sauteed cabbage with hot sauce

I don’t know what convinced me to save this recipe. It’s just cabbage. I didn’t even know what sambal oelek was. Molly certainly doesn’t give it the most raving recommendation.

I’m so glad I did though, because I got to see this line again: “…sometimes, when I sit very still and let my mind go to the places where it goes when I don’t stop it, I miss those days so much.” I want to read that over and over. I have read it over and over.

What days am I missing so much?  Does it even matter?  I can think of a few in particular, but there are so many times that I wouldn’t mind going back to visit.  Maybe someday I’ll look back on today and miss it so much.

Fortunately, the cabbage is worth making not just because it accompanies a beautiful blog entry, but because of its flavor and ease. A few simple ingredients provide a salty spicy savory mix to what starts as a rather bland vegetable. Sometimes I miss this cabbage so much.  But then I just go make some more.

One year ago: Applesauce Snack Cake (Don’t let fall pass you by without making this!)
Two years ago: Green Chile Rellenos

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Spicy Sautéed Cabbage (adapted from Orangette)

All of the ingredient amounts in this simple recipe will vary depending on your taste and the size of your cabbage.

½ head green cabbage, quartered, cored, and sliced into ¼-inch-thick ribbons
1 tablespoon canola oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoons sambal oelek
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Heat a 12-inch not-nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the cabbage, oil, and salt. Add the cabbage mixture to the hot skillet and cook without stirring for 1 minute. Stir in the hot sauce and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is browned and wilted. Stir in the soy sauce; taste for seasoning, adding additional salt or soy sauce if necessary; serve.


  1. I’m always looking for ways to eat cabbage other than with caraway. I’ll likely have to find a substitute for the sambal oelek but I think I can approximate the flavor. Thanks.

  2. MMM sambal oelek is a staple in our house (along with the chili garlic sauce that comes in an almost identical container). This looks so good!

    I am in awe of the way Molly captures thoughts that we all have but can’t put into words…she’s amazing.

  3. Ammie says:

    This looks interesting, ingredients I always have on hand but never thought to put together. I will have to try it.

  4. I love cabbage and this looks like a new and different way to try it! Best of all, my spice-loving husband will like it too.

  5. This may convince the Veggie-Hating Husband to at least try cabbage when we start getting inundated by the CSA. He’s getting better, but the spice may kick him over the edge.

    And a beautiful quotation to boot!

  6. Dee Cole says:

    We’re having friends over for dinner this evening, and since we girls are all on a strict no carb/sugar/dairy program, this looks like a divine side-dish option. And I LOVE spicy food so I can’t wait to try this!!