Chinese red cabbage recipe

(327 ratings)

Chinese red cabbage is a delicious Asian twist on this traditional side dish. This easy recipe takes just moments to prepare so is perfect as a midweek meal

Chinese red cabbage
  • healthy
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories170 Kcal9%
Fat8 g11%

This Chinese red cabbage is packed with Asian flavours like soy, sesame, garlic, and ginger. It still has a little bite to it when it’s cooked and goes perfectly with rich meats like duck.

This easy recipe is also good cold and can be packed into lunch boxes quite along with some protein to fill you up – think leftover chicken or tofu. If you like your food spicy, then you can add an extra sprinkling of chilli slices across the top of the cabbage once you’re ready to serve. Chinese red cabbage is a deliciously fragrant alternative to more traditional red cabbage recipes (opens in new tab).


  • 1.25kg (2 3/4lb) large red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2-3 red chillies, halved, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized piece fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 level tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil




  1. Put all the ingredients, except the spring onions, sesame seeds and sesame oil, into a large pan with a lid and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, then uncover and cook for a further 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated.
  3. Stir in half the spring onions and half the sesame seeds. Spoon into a large bowl and sprinkle with the rest of the spring onions, sesame seeds and the sesame oil.

Top tips for making this Chinese red cabbage

If you prefer cabbage to have less bite and be a bit softer, add more liquid and cook on a low heat, uncovered, for an extra 20 minutes or so. To bulk up the recipe, stir through some cooked egg noodles and heat through.

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Rosie Hopegood
Recipe Editor

Rosie Hopegood is a former professional chef turned journalist with a passion for veggie food. She spent several years working as a chef aboard superyachts, catering for the culinary demands of the very rich and sometimes famous. She also worked as a private chef in the Swiss Alps, the Scottish Highlands, and the Balearic Islands. Later, she spent five years looking after the food pages at Reach Plc’s magazines. Rosie lives in New York and writes for Al Jazeera, Sunday Telegraph, and The Guardian.