Kid-friendly Quick-Pickled Cabbage Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Recipe: Quick-Pickled Cabbage

Quick-Pickled Cabbage

by Erin Fletter
Photo by DronG/
prep time
15 minutes
cook time
5 minutes
4-6 servings

Equipment Checklist

  • Skillet
  • Box grater or food processor
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Slotted spoon


Quick-Pickled Cabbage

  • 1/4 head white, green, or red cabbage (or 2½ to 3 cups of pre-shredded cabbage)
  • 3/4 C water
  • 1/2 C vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 T sugar


Quick-Pickled Cabbage

shred + measure + boil

Using a box grater or a food processor, shred 1/2 of a head of cabbage. Measure and add 3/4 cups of water, 1/2 cup of vinegar, 3/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 tablespoon of sugar to a skillet. Bring to a boil. Then add shredded cabbage, stir to submerge, and turn off the heat. Let the cabbage sit in this brine while you make the rest of the recipes. Use a slotted spoon to top the sammie or drain excess liquid if necessary before serving cabbage as a side or inside your Tasty Toasted Portobello Reuben Sammies (see recipe).

Surprise Ingredient: Cabbage!

back to recipe
Photo by Epov Dmitry/

Hi! I'm Cabbage!

"I come in a few different colors and shapes, but I'm usually green or red (which is really purple-red) with tightly packed leaves forming a round head. You may be most familiar with me shredded in coleslaw and cooked for a St. Patrick's Day dinner with corned beef."

  • Cabbage was likely domesticated before 1000 BCE in Europe, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it in their cuisines. Cabbage was introduced to Asia and the Americas sometime between the 1500s and the 1700s and was considered a staple food in Europe by the 18th century. 
  • China produces the most cabbage worldwide, but Russia consumes the most per person.
  • The word "cabbage" is late Middle English from the Old French (Picard dialect) "caboche" ("head"), a variant of Old French "caboce." 
  • Cabbage has many relatives (broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, collard greens). All of these vegetables are part of a family called "Brassica." 
  • The cabbage head grows in the center of a cabbage plant. Initially, the plant produces large, broad leaves, but eventually, the inner leaves begin to curl around a short, thick stem at the center. These inner leaves form the head of cabbage we see in markets. 
  • Green cabbage is the most common type. It has thick green leaves that are packed close together in the head. One head can weigh from one pound to nine pounds! You can cook it as a standalone veggie, add raw cabbage to coleslaw, use it to make cabbage rolls, or add it to soups and stews. 
  • There are a few varieties of green cabbage, including the pointed cabbage, which is shaped like a cone! Savoy cabbage is a smaller, milder variety with tender, wrinkly leaves that you can use to make cabbage rolls or add to salads and stir-fries.
  • Red cabbage is popular in coleslaw and salads because of its color and crunchy texture. You can also pickle red cabbage to serve as a condiment to top burgers or tacos, or serve it as a side, especially with German dishes. 
  • White cabbage comes from the Netherlands and is also called Dutch cabbage. It is a type of green cabbage with very pale green to white leaves, although there is also a red variety. The Dutch variety is good for making sauerkraut, although you can also use it in the same way as green and red cabbage.
  • Napa cabbage, also called Chinese cabbage, is oblong with light green and yellow leaves and has a long, thick, and crunchy stem. It has a mild flavor and is popular in Asian cuisine in soups, spring rolls, stir-fries, and as wraps for pork and seafood.  
  • Cabbage is high in fiber and vitamins C and K. Vitamin K is good for the blood. A cup of raw cabbage has more vitamin C than an orange!
  • Different varieties of cabbages have varying nutritional strengths. For example, red cabbage has more vitamins C and B6 and antioxidants called anthocyanins that help keep your heart healthy, while the green savoy has more vitamins A and B9 (folate). 
  • Cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables are rich sources of phytochemicals, naturally-occurring plant chemicals that may protect people against some forms of cancer.

Lettuce Joke Around

How does a farmer mend his pants? 

With Cabbage patches!

The Yolk's On You

Any leftover cabbage can and will be shredded and mixed with mayonnaise.

That's Cole's Law!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a cabbage with a body? 

Head and shoulders above the rest.

THYME for a Laugh

What do you call a German cabbage that's getting clean? 


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