Charred Cabbage with Chipotle Lime Crema

charred cabbage.jpg

For my second-ever video for my new YouTube channel, I’m featuring CABBAGE, a versatile, nutritious, inexpensive and long-lasting vegetable that is absolutely delicious if you prepare it properly.  While we are all still sheltering in place, I am focusing on preparing recipes that use pantry ingredients but taste restaurant-worthy.

If you don’t like cabbage, my guess is that you haven’t had it prepared properly.  Likely, you’ve had it overcooked, probably boiled, and that’s when it develops of sulfurous smell and taste, and a mushy and mealy texture.  Not yummy! The best way to cook cabbage is quickly over high and direct heat.  On a daily basis, I shred cabbage and sauté it quickly over high heat with garlic and salt in a little olive oil.  Today, we’re doing something that is a little more special, but still very simple: cutting cabbage into wedges and charring it in a hot cast iron or grill pan.  You can also do this on an outdoor grill, of course.  To pair with the grilled taste, I have made a recipe for a smoky, spicy and creamy sauce.  If you’re new to plant based cooking, you might not yet be familiar with cashew cream, which is not just a heavy/whipped/sour cream substitute but sublimely even better than the originals.  This version brings in additional flavors that complement the smoky, sweet charred cabbage.  Enjoy!


Charred Cabbage with Chipotle Lime Crema

Serves: 8


1 medium green cabbage

olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 4 hours or overnight, drained

1/2 cup water

1 lime

1/2 tsp chipotle powder, adjust to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Special equipment:

cast iron or grill pan, or outdoor grill

high-speed blender (advised but you can get by with a regular blender)


  1.  Warm your pan over medium heat.
  2. Cut the cabbage in half, then cut each half into four wedges, making sure you keep the core in each wedge.
  3. Drizzle or brush on a small amount of olive oil onto both cut surfaces of each wedge, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. When the pan is hot, place each wedge, cut side down, with some space around each wedge.  (Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in two batches.  Allow to cook, undisturbed, for 5-8 minutes, until the cabbage begins to soften and the side being cooked is blackened.  Then turn over to the other cut edge and repeat the process.  When it is done, each wedge should be charred on the cut edges and tender but still slightly crunchy.  You should be able to easily insert a paring knife into the center of each wedge.  Keep warm until ready to serve.
  5. While the cabbage is cooking, make your crema.  Put the softened, drained cashews into the jar of your blender, then add enough cold water to come up about halfway the height of the cashews.
  6. Blend at high speed until fluffy and creamy.  Transfer to a bowl and add the juice of your lime (start with 1/2), salt and pepper to taste, and chipotle and garlic powders. Stir well and allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld before adjusting flavors to taste.
  7. Plate cabbage wedges and drizzle with crema.


Serving suggestions:

Eat these with a knife and fork, or slice and use as a taco filling.  You might garnish with cilantro and pepitas.  Would also make a nice sandwich filling.


Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable and is a great source of fiber, which acts as a prebiotic and helps build a healthy microbiome.  It is also a great source of vitamin K, for blood clotting and bone health, vitamin C for immune function and wound healing, and phytonutrients called glucosinolates which are cancer-preventing.  Cabbage is also thought to prevent diabetes and heart disease.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please watch the video for a barely-edited (pretty much live!) cooking demo, and please subscribe to my brand-new YouTube channel (and tell your friends!) for more!

Cookbook coming March 2021! Spicebox Kitchen, Da Capo Press.

For information about my healthy cooking classes, please visit (and Like!) my Facebook page:  For those of you in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hope to back in action in the Thrive Kitchen in June.

Twitter and Instagram @spiceboxtravels.