Spicy pickled cabbage

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This recipe needs advance preparation!

Spicy pickled cabbage

Best recipe review

Colourful and tasty


The addition of jaggery softens the vinegary sharpness and makes this a warm tasting pickle.

The Judge
Calories per serving:2
Ready in:1 day, 50 minutes
Prep. time:1 day, 30 minutes
Cook time:20 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:28th February 2013

This is my spicy version of Mrs Beeton's pickled red cabbage recipe.

Adjust the spices to suit your personal taste.

I like to strain the vinegar so it's clear, but if you omit the ginger powder, you probably won't need to.

I've made this recipe 4 or 5 times now and it's a real winner!


Printable 🖨 shopping 🛒 list & 👩‍🍳 method for this recipe


  1. Rinse and dry the outside of the cabbage
  2. Peel and discard any floppy or damaged leaves
  3. Cut into quarters, cut out the core and then cut into eight pieces.
  4. Shred the cabbage, preferably with a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment
  5. Pick through the shredded cabbage, remove and chop any large pieces by hand.
  6. Split the shredded cabbage between a couple of colanders and build up in layers; a layer of cabbage, a layer of salt, a layer of cabbage, etc.
  7. Place the colanders over plates and leave in a cool place for 24 hours
  8. Meanwhile we'll spice up the vinegar.
  9. In a well ventilated kitchen, add the vinegar and the spices to a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely
  10. When cold, pour into a jar and cover until the cabbage is ready
  11. After 24 hours, rinse the cabbage under a cold tap to remove the salt and then squeeze out as much excess water as you can. A salad-spinner would be good for this.
  12. Leave to drain in the colanders whilst you strain the vinegar through a clean muslin cloth or a tea-towel.
  13. Pack the cabbage into clean sterilised jars and cover with the vinegar
  14. Seal and store in a cool dark place for up to 10 weeks.
  15. It will be ready to eat after 1 week.

Chef's notes

If you notice a musty smell from the cabbage before you cut it open, yet it appears perfect on the outside, cut it in half and check the core. More than once I've had a little mould on the inside leaves around the core. Discard them and wash the cabbage once it's been sliced if you are really paranoid. Do pat it dry on a tea-towel before salting.

This recipe makes exactly enough pickled cabbage to fill a two litre preserving jar

Peeling ginger

There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.

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