Your Air Fryer Is The Secret To Tender Cabbage In A Flash

Cooked cabbage
Cooked cabbage - Wmaster890/Getty Images

From tomatoes to potatoes and everything in between, if it grows from the ground it's top-notch cuisine. Rhymes aside, we love vegetables in all of their forms. Among the many veggie cultivars that dig their roots into Mother Earth for harvesting and enjoyment, one of our absolute favorites is also one of the most overlooked vegetables -- cabbage. This surprisingly hearty leafy green is savory and refreshing in equal parts and if you're not using it for creamy coleslaw or sauerkraut, you can incorporate it into warm recipes. Unlike lettuce, which can get mushy and slimy when heated, cabbage tenderizes under heat, and takes on a succulent softness without compromising its firm structural integrity. But what's the best way to achieve a tender, delicious batch of cabbage? Your air fryer, of course.

Air fryers work twice as fast as a conventional oven, which makes it ideal for tenderizing heads of cabbage in a flash. Plus, the heated circulation in air-fryers facilitates even cooking for consistent texture and flavor, so you won't wind up with a half-cooked batch of delicious leafy greens. Cooking cabbage down in an air fryer not only gives it a melt-in-your-mouth consistency but also curbs the pungent and bitter flavor of raw cabbage in exchange for a more mellow and buttery taste. What's not to love?

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Tips For Air Frying Cabbage

Cooked cabbage on plate
Cooked cabbage on plate - Marioguti/Getty Images

When it comes to cooking, ease is everything. Luckily, air-fried recipes tend to be hassle-free and effortlessly delicious -- and cabbage is no exception. But even unruffled recipes need a guideline, and by keeping a few tips and tricks in mind, you'll have a succulent batch of cabbage faster than you can say dinnertime.

For starters, you should always clean your cabbage before you begin the air-frying process. Cabbage grows in the ground, so it's not uncommon for dirt and earth to cling to their flesh. Plus, washing produce before consuming it reduces the risk of contracting foodborne illnesses.

Because it's tough and bitter, you'll want to remove the first jacket of leaves from the head to reveal its more desirable layers. Cabbage's substantial density makes it difficult to air-fry whole, so you'll want to chop it into smaller pieces for consistent tenderization. Once you've chopped it to the size of your liking, drizzling the cabbage with cooking oil helps char its edges for a pleasant crispness that gives way to a tender, succulent bite.

Cooking time and temperature vary based on the model of your air-fryer and the amount of cabbage you're roasting. But a general rule of thumb is 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. But when in doubt, give it an eye test by opening your air-fryer basket to ensure by sight that it's not over or undercooked.

Uses For Air-Fried Cabbage

Cooked cabbage with toppings
Cooked cabbage with toppings - Maksims Grigorjevs/Getty Images

Cabbage is often reserved for a specific subset of recipes. But with a little creativity, and, of course, the help of your air fryer, you'll be surprised at just how many ways you can use tenderized cabbage.

If you're not enjoying these decadent cabbage leaves as a quick, on-the-go snack, you can pair them with hearty meats such as a luxurious cut of steak or juicy chicken breast. The earthy flavor balances out the savory blasts of umami found in the meat. With its crunchy exterior and lush interior, air-fried cabbage is a perfect addition to grain bowls where it provides a folksy flavor and a robust heartiness. Swap lettuce for air-fried cabbage to fill out burgers and sandwiches. It can provide a satiating earthiness, and add dimension to these dishes' richer elements, such as cheese or an aioli spread. If all else fails, incorporate the toasty cabbage into a stir-fry to complement and complete its base of grains, proteins, and carbs. Don't be afraid to let your imagination run wild, you can also bring this tenderized cabbage into soups, stews, tacos, egg rolls, and whatever else you can dream up.

Whether you're a hopeful cabbage skeptic looking for a convincing recipe or a cabbage connoisseur seeking new ways to enjoy it, air-fried cabbage won't let you down. Once you try it, you'll never forget your daily dose of vegetables again.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.