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Jamaican Cabbage


This flavorful Jamaican Cabbage recipe combines vibrant vegetables and aromatic spices, making it a perfect side dish for any meal. The addition of jalapeno or habanero adds a spicy kick, while the vinegar and sugar balance out the flavors.



  • 1 small head green cabbage, shredded
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 jalapeno or habanero, finely diced (adjust to taste)
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Shred Cabbage: Shred the cabbage into thin strips and set aside.
  2. Dice Vegetables: Dice the sweet onion, red bell pepper, jalapeno or habanero, and green onions.
  3. Shred Carrots: Shred the carrots if they are not pre-shredded.

Step 2: Cook the Vegetables

  1. Heat Oil and Butter: In a large skillet or pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter is melted and the oil is hot.
    • Heating the oil and butter ensures the vegetables cook evenly and develop a nice flavor.
  2. Sauté Onions and Garlic: Add the diced sweet onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
    • Sautéing the onions and garlic first helps build the base flavor for the dish.
  3. Add Bell Pepper and Carrot: Add the diced red bell pepper and shredded carrot to the skillet. Cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • This allows the vegetables to soften and meld together.

Step 3: Add Cabbage and Spices

  1. Add Cabbage and Jalapeno: Add the shredded cabbage and finely diced jalapeno or habanero to the skillet. Stir well to combine.
    • Mixing the cabbage and jalapeno ensures an even distribution of heat and flavor.
  2. Season: Add the fresh thyme sprigs, salt, black pepper, onion powder, and paprika. Stir to coat the vegetables with the spices.
    • The spices enhance the overall taste, giving it a distinctive Jamaican flavor.
  3. Add Water and Vinegar: Pour in the water and white vinegar. Stir to combine.
    • The water and vinegar help to steam the cabbage and create a slightly tangy flavor.

Step 4: Cook the Cabbage

  1. Cook Until Tender: Cover the skillet and cook the cabbage mixture over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender, stirring occasionally.
    • Cooking the cabbage covered helps it to steam and become tender.
  2. Add Sugar: Once the cabbage is tender, sprinkle the granulated sugar over the top and stir to combine. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
    • Adding sugar balances the acidity from the vinegar and enhances the natural sweetness of the vegetables.

Step 5: Serve

  1. Remove Thyme Sprigs: Before serving, remove the thyme sprigs from the skillet.
    • Removing the thyme sprigs ensures you don’t have any woody stems in your dish.
  2. Garnish: Garnish with additional chopped green onions or fresh herbs if desired.
    • Garnishing adds a fresh touch and enhances the presentation.
  3. Serve Hot: Serve the Jamaican Cabbage hot as a side dish.
    • This dish pairs well with jerk chicken, grilled fish, or any main course.

Cooking Tips

  1. Adjust Spice Level: If you prefer a milder dish, use less jalapeno or habanero, or omit it altogether.
  2. Use Fresh Herbs: Fresh thyme adds a wonderful aroma and flavor, but dried thyme can be used if fresh is not available.
  3. Don’t Overcook Cabbage: Cook the cabbage until tender but still slightly crisp to maintain a good texture.

Jamaican Cabbage is a simple yet flavorful dish that brings a taste of the Caribbean to your table. The combination of fresh vegetables, aromatic spices, and a touch of heat makes it a versatile side dish that complements a variety of main courses. Enjoy this vibrant and delicious dish with your favorite Jamaican or Caribbean-inspired meals!