When you need that balance of acidic flavors this quick pickled cabbage is here for you! Beautiful, bright purple colors of this red cabbage are a pop of natural color to make any sandwich pop with tangy vinegar and a touch of sweet.
Sandwiches, tacos, burgers... quick pickled cabbage is first and foremost, ridiculously easy to make. So besides being naturally, super colorfully amazing, pickled red cabbage comes together in no time, and I think that's something we can all appreciate.
How to eat quick pickled cabbage
Any way you like, really! You know, like most things, do what makes you happy.
But in a foodie way, that vinegary pickle acidic tang is the perfect yin to the yang of any rich sauce, like aioli, or to balance out the fat in other eats - think burgers or charcuterie.
Quick pickled cabbage will add not just flavor, but when using red cabbage the color is out of this world. It's a little purple, a little red and kinda fuscia.
Our favorite way to crush on this cabbage is on tacos. The melty cheese and toasty tortilla are great on their own, but a little pop of acid with the texture of the crunch is really going to bring your tacos to the next level.
The best part is you can customize your pickled cabbage to your choosing! So if you want to add spice or maybe sliced carrots or switch up the type of vinegar, it's all good!
How to make quick pickled cabbage
Are you ready to make yourself some tangy, crunchy goodness in no time? It's very, very simple.
In the container you plan to use for your pickled cabbage, add the vinegar, sugar, and any spices you want. Black peppercorns are usually my go to, but just vinegar and sugar are well balanced flavors on their own. Shake or stir everything to combine.
Set water to boil in either a tea kettle or sauce pan. Pour the hot steaming water over the red cabbage in a colander. Shake off the excess water and transfer to the jar with the sugar-vinegar mixture.
Then all you have to do is patiently wait 30 minutes and your quick pickled cabbage is ready to go. The flavor will get better the longer it sits, up to 3 days.
How are you planning to use your quick pickled cabbage? Spill your plans in the comments!
How to Make Quick Pickled Cabbage
- 1 cup sliced red cabbage
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- optional: add spices like black peppercorn
- Set 2 to 3 cups of water to boil in a kettle or a sauce pan. In a container with a lid, like a mason jar, add vinegar, sugar, salt and any spices if you choose. Stir to combine.
- Place the sliced cabbage in a colander. Once the water is boiling, pour slowly over the cabbage until all the water is gone. This can be done over the sink or over a large bowl.
- Transfer the red cabbage to the container with the vinegar mixture. Let sit for 30 minutes before using. Flavor will develop and the harshness of the vinegar will mellow the longer it sits. Store covered in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Can you reuse the brine once you eat the cabbage, to pickle more cabbage? Or is it best to start fresh?
I personally haven't tried it, so I can only assume that it would be ok. I don't think the flavor would be quite as sharp, but as long as you blanch the cabbage first it will still absorb the vinegar and break down to the correct texture.
J W F says
It provided what I sought, a quick way to pickle red cabbage
Sarah Elkin says
If i don't use the boiling water &.just put the shredded cabbage into the jar/mixture, woujd it stay crunchy for longer? Thinking of making it as gifts!
The cabbage will still be crunchy even with the water! It's just a quick pass of water over the cabbage, not a soak.
does this work equally as well with other firm veggies (thinking carrots, for example)? either on their own or mixed with the cabbage
Yes! I use this same recipe for red onions all the time. I would just cut the vegetables thin so the hot water blanches them enough.
Can I mix the varieties of vinegar? say, using 1/4 cup of each?
Hey there. Do you actually drain all of the liquid after it has been marinated?
I drain some of it depending on the container I use, but for storing leftovers, I leave them sitting in the liquid (think like the pickles you get at the grocery store.)
I can’t wait to try these. We were stationed in Germany for three years early in my husband’s career. He’s since ended his military career, so no chance of going back outside of a vacation now and again. I’ve missed having pickled cabbage on kabob sandwiches from the shop outside the post. My brother has recently brought up some of the German food, so I’m hoping to make this to top schnitzel next time I visit. (Not as traditional as the cooked red cabbage, but this was my experience with German street foods, so I’m going for it!)
Caitlin Herron says
Can you save it in the fridge for longer than 3 days? Seems odd that it's only up to 3 days.
For the best crunch, use it as soon as you can, but I leave mine in the fridge upwards of a month and it's still good just not as crunchy.
paul chamberlain says
i was born in waltham mass,
into a family of 8,three boys and 5 girles
i like your blog your blogkeep up the good work.
i'm living in paducah kentucky have a nice day god bless
thank you paul!
Michael Wagener says
Outstanding. I've done this 3 times now, and it has instantly gone into my "go to" recipe list.
Thank you so much for your review Michael! This pickled cabbage is a standard must have for our tacos!