This Chinese Carrots And Cabbage Stir-Fry is an easy weeknight side dish—a blend of crunchy vegetables cooked in a sweet and savory sauce.
Can't get enough of Chinese stir-fries? Try my Broccoli and Cauliflower Stir-fry next!
🥕 About This Recipe
Carrots and cabbage are two of my favorite vegetables to stir fry. Not only are they economical, but they also taste delicious together.
They both have a crunchy texture and a subtle sweetness that pairs well with a savory sauce.
We'll need to cook the vegetables in two stages: the carrots first for a few minutes, followed by the cabbage. Use medium heat for the carrots as their sugars tend to burn in the wok.
Ensure you cut the vegetables as uniformly in size as possible to ensure even cooking.
🥬 What Cabbage To Use?
I recommend regular green cabbage for its juicier and crunchier texture, though any cabbage will work. Napa cabbage works well.
I avoid using red cabbage with other vegetables as the color tends to bleed into them and create a dish that is not too pretty.
- Cabbage: We'll use four cups today, about ½ of a small head, cut into bite-sized pieces.
- Carrots: Use two medium carrots or one large Nantes carrot. I cut them at a bias so they have more surface area.
- Chicken Stock: I mix ½ teaspoon of chicken bouillon powder with warm water for this recipe.
- Soy Sauce: Adds a salty and savory flavor. You can also substitute it with oyster sauce.
- Garlic: Freshly minced is a must here; don't use powdered garlic.
- Shaoxing Wine: Adds a lot of complexity to Chinese stir-fries. You can use dry sherry or water if you don't have it.
- Rice Vinegar: A little bit helps balance the naturally sweet flavors of the cabbage and carrots. You can substitute it with apple cider vinegar.
- Sugar: To balance the salty and savory flavors of the other sauces.
- Cornstarch: Helps thicken the sauce so that it coats each vegetable.
- Oil: Any neutral-flavored oil like avocado or canola.
STEP 1: In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
STEP 2: Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes until softened.
STEP 3: Add the minced garlic and stir fry for another minute.
STEP 4: Increase the heat to medium-high, add the cabbage and two tablespoons of water, and cook for 3 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
STEP 5: Add the sauce mixture and stir-fry for another 30 seconds until the sauce thickens. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately!
💭 Top Tips
- A good stir-fry is all about heat control. Ensure you use medium heat to cook the carrots, as their sugars will burn at high heat. If you feel the wok getting too hot, simply remove it from the heat for 15 seconds to cool down.
- Cut the carrots into as uniformly sized pieces as possible. This will ensure each piece will finish cooking at the same time.
- Feel free to add optional garnishes like sliced green onions or toasted sesame seeds.
- A touch of toasted sesame oil (just ½ a teaspoon) can be added to give the stir-fry a nutty aroma.
🥡 Storage & Leftovers
Storing: Store leftover carrots and cabbage stir-fry in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: Reheat leftovers by microwaving or gently cooking over medium heat until warm.
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Chinese Carrots And Cabbage Stir-Fry
- In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, rice vinegar, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes until softened.
- Add the minced garlic and stir fry for another minute.
- Increase the heat to medium-high, add the cabbage and two tablespoons of water, and cook for 3 minutes until the cabbage is tender.
- Add the sauce mixture and stir-fry for another 30 seconds until the sauce thickens. Transfer to a serving dish and serve immediately!