What Part of Cabbage is Edible: A Guide to Eating Cabbage

Cabbage is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked, and it can also be fermented to create delicious dishes like sauerkraut or kimchi. But what part of cabbage is edible? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different parts of cabbage and how to prepare them.

What is Cabbage?

Cabbage is a leafy green vegetable that belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which includes other popular veggies like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. There are several different varieties of cabbage, including green cabbage, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, and Napa cabbage.

Parts of Cabbage That are Edible

The Leaves

The most commonly consumed part of cabbage is the leaves. These are the large, green, and sometimes veiny sections that cover the outside of the cabbage head. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and they are used in many popular dishes like coleslaw and sautéed cabbage.

When preparing cabbage leaves, it’s important to remove any tough or wilted sections. You can do this by simply peeling off the outer layers until you reach the crisp and fresh inner leaves.

The Core

The core of the cabbage is the tough, white center that holds the leaves together. While the core is technically edible, it’s not typically consumed due to its toughness and fibrous texture. However, you can remove the core and chop up the remaining leaves for use in stir-fries, salads, or soups.

The Stem

The stem of the cabbage is the thick, white section that connects the leaves and the root. Like the core, it’s not commonly eaten due to its tough texture. However, you can remove the stem and chop up the remaining leaves for use in coleslaw, salads, or stir-fries.

How to Prepare Cabbage

Cooking Methods

Cabbage can be cooked in a variety of ways, including steaming, boiling, roasting, sautéing, or grilling. The cooking method you choose will depend on the dish you’re preparing and your personal preferences.

  • Steaming: This is a healthy cooking method that helps preserve the nutrients in cabbage. Simply place chopped cabbage in a steamer basket and cook until tender.
  • Boiling: Boiling cabbage is another popular method that’s great for making dishes like cabbage rolls or stuffed cabbage. However, boiling can also result in a strong, sulfurous odor that some people find unpleasant.
  • Roasting: This is a delicious way to bring out the sweetness in cabbage. Simply chop the cabbage into wedges or slices, drizzle with olive oil, and roast in the oven until crispy and tender.
  • Sautéing: This is a quick and easy way to cook cabbage. Simply heat some oil in a pan, add chopped cabbage, and cook until tender.
  • Grilling: Grilled cabbage is a fun and flavorful way to eat this vegetable. Simply cut it into wedges or slices, brush with olive oil, and grill until charred and crisp.


Here are a few simple recipes that showcase the versatility of cabbage:

Simple Coleslaw


  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and shredded carrot.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.
  3. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to combine.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Stir-Fried Cabbage and Carrots


  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the cabbage and carrots and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

Common Questions About Eating Cabbage

Here are some of the most common questions people have about eating cabbage:

  • Do you have to remove the outer leaves of the cabbage before eating it?
  • You don’t have to remove the outer leaves of the cabbage before eating it, but it’s a good idea to do so if they’re wilted or damaged.

  • Can you eat the core and stem of the cabbage?
  • While the core and stem are technically edible, they’re often tough and fibrous, so they’re not commonly eaten.

  • What’s the best way to store cabbage?
  • Cabbage can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Place the whole head of cabbage in a plastic bag and keep it in the crisper drawer.

  • How do you know when cabbage is bad?
  • Cabbage that is wilted, slimy, or has developed mold is no longer safe to eat and should be discarded.

  • What are some other ways to eat cabbage?
  • Cabbage can be used in a variety of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, stews, salads, and even smoothies. It’s also a popular ingredient in fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.


Cabbage is a nutritious and delicious vegetable that can be eaten in a variety of ways. By understanding the different parts of cabbage and how to prepare them, you can create a range of tasty and healthy dishes that are sure to please everyone.


  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/cabbage
  • https://www.thespruceeats.com/all-about-cabbage-4069761
  • https://www.delish.com/recipe/recipes/a22554733/easy-coleslaw-recipe/
  • https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/stir-fried-cabbage-and-red-peppers-51193490

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