5 Spice and Black Vinegar Braised Cabbage

Did you purchase black vinegar for black vinegar braised chicken? Here’s another great way to utilize the deliciously malty and slightly smokey liquid: braised cabbage! This recipe is as easy as they come, simply saute some onions and cabbage and then simmer them in a mix of black vinegar, soy, mirin, chili, and 5 spice (a classic combo I’ve featured in a lot of my recipes). Serve along side your protein of choice and you’ll have a healthy dinner on the table in no time. Plus, it’s easily made vegan and gluten free if that’s your thing!

Serves 4 as a side

  • 1 small red cabbage thinly sliced, about 1.5 pounds 
  • 1 onion, sliced very thinly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, duck fat, or bacon grease
  • 2 tbsp black vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tbsp mirin 
  • 1 tsp chili paste
  • 1 tsp chinese 5 spice
  • ΒΌ cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter (omit for vegan)
  • More salt than you think
  • Pepper to taste
  • Extra black vinegar for drizzling
  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp of fat and then the onions. Saute over medium low for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. 
  2. While the onions saute, mix together black vinegar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and chili paste. 
  3. Add the cabbage to the onions and saute until just lightly coated with oil. Add the sauce mixture along with the 5 spice and water. Stir and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the cabbage and let simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the cabbage has your desired consistency (some like their cabbage with a bit of crunch left in it, while others prefer it very soft). Lift the lid every 5 minutes or so to stir. 
  4. Taste the cabbage regularly throughout this process and add seasoning as needed. Likely you will need more salt than you think. 
  5. When the cabbage is to your liking, add the butter, stir, and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. 
  6. To serve, drizzle extra black vinegar over the top of the cabbage.