Cabbage Stir Fry is an Asian-inspired recipe with stir-fried cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, and green onions in a light and flavorful sauce. It’s a quick and easy, healthy vegan side dish or main meal ready in 30 minutes!
Inspired by a similar recipe from the NY Times, I thought it needed to be added to the recipe collection. I didn’t go too far from the original recipe, only adding red pepper flakes because I love spiciness (feel free to omit this if you’re not a fan of spice).
This is an absolutely quick and delicious meal that I find myself craving! It’s ready in about 30 minutes, making it a perfect go-to recipe when you need something fast and healthy. Serve over rice, quinoa, or noodles – or simply enjoy as is!
Ingredients You’ll Need
In this recipe, cabbage, red pepper, and carrots are stir-fried, tossed with crispy tofu, and served with a grain of choice for healthy vegan stir fry.
Here’s everything you’ll need. Plus, ideas and tips for ingredient substitutions.
- tofu – use firm, extra firm, or high protein (can be optional).
- ginger – use fresh grated or minced ginger. For ease, we love using this ginger paste found in the refrigerated area of the produce section.
- garlic – fresh is best, but you can sub with garlic powder if needed.
- red pepper flakes – feel free to substitute with a bit of sriracha or sambal oelek.
- cabbage – savoy, green or napa cabbage.
- red bell pepper
- green onions
- tamari – sub with low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos.
- rice wine vinegar
How To Make Cabbage Stir Fry
(Note – The full printable recipe is at the bottom of this post)
- Prep the veggies.
- Cook up your tofu.
- Stir-fry the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes for 1 minute.
- Add the cabbage, red bell pepper, green onions, and stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the tamari, rice vinegar, and water, stir fry for 5 minutes, until cabbage softens and wilts.
- Season with salt (or garlic salt) and more tamari or rice vinegar to taste.
- Optionally, add the cooked tofu towards the end of cooking and cook until warmed through.
And now you’re ready to serve!
- Season well. Be sure to season well for the best flavor. If you find it bland at all, add more salt. Even a little pepper would be great!
- Make it oil-free. Make this oil-free by using 1/4 cup of water when stir-frying the cabbage. If using a non-stick pan for cooking the tofu, you can omit the oil. Alternatively, bake the tofu on a lined baking sheet in a preheated oven set to 400 for 20 – 25 minutes.
How To Store + Reheat
- Refrigerator: Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days in a covered container
- Freezer: This cabbage stir fry can be stored in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch headspace for expansion. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags (remove as much air as possible before zip-locking). Let thaw before reheating.
- Reheat: Simply re-warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through, adding a little tamari or veg broth for moisture as needed. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.
Served as a side or main dish, this savory cabbage stir fry is versatile and pairs well with a variety of other flavors. Here are a few of my favorite options:
- Toppings: Top with sliced scallions, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and fresh cilantro.
- Grain: Serve with jasmine rice, brown rice, black rice, or this Cilantro Lime Rice or Instant Pot Quinoa.
- Side: Would be great with a side of Kimchi!
- Soup: Pair with a small bowl of soup like this Roasted Garlic Miso Soup, Simple Miso Noodle Soup, or Simple Vegan Pho.
- Salad: Pair with this fresh Chinese Chopped Salad.
More Easy Asian Recipes!
- Vegetable Lo Mein (30-Minutes + Healthy)
- Vegan Tofu Poke Bowl
- Black Pepper Tofu
- Simple Vegan Pho
- Vegan Kimchi
- Tempeh Chow Mein
- See all vegan Asian recipes on TSV!
If you try this easy cabbage recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.Print
SPICY CABBAGE STIR FRY
Cabbage stir fry is a quick and easy Asian inspired side dish ready in 30 minutes! Great with crispy tofu and side of quinoa, basmati or jasmine rice for a healthy, vegan main dish.
- Prep Time: 10 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4 – 6 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: stir fry
- Cuisine: Asian
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
- 12 ounces organic tofu (firm or extra firm), cut into dominoes
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 – 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 small cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), finely shredded (red, green or both)
- 1 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1 carrot or 1 cup baby carrots, cut into matchsticks
- 4 green onions, sliced (reserve one green onion for garnish)
- 2 – 4 tablespoons tamari ,low sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 – 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- salt + pepper, to taste
- sesame seeds
- scallions (green onions), thinly sliced
- grain of choice (soba or ramen noodles or quinoa, basmati or jasmine rice), optional
Crispy tofu: Cut the tofu into dominoes and press between paper towels or dish cloth. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, add tofu and cook for 5 – 8 minutes on each side, until lightly golden in color. Season with salt and garlic powder (or garlic salt). Transfer tofu to a small plate.
Stir fry: Heat 14 inch wok or large skillet over medium- high heat, add 1 remaining tablespoon of oil, add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add cabbage, red bell pepper, carrots, green onions, tamari, rice vinegar and water, stir fry for 5 – 7 minutes, or until cabbage wilts and veggies soften. Add the tofu to the cabbage stir fry 2 minutes before done to warm through. Taste for seasoning, adding salt to taste.
Serve cabbage stir fry with cooked grain of choice and garnish with sesame seeds, green onions and/or cilantro.
Oil-Free: Make this oil free by using 1/4 cup water when stir frying the cabbage. If using a non-stick pan for cooking the tofu, you can omit the oil. Alternatively, bake the tofu on a lined baking sheet in a preheated oven set to 400 for 20 – 25 minutes.
Updated: This recipe was first published in February 2013. It has been updated with new photos and helpful tips in April 2020.