Instant pickled cabbage

pickled red cabbage with spices.

Pickled cabbage is a tangy, crisp delightful condiment o pair with a variety of wraps, sandwiches and poke bowls. Take a try at this easy, instant vinegar-based cabbage pickle.

When the Cafe near your workplace serves a green juice that makes you change your views, you have to give them credit and try a few different things more. Their vegetarian menu has this incredibly filling falafel wrap. As much as it is tempting to eat this every day, it is actually the pickled cabbages that I actually look forward to. The deep purple, crisp pickle with a mellow vinegar flavour cuts through all the rest and makes the lunch order so much better. Certainly, I cannot be eating that every day! So if it is the pickle I crave, let’s make that pickle to top my wraps, sandwiches and burgers. This makes lunchtime something better to look forward to.

What cabbage is best for cabbage pickle?

Hands down it is the red (purple) cabbage that I will choose to make this pickle any day. That colour cannot be replicated and we eat with our eyes first! But if you are stuck with a white one, go ahead and shred it to make the pickle. Not much difference in the flavour anyway.  I don’t like to use Chinese or napa cabbage and rather stay with the regular white one if I have to.

Shredding the cabbage

There is no right or wrong way of cutting the cabbage. It just depends on what equipment you have.
Shredding with a mandolin– this is my sought method to make cabbage pickle. It is quick and efficient with a thin cutting blade. However, if you don’t have one, no worries, use up the below versions.
Food processor– if you like your pickle more of a mince (like the ones placed on a burger) use the food processor. These pack in more volume of cabbage into a bottle too.
Good old knives– If you have fantastic knife skills, show off with the cabbage pickle. I am not a big fan of this as I love long crunchy thinner cuts.

Making the pickling liquid

The tastiest part of pickled cabbage is the pickling liquid.
Vinegar- Since it is a vinegar-based pickle, vinegar is what you choose first. Apple cadre vinegar will be best for this recipe, however, just natural plain white vinegar will do well too. In fact, any vinegar with 5 per cent acidity will be good to make that lip-puckering pickling liquid.
Spices: it is just a couple of basic spices that I usually add to the pickling liquid. Dried whole coriander and peppercorns make it most of the time. At times it is garlic and ginger too. When in a great spicy mood I add a couple of slit Serrano peppers into it. This doesn’t really have a huge proportion, the only recommendation is to start small and adjust as per your tastebuds.
Sugar- I don’t like the vinegar flavour mellowed by the sugar, do I avoid it.  Certainly, a touch of sugar helps to balance the flavours. You can add about half a teaspoon per bottle.

What to do with pickled red cabbage?

The zingy-picked red cabbage no doubt tastes good on its own!
As a salad –It tastes better when added to a salad. A basic salad with green salad mix, a basic lemon dressing, a bit of feta and red cabbage is the easiest salad to put together for a summer dinner.
In a wrap and tacos- the crunch and the sour flavour of the cabbage pickle are tasty in a wrap.
For breakfast- scramble that tofu or egg and add life to it with the cabbage. The otherwise bland tofu takes up the cabbage really well.
Top top-up poke bowls double up on the crunchy pickled cabbages when you make a poke bowl. Now, this can be a noodle bowl or rice bowl. I love them with some gochujang fried rice or onigiri
Garnishes- serve a bit of these with sheek kebabs, the nachos platter or fritters for the evening.

Pickled red cabbage

Pickled cabbage is a tangy, crisp delightful condiment o pair with a variety of wraps, sandwiches and poke bowls. Take a try at this easy, instant vinegar-based pickle.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
for the pickle to absorb the flavours 4 hours
Course Pickles
Cuisine diabetic friendly, Fusion, gluten free, International, Vegan, Winter
Servings 1 bottle


  • saucepan
  • mandolin slicer


For the cabbage

  • 1/4 head cabbage shredded

for the pickling liquid

  • 1/2 cup vinegar choose apple cider vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup drinking water
  • 1 tsp Sea salt adjust to taste
  • 6-8 Black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds swap with carom seeds if you prefer it.


  • Keep cleaned sun-dried glass bottles ready.
  • Wash and shred the cabbage and add to the bottle slightly stuffing them in.
  • Top with pepper and coriander seeds.
  • Into the saucepan add the water and bring to a boil.
  • To this add the vinegar and salt and bring to a boil.
  • Pour the warm pickling liquid over the cabbage till the cabbage is covered.
    pickled purple cabbage.
  • Set it aside for a few hours so the pickle can absorb the flavours and colours.
    pickled cabbage bottles.
  • The pickle is ready to serve after 4 hours.
    pickled red cabbage with spices.
Keyword Pickle recipes, vegan
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Shelf life of pickled cabbage

Usually, the pickles stay in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 weeks easily. Use a clean dry spoon to remove what you need for a time. In this way, it stays uncontaminated.

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The crunchy deep pink pickled cabbage is equally delightful in taste and looks. If you are making this pickle let us know if you liked it. Rate our recipe with the star rating along with your comment. We would love it if you would like to subscribe to the blog and enjoy and interact with us. Thank you for your continued support. See you in the next post. 

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Shobha Keshwani
1 year ago
Rating :

Wow, looks so nice. The colour is eye-catching. Fresh and crunchy red cabbage pickle must be tasting so good. We can even use it in sandwiches and burgers.

Mayuri Patel
1 year ago
Rating :

Seema, like how you’ve used red cabbage for pickling. Truthfully, the white one sort of doesn’t appeal to me at all. I will have to give this recipe a try as sometimes I need pickled cabbage for burger recipes. Like the spice suggestions and best part is that the pickle colour looks pretty.

11 months ago
Rating :

I love this cabbage- crispy and tangy- next time I will use on tacos! Your instructions and pictures make it so easy!

11 months ago
Rating :

Beautiful, easy, flexible tasty — this clicks a lot of buttons

11 months ago
Rating :

This cabbage is such a tasty addition to salads and burgers!

Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
11 months ago
Rating :

This cabbage is delicious! It goes so good on top of a pork sandwich!

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