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Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage


Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage

90 degree days. Finally. I know I’m probably one of maybe 5 people that you’ll find celebrating this late August heat wave. But after 2 months of weird, off-and-on rain showers and unseasonably low temperatures that have confused my tomato plants to no end, this heat is welcome.

It means more time to be outdoors, more time to develop my tan, and more time to grill cabbage like this.

Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage

This has been our summer food. I mean – if our summer had a theme song, it would be a ballad about this grilled cabbage. It goes great with our favorite bean salad and I plan on making it [oven-style] on New Year’s Day with cornbread, you know, for good luck and all.

Almost every time we’ve had a sunny day, Clark has been at the grill with a head of cabbage. As for me, I’m usually tending to my sorry tomatoes or burning my tongue, sneaking bites of the cabbage before it’s done.

I don’t know why I can’t be more patient and let the cabbage finish cooking. As it grills, the soy sauce reduces and caramelizes, making some of the cabbage sticky and some of it crispy. Even people who think they don’t like cabbage like this cabbage.

There’s something about grilling that makes everything taste a million times better, and I think it’s magical.

2 Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage Oven

Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage

Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage

Sometimes we’ll eat this, and only this, as our dinner. Sometimes we’ll grill it alongside corn, squash, and onions. More than once, we’ve made it for impromptu family gatherings. Another time, we took a head of cabbage along on a camping trip and made it as a dinner side for everyone. And no complaints were heard.

You’ll love this dish because it’s light, inexpensive, and so flavorful. It’s great for large gatherings because you can prepare several heads of cabbage at once and cook it in large foil pans on the grill. Minimal prep, minimal cooking, and minimal cleanup. And just like that, you’re back out on the patio enjoying good weather and good company.

Like I said, grilled cabbage is summer defined.

Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage


Grilled Sesame Ginger Cabbage

Cabbage is anything but bland when it’s grilled in flavorful soy sauce and ginger. This great low-calorie dish works as a side or a main dish, and is easy to prepare in large quantities.

  • Author: The Fitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Side Dish


  • 1 large head of green cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Chop off the base of the cabbage and then cut it crossways into discs about 1 inch thick. I find that a large serrated knife works best for this.
  2. Julienne the carrots.
  3. Place the chopped cabbage into a large bowl and add carrots, tamari, olive oil, ginger, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds. Mix together until the cabbage is well-coated.
  4. Preheat the grill on medium-high.
  5. Empty the cabbage into a large foil tin or onto several layers of aluminum foil and place onto the grill.
  6. Within the first 20 minutes, check the cabbage every 5 minutes to toss it and stir it up.
  7. After 20 minutes on the grill, keep a closer eye on the cabbage, tossing it more often.
  8. When it has turned from green to a yellow-brown color with some crispy pieces, it’s done!
  9. Serve as a main dish to split between 2 people, or as a side to split between 4-6 people.
  10. Alternatively, if you would like to bake the cabbage in the oven, you can line a baking sheet (or multiple sheets) with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes or until most of the cabbage has softened and browned.

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  • Meg
    July 6, 2017

    Yum! I have made this twice now, with giant heads of Napa cabbage from my CSA. The first time I made it as written and it was good. The second time, I decided to add a few more vegetables and eliminate the salt. I used Bragg’s liquid aminos and I found it plenty of salty without the salt. So, the second time, I added about 6 shallots sliced lengthwise, 10 ounces of baby bella mushrooms thickly sliced, and a sliced yellow pepper. I also doubled the sauce omitting the salt, and I used one tablespoon of regular sesame seeds and three tablespoons of black sesame seeds because that’s what I had. It was so delicious. The mushrooms were phenomenal. Thank you for this great recipe. What a great way to enjoy cabbage!

    • thefitchen
      July 6, 2017

      Hi Meg!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment with your thoughts on this recipe. I’m so glad that you love it! :) Your variations sound amazing – I love that you played around with the recipe and made it your own. <3

  • Kelly
    January 17, 2017

    This looks amazing! I am new to your site (tried Pasta Diavolo the other day) and I am loving all these healthier recipes. Did you ever make the oven version of this? If so, how did it turn out?

    • thefitchen
      January 17, 2017

      Hi again, Kelly! So glad you’re trying some of our other recipes. :D Yes – we’ve made it in the oven, too. It turns out close to the same, just without that distinct “grilled flavor.” The flavor is still delicious! Just made sure not to overload the baking sheet with cabbage – spread it in a thin layer, using multiple baking sheets if needed.

  • Michelle
    December 28, 2015

    I’m really looking forward to this. I have been craving a “charred” grilled cabbage dish. I will surely follow your blog. Happy almost new year! :)

    • thefitchen
      December 28, 2015

      You’re definitely going to love this! Thanks for following. :) Happy New Year to you, too!

  • dani
    August 24, 2014

    Cabbage and I have a long-standing love affair. Especially when it’s cooked in any asian-esque sort of preparation, but I have to say I’ve never thought of grilling it! Can’t wait to give this a shot on the next non-rainy day we have here in England :)

    <3 dani