How to Steam Cook Cabbage

by A.J. Andrews ; Updated September 28, 2017

Use a bamboo steamer to cook your bok choy.

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Steaming is an ideal method of preparing cabbage – moist air envelops the leaves and gently heats the cabbage with little risk of overcooking, which helps retain its texture, nutrient content and vibrant color. All five of the most-common cabbage varietals – Napa, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, red and savoy – respond well to steaming.

Insert the steamer basket or bamboo steamer into your pot and add enough water to come to the bottom edge of the steamer. Bring water to a boil.

Remove any wilted and discolored leaves from the cabbage and rinse under cool running water.

Cut the cabbage into quarters and cut out the dense pieces of stem. Pull the leaves away from long-leaved cabbages, such as Napa or bok choy.

Cut or shred the cabbage into strips 1/2 inch wide if desired. Cutting the cabbage shortens cooking time and facilitates steaming. Cut long-leaved cabbage crosswise.

Place the cabbage in the steamer basket, cover the bamboo steamer or pot and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Steam cabbage wedges for 10 to 12 minutes.

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About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.