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How to cook cabbage in South Africa.

In South Africa, cabbage is often cooked until it reaches a tender and slightly crisp texture. The cooking time can vary depending on the specific recipe and the desired level of doneness. Here’s a general guideline for cooking cabbage in South Africa:

1. Start by preparing the cabbage: Remove any damaged outer leaves, and cut the cabbage into wedges or shred it according to your preference.

2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add salt to the boiling water if desired.

3. Carefully place the cabbage wedges or shredded cabbage into the boiling water.

4. Allow the cabbage to cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired tenderness. The cabbage should still retain a slight crunch.

5. Once cooked, drain the cabbage and discard the cooking water.

6. If you plan to use the cabbage in a recipe or as a side dish, you can further cook it by sautéing it with some oil, onions, garlic, and seasonings to enhance the flavors.

Remember that cooking times can vary depending on the size and thickness of the cabbage pieces, so it’s essential to keep an eye on the cabbage as it cooks and check for the desired level of tenderness.

How to cook cabbage South Africa

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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African


  • 1 medium-sized cabbage

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil (such as sunflower or canola oil)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley or coriander) for garnish


  • Remove any outer wilted leaves from the cabbage and cut it into quarters. Remove the core from each quarter and discard.
    2. Slice the cabbage into thin strips or shred it using a sharp knife.
    3. Heat the cooking oil in a large pan or pot over medium heat.
    4. Add the chopped onion to the pan and sauté until it becomes translucent and slightly golden.
    5. Add the minced garlic to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.
    6. Add the shredded cabbage to the pan and stir well to coat it with the oil and onion mixture.
    7. Sprinkle the ground cumin and paprika over the cabbage and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir to distribute the spices evenly.
    8. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and let the cabbage cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
    9. Once the cabbage is cooked to your desired tenderness, remove the lid and continue cooking for a few more minutes to evaporate any excess moisture.
    10. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
    11. Transfer the cooked cabbage to a serving dish and garnish with chopped fresh herbs if desired.
    12. Serve the cabbage as a side dish with your main meal.
    This recipe results in a flavorful and tender cabbage dish. Feel free to adjust the seasonings and spices according to your taste preferences. Enjoy!



When cooking cabbage in South Africa, there are a few things to note to ensure a delicious and authentic result. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
 Variety of Cabbage: In South Africa, the most commonly used cabbage variety is the round-headed white cabbage. This type of cabbage has a mild flavor and is widely available in local markets.
 Preparation: Start by removing the outer leaves of the cabbage and rinsing it thoroughly under cold water. Cut the cabbage into wedges or shred it according to your recipe.
 Cooking Methods: Cabbage can be cooked in various ways in South African cuisine, including boiling, braising, stir-frying, or adding it to stews and soups.
 Seasoning: When it comes to seasoning cabbage in South Africa, flavors like garlic, onions, and spices such as turmeric, cumin, and curry powder are commonly used. Seasonings like salt and black pepper are also added to enhance the taste.
 Adding Proteins: In some South African dishes, cabbage is often combined with proteins like meat, chicken, or beans to create hearty and flavorful meals. Examples include dishes like cabbage and beef stew or cabbage and bean curry.
 Texture: Pay attention to the desired texture of the cabbage. Some recipes call for cabbage to be cooked until it's tender and soft, while others prefer a slightly crisp texture. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to achieve the desired consistency.
 Serving Suggestions: In South Africa, cabbage is often served as a side dish alongside main courses like grilled meats, curries, or traditional dishes such as pap (maize porridge) and stews.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and the specific cooking techniques and seasonings may vary depending on the region or individual preferences. Feel free to explore different recipes and adapt them to suit your taste. Enjoy cooking your cabbage dish with a South African twist!


Serving: 50g
Keyword Cooking cabbage the South African way
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