Cabbage. Crunchy when fresh and boiled to smithereens by my grannie.  Like cauliflower, it’s a veg that grows beautifully, easily and plentifully in the UK; this, plus shitty ways of cooking and farming for yield over flavour, makes cabbage a veg that lots of people don’t like.  Think school dinner halls.

My friend Rachel said that half a cabbage is one of her food waste problems; after one stir fry, what’s a savvy cook to do?  Watching half a sad cabbage turn, slowly inevitably, a bit brown and speckled, from day one to day five, is not a good feeling.  Let’s get this chopped up and saved from food waste hell.

The simplest way to dispatch your leftover cabbage is to shred that baby up, grate in the rest of your fridge bottom leftovers and make this simple sweet and sour dressing, perfect for putting some pep in your step.  It’s a quick and healthy lunch, and if you want to shove some protein in there, you are winning at life, my friend (I know, I hate me, too).

Leftover cabbage slaw

Serves 2


About 1/4 leftover cabbage – white, savoy or red
Similar weight of any other leftover veggies from the fridge – carrot, beetroot, radish, cucumber, brocolli


50 ml white wine/cider vinegar
juice of one lemon or lime
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
2 tablespoons ground nut oil
Sriracha/Tabasco or other hot sauce to taste


Knife – I use a bread knife for cabbage
Chopping Board
Mixing bowl
Jam jar


About 10 mins if you’re hand with the knife or 20 minutes if you’re a little slower


Mince the garlic


If your cabbage is in halves, cut it into quarters
Cut out the stalk and discard
Using the bread knife, cut the cabbage into strips around 5mm thick
If using broccoli heads, grate that whole guy; save the stalks for a pasta sauce or a ragu base
Carrots, beetroot, kohlrabi?  Grate from fresh
Radishes?  Slice finely
Cucumbers?  Cut into thick chunks


Mix the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, soy sauce sauce and garlic until the sugar dissolves
Pour in the oil and sprinkle on sriracha/tabasco
Screw on the jam jar lid and shake until combined

Only mix the slaw and dressing when you’re about to eat
If you’re making a load for your lunches, DO NOT MIX AND THEN TAKE TO WORK (vom emoji)
Take the dressing in the *tightly* done up jam jar and the salad in a separate tupperware

Storage/further meals

How long you can keep the slaw depends on how long your cabbage has been sitting around
If it’s a bit manky, it’ll stay a bit manky
If it’s super fresh, then you’ve got a few days on your side
Try one piece before tucking into lunch

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