Traditional recipes

Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage

Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage


  • 2 onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 pounds (about 1 head) red cabbage, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 large Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, cut into thin slices

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions; sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix in next 7 ingredients. Add cabbage; cook until cabbage begins to wilt, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Cover; simmer until cabbage is crisp-tender, stirring often, about 17 minutes. Uncover; add apple and apple juice and cook until apple is crisp-tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Recipe by Gustav s Bier Stube Portland ORReviews SectionAnd if you don't have apple sauce and apple juice and apple cider (because there is, of course, a difference) just use chanterelles and goose fat. Easy substitution!naoise555Pretenciousville08/03/20

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Related: Chanukah, Europe, meat, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, soup, Sukkot

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

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Beet borscht is undoubtedly the most popular sweet and-sour soup within the Ashkenazi soup canon. But this cabbage-based soup, called krautsuppe in German, is just as delicious. It is traditionally served during the cold winter months when a bright, savory potage is especially comforting.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds (910 g) flanken or short ribs
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large onions, halved through the root and thinly sliced
  • 1 can (28 oz/795 g) diced (chopped) tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (purée)
  • 8 cups (2 liters/2 qt) beef or vegetable stock
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 lb/910 g), core removed and finely shredded
  • ¼ cup (45 g) light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml/2 fl oz) apple cider vinegar


  • In a large soup pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Season the flanken on both sides with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and cook, flipping once, until seared on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the same pot. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes
  • Return the browned flanken to the pot and add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste (purée), stock and cabbage. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and simmer until the vegetables and meat are tender, about 1½ hours. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Take out the flanken and let cool to the touch. Cut the meat off the bones and chop into bite-size pieces. Return the meat to the soup pot. Taste and add a little more salt, if desired. Serve hot.
  • Recipe reprinted fromTHE JEWISH COOKBOOKby Leah Koenig (Phaidon, 2019).


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 6 cabbage leaves
  • ⅓ cup uncooked rice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 tblsp. shortening
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • ½ cup of chopped celery
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. minced parsley
  • salt and pepper

Combine beef, salt and pepper, rice and egg. Mix well.

To make cabbage roll sauce: Saute the chopped onion in butter until soft. Add equal amounts of tomato soup and water to the chopped onion. Add parsley, celery, sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Cook for 10 minutes.

Wash the cabbage leaves and boil them until tender. Place equal quantities of the meat mix into each cabbage leave. Roll leaves tightly secure with toothpicks. Place cabbage rolls into the sauce pan. Pour sauce over cabbage rolls. Cover pan cook very slowly (3 hours).

The inspiration

When I lived in Glen Ellyn, IL, there was a restaurant there called Cabs. My favorite dish there was the duck breast that they served on a bed of red cabbage.

Now, the first time I ordered the duck, I wasn’t sure if I would like the cabbage, but I decided to give it a shot. With the first forkful, their recipe changed the way I thought about red cabbage. It is the sweet and sour goodness with a hint of spice that I tried to emulate with this recipe.

  • 1 large red sweet pepper, quartered and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks (juice pack)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar or brown sugar substitute equivalent to 1 tablespoon brown sugar (see Tip)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 medium green sweet pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (8 ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 12 ounces boneless pork loin, bias-sliced across the grain into strips
  • 4 cups shredded Napa cabbage

Place red sweet pepper quarters, cut sides down, in a microwave-safe dish. Add the water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Let stand about 10 minutes or until skin easily peels from flesh remove and discard skin. Place red sweet pepper in a food processor cover and process until smooth. Drain pineapple chunks, reserving 1/3 cup of the juice set pineapple chunks aside. Add the reserved 1/3 cup pineapple juice, the soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, and rice vinegar to red sweet pepper in food processor. Cover and process until combined set aside.

In a large skillet heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add green sweet pepper stir-fry about 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add bamboo shoots stir-fry for 30 seconds. Remove vegetables from skillet. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons oil to skillet. Add pork strips stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or just until done. Add the red sweet pepper mixture cook and stir about 30 seconds or until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in green sweet pepper mixture and pineapple chunks heat through. Serve over Napa cabbage.

Tip: If using a sugar substitute, we recommend Sweet'N Low® Brown or Sugar Twin® Granulated Brown. Follow package directions to use product amount equivalent to 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Nutrition Facts Per Serving with Substitute: same as below, except 261 calories, 340 mg sodium, 20 g carb., 13 g sugar. Carb Choice: 1

2 1/2 lean protein, 2 vegetable, 1 fat, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 other carbohydrate


Like others, I also used a red cabbage, cut into quarters, instead of green cabbage. It took the entire 45 minutes to cook. I didn’t add the sauce to the cabbage. I cut the cooked cabbage up and served the sauce on top of it. I went a little overboard with the vinegar, but a little more sugar solved that nicely. This was good enough to make again.

Yummy!! I cut the cabbage into eight wedges, and cooked until soft. The only difference I made in the sauce, was I used only ground sausage, and two 14 oz cans (with juice) of diced tomatoes, and dried cherries. I cooked the sauce longer, as the diced tomatoes had more juice. It was delicious. Really nice flavors. Easy.

Really delicious and easy. I cut the cabbage into 8 wedges, which worked well. I don't know why you would cook the cabbage 45 minutes until you want mush. I cooked it 10 minutes and it was tender enough for my tastes. The next time I make it I'll throw some cooked rice in the meat sauce at the end.

Tasty, but not compelling enough to repeat.

Really good! I also cut up the cabbage into much smaller pieces. However, when I was half way through, I threw a half cup of uncooked rice and added more chicken broth. The rice cooked nicely, with the cabbage. I added half a tsp Hungarian sweet paprika. Not sure what it did! I also used raisins instead of dried cranberries, because my mother always added it to her stuffed cabbage recipe. With those small changes, it was a perfect mixture of sweet and sour. I was thinking of following Santer's directions, but no oven until the end of September in Florida! I will try that next time.

Really good and hearty. Makes a lot of leftovers. I followed other reviewers' suggestions and cut the cabbage into smaller chunks than the recipe's quarters. I also used ground turkey because that's what I had, and it was delicious.

My daughter and I really liked this recipe (husband who doesn't like hot fruit did not). I ended up slicing the cabbage into long strips after it cooked and mixing it back in to the meat/sauce mixture. I used ground turkey and because I didn't have any sweetened cranberries, regular ones, which I could do with or without next time.

AWFUL. possibly the most insipid, tasteless veggies ever.

Very nice! Will definitely make again. I'm vegetarian so I used a chub of veggie "sausage" for the meat. I also cut the cabbage into eighths rather than quarters and it was plenty tender after cooking for 30 minutes. I did have to add a little more water to the pan. Other than those minor tweaks I followed the recipe and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I made a half order of this recipe, using two small heads of cabbage, a little more than half a pound each. I simmered them in double the amount of chicken broth for about 30 to 40 mins. The meat and tomato portion had a wonderful depth of flavor to it. I used Italian peeled tomatoes. My mother used to make traditional stuffed cabbage when I was growing up, with meat and rice filling. Kind of bland. I felt like this was a modern twist on it. It was not too sweet at all, like other reviewers mentioned, and it was excellent for lunch leftovers the next day. We served this as is, not with the rice accompaniment. It was quite hearty without the rice. I would definitely make this again!

Other than using a purple cabbage, I pretty much followed the recipe. I cooked the cabbage as directed and then served the meat sauce on top. My husband loved it!

This was delicious. I love stuffed cabbage but do not have 12 hours to make it. Plus I'm terrible at rolling the cabbage leaves. This recipe is the perfect solution. The one modification I would recommend would be to cut the cabbage into smaller chunks. (Might also help the cooking time mine took much longer than 45 mins). The quartered cabbage was much too big for one person. Next time I would cut it into pieces and make it a little more like a stew. Otherwise a terrific dinner for a winter night.

I made this pretty much as written, steaming the cabbage, which was "early" cabbage from our garden, so not perhaps as dense as store-bought storage cabbage. This makes a lovely winter supper, with or without rice, and even better leftovers. I did cut back a bit on the sugar and vinegar, and at first I thought that even so there was too much of a vinegar taste, but it all mellowed and got very delicious as it cooked. Might do the sauce the day before next time for even more mellowing.

After reading the reviews, I too started the sauce first (made it the day before actually) and seared the cabbage in a little bacon fat first. My cabbage (a huge one) took the full time to cook (which was fine because I was cooking brown rice to go with it---I suggest white rice or polenta with this dish). We loved this and will make it again.

This was a hit for the family. I boiled the cabbage as long as it said in the recipe, cut off the hard parts and added pieces of bacon. The sauce was great, I used pork sausage meat and beef since I had nothing else. Still really good.

My husband and I actually CRAVE this dish! It is so tasty, easy to make and economical. I use all ground turkey (browned in the fat from one or two pieces of bacon). Makes me feel like it's healthier :-)

Really good use of extra cabbage from box delivery. Based on other reviews and making this a few times, I offer these tips: 1. start sauce first 2. sear cabbage before steaming. I like the reviewers suggestion to brown some chopped bacon and sear the cabbage in the bacon fat, then sprinkle bacon on at the end. very good. 3. Cabbage takes 15 minutes to cook. really. Enjoy!

I used this recipe as an inspiration for my own dish, which my husband declared "spectacular." (Happy face.) Recipe follows. My recipe used 1 pound ground beef, but the pork would be fine. I substituted 2 C Trader Joe's Organic Creamy Tomato Soup, and used 4 T seasoned rice vinegar instead of the vinegar & brown sugar. Also omitted the cranberries. Used 1/2 C cooked brown rice. Rinse and remove intact as many leaves as possible from the cabbage. Simmer in a frying pan in 2 C broth with one minced clove garlic for 5-6 minutes. Remove to a plate. Chop roughly the remaining cabbage and add to the broth: simmer until tender, 5-8 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the onions, meat, etc. as per the recipe (omitting the berries.) Add 2 T tomato paste, the cloves, 1/2 the paprika & the caraway to the meat mixture: add the rice. Remove the chopped cabbage from the pan with a slotted spoon & place evenly in the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan. Neatly place the whole leaves over this, spacing evenly (I managed 4 rows of 3.) Distribute the meat mixture evenly among the whole leaves. Mix the tomato soup, 2 T tomato paste, 1/2 t paprika, and rice vinegar. Pour gently over and around the "deconstructed" cabbage rolls. Cover with foil and bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Not anything I need to make again.

Made this as written and it was very good! Even my husband and son liked it and my husband is not a big cabbage fan. I did substitute ground chicken for the ground beef to save some calories. Was very good.

I made this! I browned the cabbage in bacon grease first and didn't cook it as long as the recipe says. I also added soy sauce and Worcestershire to the meat sauce, and some soujouk (dry Armenian beef sausage) I had lying around. I did not like this at all! Then I realized -- I don't like stuffed cabbage. Never have. I intentionally made something I know I can't stand. I am dumb. My husband loves stuffed cabbage and he thought it was great. So if you like stuffed cabbage, and you're not as dumb as I am, and you don't go around cooking things you know you hate, you'll probably like this recipe a lot.

I reduced the cooking time on the cabbage but otherwise made the recipe as written. It was good. I would make it again if I had the ingredients on hand but wouldn't go through the trouble of buying them especially for this dish.

A nice, easy and comforting recipe for a weeknight. I changed a couple of things and loved it. I used apple cider vinegar, and chunks of apple instead of cranberries. Good stuff!

This is a great, easy way to enjoy stuffed cabbage. I added 2 Tbsp of Hungarian sweet paprika and 1 Tbsp of half-sharp Hungarian paprika.

I now have a great recipe for all that cabbage I receive in my produce box. I followed other directions and chopped up bacon, cooked in the pan, removed with slotted spoon, seared cabbage sections, then added broth and steamed for 20 minutes. I also made the meat sauce first so it would have longer to simmer. Added soy sauce to the meat sauce too. Husband loved the dish, 6 year olds gave it a "big thumbs down." But they are 6 year olds, it's their job to hate cabbage. All in all really nice and easy too.

1. BROWN the onion in the shortening, only to a golden color. Do not brown.

2. ADD the water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. (This liquid is just enough for this size cabbage).

3. PUT cabbage in sprinkle with caraway seed if you wish. Boil for 1/2 hour. Sprinkle with flour. Stir it up and boil just a few seconds for the flour to dissolve.

The posting author's Grandmother notes that you shouldn't "put cooked cabbage in freezer -- just in icebox." (aka: refrigertor)

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Related: appetizers, gluten-free, Latin America, low-fat, pareve, Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat, vegan, vegetables & legumes, vegetarian

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20–25 minutes

Yield: 4–6 servings

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This recipe comes from Sara Yaech, a woman whom I met on a trip to Havana the week before Barack Obama visited Cuba. Descended on her father’s side from Turkish Jews who came from Istanbul to this Spanish-speaking country in the 1920s, Sara grew up with Turkish and Ladino food. An amazingly alive woman in her early 70s, Sara has always been the one to teach many of the now 600 or so Jewish women in Havana about their culinary past in the Sephardic synagogue (one of three in Havana today). Like many of the Cuban Jews descended from Bessarabia and Poland, she learned cooking from her grandmother and from her mother, who was descended from Jews who came to Cuba in the far past, perhaps those who came from Spain with Christopher Columbus after 1492, when Jews were often stowaways on the ships.

A few years ago, during a difficult period in Cuba, Sara’s joints started puffing up and she felt stiff and uncomfortable. Her doctor told her to change her diet from beans and rice, which she did, going directly back to the unprocessed Sephardic food of her ancestors. At a lunch in her garden, she served her own challah and a variety of eggplant dishes from a new book she wrote entitled Veinte Recetas de Berenjena (Twenty Eggplant Recipes)—“hummus” from eggplant, thin strips of eggplant with meat inside, a sweet eggplant purée with toasted coconut on the side—as well as a cabbage dish and wine made from the fruit growing in her garden. The food was delicious, but the salad made from cabbage, a universal ingredient that I saw everywhere in the Cuban kiosks that act as supermarkets, intrigued me as a symbolic Jewish food that really went around the world. In fact, Sara told me that once she made this dish for a Jewish woman from Russia who was delighted because her mother in Moscow made the very same sweet and sour dish. To show how very old this dish is, it swaps tamarind, the acid used by Sara’s ancestors until the advent of the tomato, for the tomato sauce.

Recipe for Hungarian, Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

One of the best sweet sour red cabbage recipes that you’ll come across which is healthy and appetizing at the same time! It is very easy to prepare and tastes great when served alongside ham, pork, and sausage. Here’s the recipe of Hungarian sweet-sour red cabbage to relish this holiday season with family and friends.


Medium head of red cabbage

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup apple cider vinegar

¼ teaspoon salt (red Himalayan or sea-salt)

½ cup fresh chopped parsley (or 2 tablespoons dry parsley)

1/3 cup fresh chopped basil (or 2 teaspoons dry basil)

1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar

Cooking Instructions:

Take apart cabbage & wash well in big bowl of sink full of cold water with a squirt of liquid Castile Soap transfer to & rinse in clean water until all soap is removed cut cabbage into short strips &/or pieces & drain in colander

Chop & sauté onion in olive oil over low heat for 1-2 minutes until glassy

Chop & sauté garlic & add to onion sauté for 30 seconds

Add cabbage to pot, stir well until it’s mixed with onion & garlic

Add vegetable broth & 2 cups of spring water cover & simmer

Mix herbs & spices &I add to cabbage, mixing it well

Add Balsamic Vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar & honey add more water if needed, cover pot & simmer for 45 minutes or more until cabbage is cooked al dente

Adjust balance of sweet & sour if needed

Serve as a side dish with chicken, fish, rice or other preferences

Dish remains fresh for up to 10 days in the refrigerator as it marinates & its flavor deepens & improves

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Recipe Summary

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tart apples, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large head of red cabbage, cored and very thinly sliced (12 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

In a pot, melt the butter. Add the apples and onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper and stir until slightly wilted. Add the wine, sugar, cherries, cloves and bay leaf. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring, until the cabbage is tender, about 45 minutes. Add the vinegar and lemon juice and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and serve.

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