Cabbage and Chinese cabbage storage and preserving tips

The recommended methods of preserving green and Chinese cabbage are freezing or as a sauerkraut product.

What is the difference between Chinese cabbage and green cabbage? Chinese cabbage has upright, tall, round, barrel-shaped dense heads, with leaves that are slightly wrinkled and thinner. Regular cabbage has wide crisp leaves. Cabbage and Chinese cabbage are both cool-season vegetables that are best when grown in early spring or fall temperatures around 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

One medium head of cabbage is usually 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds. One pound of cabbage will yield 3 ½ to 4 ½ cups of shredded cabbage.

To store cabbage, always remove any wilted or insect-damaged outside leaves and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

The recommended methods of preserving green and Chinese cabbage are freezing or as a sauerkraut product. Frozen or dried green and Chinese cabbage are suitable only for use as cooked vegetables and used in dishes such as soups, stews and casseroles. If you want to preserve some cabbage Michigan State University Extension has the following tips for you.

To freeze cabbage  

  1. Select solids heads.
  2. Trim the coarse outer leaves off.
  3. Cut cabbage into medium to coarse shreds or thin wedges or simply separate the leaves of the head of cabbage.
  4. Water blanch it for 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Cool it in ice water for 1 ½ minutes.
  6. Drain and pat dry.
  7. Package, leaving ½ inch headspace.
  8. Seal, label, date and freeze.

To dehydrate cabbage

  1. Remove the outer leaves
  2. Quarter and core the head
  3. Cut the quarters into strips 1/8 inch thick
  4. Water blanch for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or steam blanch for 2 ½ to 3 minutes or until it is wilted
  5. Dehydrate approximately 10-12 hours in a dehydrator.

Keep in mind, plain cabbage is not recommended for canning because of the possibility of discolorations and strong flavor. Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage that is salted and fermented. For more information on making sauerkraut, refer to the Michigan Fresh website cabbage bulletin.

Whether you choose to use green cabbage or Chinese cabbage, both are great to use and full of fiber and nutrients and can be made into, or added to, a variety of dishes.

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