Can You Freeze Cabbage? Yes, Given That You Do It In The Right Way
Freezing cabbages has long been a skill that every single cooking enthusiast tries to excel in.
Now, to those who pay little mind to the culinary world, this must have sounded rather ridiculous as, at first glance, this does not even sound like a challenge at all.
‘Can you freeze cabbage?’ – Is this a question for a 6-year-old? Aren’t they just cabbages? What problem could stem from them? Just throw them in the freezer and your job is done – how hard could it possibly be?
Well, no offense, but if you actually think like that, there is no surprise that you have never managed to get cabbage freezing right.
It is easy to turn your cabbage into frozen veggies, even kids can do that. But keeping their quality during their time in the fridge is another story.
You have to get everything right, otherwise the only mouth your cabbages will go into after you take them out would be that wide opened mouth of your trash bin.
But how? How to exactly get everything right? What order should you follow to freeze your cabbages? No need to fret! All will be disclosed right here so just stay tuned!
How To Freeze Cabbage For Storage
1. Which Types of Cabbage Can You Freeze
1.1. Green Cabbage
You should be very familiar with green cabbages already, but do you know which are the best ones in the store? We’ll make it short for you.
First, you must follow this rule of thumb by all cost: Fresh cabbage is equivalent to fresh color.
Therefore, bear in mind that targeting the cabbages that look greener than the rest is your first thing to do upon arriving at the veggies stall.
Then, sort them out one by one and go with the one that feels heavy in your hands. Also, its stem should be firm with only a few loose leaves.
What about the taste? Raw green cabbages’ flavor is a somewhat balance of rubbery and peppery, so if you’re freezing cabbage for cabbage rolls, this is an excellent choice.
1.2. Red or Purple Cabbage
Looks familiar? Red cabbage is the highlight of your traditional salad. The best thing is, if stored in the right condition, frozen red cabbage can last up to a year.
Still, as pretty as it might look, the bright shade of red cabbage can be a hassle sometimes. If you add it in the same pot with other ingredients, its color is likely to get on them and recolor your entire meal.
Also, the color of red cabbages can change to blue when they are cooked with alkaline food like tofu and nuts.
Still, don’t let that get to you. The flavor of your meal will stay the same as the cabbages only change its look.
But if you spend hours working on your meal and do not want its overall aesthetic to be ruined, simply add one teaspoon of an acidic agent such as wine or vinegar and the original color will return.
1.3. Savoy Cabbage
Savoy Cabbage is considered the sweetest and most tender cabbage – the star of its varieties, to be exact.
It is also the best candidate for meals with substantial cooking time so if you’re planning on freezing it for stuffed cabbage, go for this green!
But here is a sad little fact. Savoy cabbage is seasonal, so you cannot expect to find it all year round. Well, more reasons to store and freeze it, right?
1.4. Napa Cabbage
Napa cabbages are one of the veggies that show up in nearly every meal of East Asian families.
And this is why freezing this green is of paramount importance, it cannot handle the scorching heat of the areas.
Napa cabbage is also called Chinese Cabbage and is mostly used in Chinese recipes, you can find it in steamed buns and dumplings.
It can as well be a flavorsome addition to fried rice if you’re a rice and cabbage guy.
2. What You Need To Freeze Cabbage
You will never be able to properly freeze your cabbages without proper preparation.
So, before getting down to business, let’s get to know all the things that the process requires:
You will never be able to properly freeze your cabbages without proper preparation. So, before getting down to business, let’s get to know all the things that the process requires:
- A knife
- Ziplock bags (the number varies according to how many cabbages you use per meal)
- A saucepan
Got everything you need? Great! Let’s get to work then. We’ll show you the right way on how to freeze cabbage, as well as how to store cabbage for long-term use.
3. Step By Step To Store Cabbage in Right Way
Freezing and storing cabbages saves you from the hassle of having to tear apart the whole market to find one after the cabbage season is gone and yet your cooking recipes happen to demand them.
Besides, when you buy cabbages in the right season, not only will they be fresher and give a better taste, but they will also be as cheap as they can get.
Here is the best way to store both raw and cooked cabbages.
3.1. Leftover Raw Cabbage
Are you wondering “Can you freeze raw cabbage?”
Well, the answer is plain and simple: Absolutely, Yes! In fact, the whole thing can be super quick and easy if you follow our instructions.
The first thing you should do before freezing raw cabbage is to cut the cabbage head into quarters. Polish your knife to get a nice, clean cut.
Usually, we would remove the outer leaves before doing so, but it is entirely up to your preferences. Still, if there are any yellowish leaves, you should take them out.
But before getting your hands on that, make sure you rinse the greens properly. You would not want anything (a tiny little worm, for example) hiding in those leaves to show up on your plate, would you?
To wash cabbage, you’ll only need to add 1 to 3 tablespoon(s) of salt into a gallon of water. Then, submerge the wedges of cabbage you just cut in there, and any bugs or insects should come out in about half an hour.
3.1.1 Freezing Cabbage With Blanching
Step 1: Before freezing your cabbages, you must know how to blanch cabbage. First, you need to boil some water (using your saucepan, not your regular pot).
Gas stoves are quite picky when it comes to pans. So if you own one, you should consider picking up some of the best pots and pans, they can stand high-temperature and last in long use.
Step 2: After the water starts bubbling, add the cabbage wedges in there. Remember that the middle part of the cabbage should be at the bottom of the saucepan. That way, the water can get right into the core.
Step 3: While waiting for the cabbages to be blanched, you can prepare the ice water. The whole blanching process should be done in 2 minutes. After that, take your greens out and let them cool down in the ice water mentioned above.
Step 4: While waiting for the cabbages to be blanched, you can prepare the ice water. The whole blanching process should be done in 2 minutes. After that, take your greens out and let them cool down in the ice water mentioned above.
Step 5: Putting parboiled cabbage wedges into ice water right after removing them from the stove helps to immediately stop the cooking process and make sure that they’re not overcooked.
Only let the greens stay in the water for around 5-10 minutes, then drain the wedges using a colander and let them completely dry.
Step 6: The next thing you should do is putting those wedges into the prepared zip lock bags.
Note: One bag should only hold the amount of cabbage that you can finish in one go. If you keep on unzipping it to get the veggies, air can get in and ruin your greens.
By storing cabbages this way, you will never have to deal with the nightmare of separating blocks of frozen cabbage leaves.
Step 7: Lastly, you only have to place them in the freezer, and that’s it, we’re done! See? Quick and easy, isn’t it? You don’t need to be an expert on ‘how to store cabbage in fridges’ to nail this.
See the video for more detailed instructions:
3.1.2 Freezing Cabbage Without Blanching
Provided that you can use up all the stored cabbages in a month or two, there is no need for blanching. This way of preserving cabbages is super easy, and very cost-effective, even your 5 years old can do it. So let’s find out how to freeze cabbage without blanching right now!
Step 3: For this method, we highly suggest you peel off the outer leaves. And after washing the cabbage thoroughly, you should also rinse the head. You can’t be too careful because if anything is hiding in there, your immune system is probably not going to like it.
Step 2: For the next step, simply put the portion of cabbage for each meal of yours into the ziplock bag. If you want to be extra careful, squeeze out as much air as you can, seal the bags, and only then put them in the freezer.
Step 3: Here is one small tip for you if you do not have a good memory. To keep track of which package to use, you can label the date on them. This way, you would be able to tell which one is about to expire and which one is not.
Surprisingly enough, this method lets the cabbage wedges retain their water. The cabbage itself is already extremely moist, so when you put them straight into the freezer, the water is still there, only frozen.
See below video for more detail:
3.2 Leftover Cooked Cabbage
Wait, can you freeze cooked cabbage? Surprisingly, yes! The process is different from raw cabbage storage, but it is entirely possible.
We will walk you through the process step by step. Here are the best ways to store some of the cabbage included dishes.
3.2.1 Cabbage Soup
As strange as this might sound, it is possible to freeze soup with cabbage ingredients.
But first, you’ll need rigid plastic containers with airtight lids. We get that zip lock bags are more familiar to us all, but ladling liquid soups into flimsy plastic bags doesn’t sound like a good idea, does it? In any case, you can risk spilling it.
Also, when ladling cabbage soup into containers, it is best that you refrain from filling it to the brim. The soup will expand when it’s frozen so you should leave a little space before closing the lid.
When you’re done with that, the containers are ready to go into the freezer. And that’s all for freezing cabbage soup!
3.2.2 Cabbage Rolls
To keep the rolls from going soggy after being defrosted, there are some prepping you’ll need to go through before tossing this delicious dish into the freezer.
For starters, you should put the cabbage rolls into the fridge so they can gradually adjust to the lower temperature. Let them chill in there for a few hours, then take them out and place them into a freezer-friendly container.
At this point, you can pop them into the freezer for storing.
Here’s a tip from us: if you only have a few cabbage rolls left from your batch, try to freeze the cabbage leaves separately. So when you take them out for use later, it’s easier to put them on the plates.
3.2.3 Fried Cabbage
If you can, try not to fry cabbages thoroughly. By doing this, the cabbage pieces will be able to keep the crisp, and you can enjoy crunchy bites after you thawed the dish.
Similar to cabbage rolls, you’ll need to leave the fried cabbages in the fridge a few hours in the first phase.
Now, take out your zip lock bags again and spoon them in. The next task is to squeeze the air out of those bags, this is how you maintain the crisp of the greens.
Again, keep in mind that you should put just enough cabbage for one meal into each bag.
Lastly, all you have to do is slip those tasty bags into the freezer, and you’re done!
That should answer all your queries about the question: ‘can cabbage be frozen?.’ Let’s move on to an equivalently important step:
How To Defrost Cabbage
We all know the thrill of waiting for food to be defrosted in the microwave with a starving stomach.
Well, here’s the deal: rushing the thawing process with a microwave might leave you with soggy cabbages that have a mushy texture.
What that means is, you should avoid defrosting cabbage in any way that involves heat higher than room temperature – that includes microwave and hot water.
So what’s the secret? We’ll tell you right now! Here is the best and quickest way to thaw cabbages:
Move the cabbage from the freezer to the fridge one day in advance, it helps to preserve the flavor and the crunchiness of the frozen cabbages. It can also protect the dish from the rapid growth of bacteria when defrosting food with a microwave.
Only after leaving the dish overnight in there, can you use the microwave or stove to thaw it.
In addition to that, if you’re only using frozen cabbages for soups or so, there’s no need to think much, simply put shredded pieces of them into your delicious hot boiling pot of soup. It’s that simple.
1. How long does cabbage last?
But if you blanch those greens and put them in the freezer, they can stay fresh up to around a year.
2. Can shredded cabbage be frozen?
Yes, and you will not have to go through several steps to get it done. Just toss the cabbage pieces straight in the freezer, and they should last for a few weeks.
But here comes the downside, the distinct crisp of the veggies might be gone by then. So if you happen to have frozen shredded cabbage, make sure to only use them for dishes that will not be spoiled by soggy ingredients.
3. How to separate cabbage leaves?
There are 3 simple ways you can separate cabbage leaves:
- Blanch the head of the cabbage before peeling the leaves off. Blanching cabbage helps to soften the leaves, letting you separate them easily.
- Microwave the cored head of the cabbage for 3 minutes on high setting before separating the leaves.
- You can place a whole head of cabbage in the freezer for 4 hours then thaw it in the fridge for 1 hour. After that, you should be able to peel the leaves away with little effort.
4. Leftover cabbage recipes?
Freezing cabbages might be able to keep them from going down in quality, but this does not mean their freshness will stay the same as the just-bought ones.
On the ground of this, you should only use them for soup or stir-fried food – dishes that will taste good even when you cook them with long-stored ingredients.
Here are some simple recipes you can try at home:
- Cabbage Casserole
- Tangy Cabbage Slaw for Pulled Pork Leftovers
- Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry
- Italian Vegetable Soup
The Wrap Up
There you go. That’s everything you need to know about to freeze cabbages. I also hope the extra information about freezable kinds of cabbages, the defrosting guidance, as well as the answers to some common relevant questions are helpful for you.
But the long and the short of it, under all circumstances, the best way to freeze raw cabbage is to blanch them beforehand.
And remember, trying to rush things takes nowhere so never skip any phrase even when it sounds quite redundant.
That’s all about freezing cabbage. If you have any questions or relevant stories that you want to share, leave them in the comment section, we’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading!