Cabbage dinner plate- Chai spiced consommé, Pickle gel, Charred leaves with edamame puree, Tempura and Bubble and squeak (vegan +gluten-free)


What do you call a cabbage that’s in love?…..HEAD over heels. Ok, terrible dad joke, but it’s the only thing I found online when I was looking for inspiration to make cabbages sound appealing. I think my attempt to illicit some cruciferous-related laughter has certainly been unsuccessful, but that’s because there really is nothing fun to say about cabbage. That statement also applies to the consumption of this brassica, because let’s face it, who ever talks about the excitement they are experiencing from a plate of cabbage?!


This gas-generating bunch of leaves really is a bitch for many of those with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), fussy eaters and most certainly every normal kid. But if it’s a child repellent at dinner times then that’s one of the bonuses of using it (I don’t have kids obviously, otherwise I’d be accused of being a cruel mother). And it will definitely prevent annoyingly fussy eaters from accepting dinner invitations in the future (thank goodness- massive pet hate of mine).


So in addition to keeping children away and those terribly fussy eaters, what are the pros of buying it? You’re probably thinking none, especially after my insults to the poor, ugly thing. But my goal is to encourage you to eat it, not bin it, so here are some of the advantages…


As well as keeping kids and fussy eaters at bay in your life, it is also low in calories, a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, it comes in baby size (you have to admit, sprouts are so cute!) and giant size so win-win for every type of person, is a great gap filler and can be so diverse if you become at one with it that you can cook it in almost any way. Its vibrant colours also make it a fun experience with the most humble of cooking methods, such as boiling, where you can watch the water in which it cooks, turn from purple to blue. It’s pretty cool actually (or maybe I need to get out more).


Speaking of tasting that rainbow, I decided to experiment with how I could make the flavours as pleasurable as the multi-coloured nature of cabbages. The purple sweet-salty consommé was definitely an aesthetically-pleasing component and really tasted like chai tea. The pickling came from my love for Asian appetisers and the gel, well I like vodka jelly shots (at parties – it’s not an everyday thing) so it would definitely be a fun way to eat! The rest of the dishes weren’t so experimental, but the deep-frying and food-pairing made them just as superior in terms of taste- plopped altogether on a plate, well, I never thought cabbage looked better.


Serving size:

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for consommé:

  • ½ a head of red cabbage shredded
  • 1 litre of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 crushed cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Ingredients for pickled cabbage gel:

  • ¼ head white cabbage shredded
  • 300ml vinegar
  • 100ml water
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp agar powder

Ingredients for pickled cabbage gel:

  • 100g raw edamame beans
  • Handful fresh mint
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for tempura:

  • 75g gluten-free flour
  • 4 small Chinese cabbage leaves roughly torn
  • 60ml soya milk
  • Oil to fry

Ingredients for bubble and squeak:

  • 2 small potatoes
  • ½ head cabbage
  • Bunch of spring onions
  • Oil to fry



  1. For the consommé, add all ingredients to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes with the lid on.
  3. Once cooked, pour through a fine strainer.
  4. For the pickled cabbage, place all ingredients into a sterilised jar and leave to infuse for at least 4 hours.
  5. For the gel, use 1 part water and 1 part of the pickle juice and heat in a pan (around 400ml in total) with the agar and heat until the agar dissolves.
  6. Add in the pickled cabbage shreds, pour into moulds and set in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
  7. For the puree, blend all ingredients in a food processor to achieve a coarse, creamy mixture.
  8. Whisk together milk and
  9. Dip in the cabbage leaves and deep fry for 5-7 minutes until a slightly tan colour then remove from the pan.
  10. Boil the potatoes and cabbage and mash until a lumpy puree is achieved.
  11. Add the spring onions then make into small flattened balls.
  12. Shallow fry until golden on both sides.


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