A whole head of cabbage can be put in a plastic bag and stored in the fridge for just over a week. But if you’re interested in storing your cabbage for later use, one of the best ways to store Chinese cabbage is to freeze it. Be sure to start by selecting compact, firm heads of cabbage with leaves that aren’t wilted or discolored. Whether you buy from a store, farmer’s market, or harvest cabbage from your own garden, it is important to blanch and freeze it as soon as possible to retain the most nutrients.
Fill one pot with water and set it on the stove to bring to a boil. Set the empty pot on the stove next to your heating one.
Wash away any dirt or foreign matter from the leaves that is leftover from the garden. Cut up the cabbage into shreds. Your water should be boiling at this point.
Place up to a pound of the cabbage into the boiling water to blanch it for 1 to 2 minutes. Set a colander over the empty pot and pour the blanched cabbage and water into the colander.
Dump the cabbages from the hot colander into the second, cooler colander as quickly as possible and set the cool colander into ice water to chill it.
Remove the cool colander from the ice water once the cabbage is chilled. Drain off the excess water and shake the cabbage gently to get as much water as possible off the shreds.
Place the cabbage shreds into labeled freezer bags, pressing out air before sealing, and put the bags in the freezer right away. The cabbage can remain in the freezer for up to a year.
Things You Will Need
- Cabbage heads
- Two large pots
- Cutting board
- Kitchen timer
- Two colanders
- Large bowl of ice water
- Plastic freezer bags labeled with the date
- To continue blanching for large amounts of cabbage, set the second pot, now full of the hot water, onto the eye of the stove and bring to a boil. The original boiling pot is now your empty pot for straining the cabbage.
- To cook your frozen cabbages, simply boil for 5 minutes. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about four days.
- Pay attention to the time it takes to process your food and work quickly to blanch it, chill it and freeze it for the best in preserved taste, color, and nutritional value of your food. Having someone else there to help who knows the process can dramatically change the experience from one of urgency and hustling to quick teamwork.