Hot and Sour Cabbage, Sichuan Style | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Hot and Sour Cabbage, Sichuan Style

Hot and Sour Cabbage, Sichuan Style

It tastes like a pickle but requires no waiting. Perhaps I should have called this a fast, warm pickle.

Compare to pickled cabbage, which is basically crisp, this quick version is relatively soft. I cooked it like Chinese vegetable stir-fries, simple ones to be specific. In a well-heated wok, the spices were sautéed in oil to fragrant, and were then assembled with the cabbage, completing in a minute or two. What makes the difference is that we have a hot and sour sauce to cook together with this cabbage dish.

Peppercorns, dried chilies, and vinegar are the very common ingredients in making hot and sour dishes of Sichuan. If I were to replicate the taste of the original recipe, I believe I have to double the use of oil and even triple the amount of chilies. To admit, mine here is less Sichuan.

Although this is a mild version, still, I would not recommend eating too much of it in one single meal because this is fairly sour (even more concentrated than the hot and sour soup). Hubby and I shared this Hot and Sour Cabbage and two other dishes in our meal.

Hot and Sour Cabbage, Sichuan Style

  • Ingredients
  • 200g cabbage
  • 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 dried red chilies, seeded and coarsely chopped
  • 2 sprigs spring onion, sectioned
  • 1 tsp cooking wine
  • Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp black vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Sauteing Sichuan Peppercorns in Wok
Sauteing Garlic, Chili, Green Onion in Wok
Sauteing Cabbage in Wok


Wash cabbage and drain dry. Cut into bite size. I actually trimmed off the hard stems before cutting.

Heat oil in wok over low to medium heat, sauté Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant but not burning. Discard peppercorn; keep oil in wok.

Switch to high heat, sauté garlic, chili, and spring onion, then toss in cabbage. Swirl in the cooking wine on edges of wok near the vegetable.

Mix well and pour in sauce. Assemble well with cabbage and cook until it is just softened, one to two minutes. If the sauce dried up too fast, add one to two spoons of water to let the cabbage cook through.

Serve hot, enjoy!

Hot and Sour Cabbage, Sichuan Style

I removed the sautéd peppercorn from oil before proceeding to other steps so that the dish would be free from grainy bite. It is up to you whether or not to exclude it during the stir-frying.

You may also replace the black vinegar all by rice vinegar. With black vinegar, I have a very subtle flavor added to the dish in addition to the sourness. You may actually regulate the amount of sugar, vinegar and salt to suit your own taste.

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  1. mycookinghut

    Looks really good, I might give this a go!

  2. noobcook

    I’m into Sichuan food recently. Good tip to discard the peppercorn after frying so that you get the flavour but not the grainy bits.

  3. Angie@Angiesrecipes

    I love hot and sour flavour…used to have this almost weekly until one day my stomach complained loud and clear that I had too much cabbages..;-)

  4. Ann@Anncoo Journal

    Simple and delicious! I can even eat this alone 🙂

  5. Von

    Like pick;es but no waiting? that sounds like a lovely idea! I can just imagine the tastiness of this dish 😉

  6. Amelia

    Looks delicious and lovely photos too. Have a nice weekend.

  7. tigerfish

    开胃到不行! 😀 ….some plain rice porridge would be good for me.

  8. Lori

    I love that this is a quick dish. Hot and spicy sounds like a wonderful combination for cabbage. Putting this one on the to-make list.

  9. lena

    i’m salivating now just thinking of that hot and sour taste..never had that in cabbage before though.