Cabbage Stir Fry {Vegetarian} // Kiss Me, I’m A Little Irish

140310CabbageStirFry008St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, which means three things: beer, cabbage, and…What was the third one? Oh yeah, more beer.  Preferably of the artificially dyed, green variety. It also means pinches for those who don’t wear green and kisses for those with Irish heritage.  But today I’m going to focus on the cabbage part of this festive holiday. I’ll do green beer next year, I promise 😉

140310CabbageStirFry001140310CabbageStirFry002 New Orleans, being the crazy party-loving city that it is, is always looking for an excuse to celebrate something. And St. Patrick’s Day is no exception. When I was growing up, my family would take my sister and I to the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade every year and, to us, that parade was even more fun than the traditional Mardi Gras parades that preceded it weeks earlier.


The sun was always shining, the music playing, and cabbages soared off of parade floats like rain falling from the sky. Yes, you read that correctly. Cabbages. Being hailed from float-riding partiers out into the masses. I remember frantically running around the crowds as giant leafy heads of greens thudded on the concrete around me. I’d scoop them up into my bag of loot along with the more traditional parade goodies like beads and doubloons, thinking nothing of the odd little tradition.140310CabbageStirFry011

When we’d arrive home, my sister and I would count our newly acquired goods and brag to one another about how many cabbages we’d caught.  I have no idea whether those cabbages actually got eaten. I suspect many of them didn’t.


And while my adult self now guiltily looks back on all the wasted produce (think of how many people those nutrient-rich cabbages could feed!) there will always be a special place in my heart for that weird little parade.  Plus I’m just thankful I never got knocked out by one of those giant, flying balls of produce. Whew, dodged a (green) bullet on that one!140310CabbageStirFry003


This recipe isn’t exactly your traditional Irish cabbage concoction, given its Asian-inspired flavors, but it’s sweet, salty, and spicy notes are sure to put a twist on your St. Patrick’s Day menu no matter where you celebrate. Just steer clear of places where they might be hailing cabbages at your face and you should be all good.



PS: I am 1/8th Irish so I expect lots of web-based kisses from all of you! And I’ll be sending some right back your way, of course 😉


Cabbage Stir Fry {Vegetarian}


  • 4 tablespoons of Coconut oil, divided into 2
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • 3 dried thai chili peppers, soaked in ¼ cup of hot water (reserve water)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 savoy cabbage head, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of miren
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of peanuts, crushed
  • 3 eggs (see notes for substitutions, depending on your diet)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro


Heat coconut oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet or griddle. (See notes about which one I prefer to use.) Add ginger, thai peppers, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until oil is hot and garlic is fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic in this process (reduce heat if necessary). Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.Transfer onion to a plate and set aside.

Add last 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the skillet. Add cabbage, sesame oil, miren, soy sauce, brown sugar, leftover water from soaking peppers, and peanuts. Cook over medium until cabbage is slightly soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Set aside.

(If you want extra protein in the meal, like chicken or tofu, toss it in some flour first and add it here.)

Add eggs to the skillet and scramble.  Once eggs are cooked through, add all of the other ingredients back into the skillet and toss. Taste test and look for a salty, sweet, and spicy flavor combination. Adjust seasoning to tastes if necessary.


If you don’t have thai chili peppers, just use ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes instead. No need to soak them. If you do this, you may want to add a little bit of regular tap water when you get to the part where you cook the cabbage.

I like to use a griddle for this dish. I position it lengthwise across 2 burners, starting out with both on medium-low as I do the garlic, ginger, peppers, and onions. Once the onions are cooked, I scoot them (plus the garlic, etc) to the back part of the griddle and reduce the heat as low as it’ll go while I cook the rest of the ingredients (over medium heat) on the front burner part of the griddle, scooting each one to the back as it finishes cooking. At the end, I just crank the heat up to medium on the back burner too and toss everything together.  Serve with extra salt, cilantro, peppers, and peanuts on the side to be added individually, by taste.

For a vegan alternative, omit the eggs. But substitute with some tofu or lentils for protein.


Leave a Reply