thought “Spring Rolls!” I cooked most of the cabbage with a carrot, roughly following this recipe for cabbage with miso. (I didn’t have any scallions though.) I left a little cabbage raw, cut up a red bell pepper, […]

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