sweet and sour cabbage

Mom’s Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Sweet and Sour Cabbage

Since I posted Mom’s Pierogi recipe, I thought I had better share her recipe for sweet and sour cabbage, too. This cabbage dish was a favorite of hers. Some years ago, I had gotten after her to get her recipes down, so they would not be lost. Eventually we put together a cookbook of her recipes to share with family and friends. I encourage all of you to do the same. Get those family recipes together.


This cabbage dish is great served with pierogi, or a roast chicken or pork chops. If you cut the cabbage into small pieces, you can also use it as a filling for pierogi. The recipe calls for using a paste-type soup base for flavoring. This was a little change from how my Mom made it, but it was hard to explain what she really did. Using the soup base, was a way anyone could make this cabbage dish. Every time my mom roasted a chicken or maybe a pork roast, she would save all the drippings from the pan. She’d strain them and chill it to remove the fat. She would take the drippings and pop them in a container in the freezer. Once she had a “nice amount”, she would use it to flavor the cabbage. You can see why we used the alternative soup base directions. You could also use chicken or vegetable stock, in place of the water for more flavor.


Here is the recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Sweet and Sour Cabbage

3 lbs. sliced cabbage, about a 3 ½ lb. head or 3 lbs. Cole slaw mix
1 onion, sliced
1 T. oil, butter, margarine or even bacon fat
3 c. water
1 T. paste type soup base or to taste
½ t. thyme
1 t. dillweed
1 t. marjoram
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
2 T. sugar
½ c. catsup
1 c. water
¼ c. flour

Sauté onion in oil until wilted. Bring water to boil in large pot. Add soup base and add cabbage. Stir in onions and remaining ingredients, except for the 1 cup of water and flour and cook, uncovered until cabbage is tender. This can take from 15-25 minutes, depending on the age of the cabbage and the size of the pieces. In jar with a tight- fitting lid combine remaining water and flour and shake until smooth. Add to cabbage mixture and cook, stirring until thickened, about 2 minutes. Adjust seasonings. This dish is great served alone, or with pork or chicken dishes or with potatoes.

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

Cabbage with Apples and Pears

I really do like cabbage. I think it gets overshadowed by its botanical cousins like kale and broccoli. Cabbage is loaded with vitamins- including vitamin C – and is so versatile. I could eat cole slaw every day of the week. It also is great in salads, soups and casseroles. Since I was doing a class on cooking with apples and pears I decided to combine these three ingredients together in one dish. I went a little sweet and sour with this one, adding 2 different vinegars and a bit of sugar. You could certainly add bacon or perhaps some hot peppers for variation. I served it as is, but will often stir in some cooked noodles just before serving.


Sweet and Sour Cabbage- with Apples and Pears

2 T. oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
8 c. shredded cabbage
2 c. chopped apples and pears, peeled if desired
½ c. cider vinegar
2 T. balsamic vinegar
¼ sugar, or more to suit your taste
salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onion in oil until golden brown. Add cabbage and fruit and cook over medium high heat, stirring often until cabbage is wilted. Add remaining ingredients and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated. Adjust seasonings. Serves 4-6.
Note: You can serve this dish just as it is or you can add 8 oz. of cooked noodles when you add the vinegar for cabbage and noodles. Some people also like to make this dish with crumbled bacon or diced ham.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Apples

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Apples

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Apples

I think cabbage is under rated. It is such a versatile vegetable. It’s good in both hot and cold dishes, it isn’t expensive and cabbage is good for you. I was looking for a side dish for a duck dinner with friends the other night and I decided on sweet and sour cabbage. Since I had a pretty good sized head of green cabbage and just a small piece of red cabbage I mixed the two together. I added cider vinegar, sugar and apples to round out the dish. It came out this pretty light pink color and had a flavor that went well with the duck. I’d also serve this as a side dish with ham, pork or even a lamb roast. It would go well with any of them. You could use any color cabbage for this dish- or combine colors, as I did.

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Apples

2-3 T. oil

2-3 onions, sliced thin

8 c. chopped cabbage, any color

1 c. stock- chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 c. apple cider vinegar

1/4 c. sugar

1 t. celery seeds

3 apples, peeled , cored and diced

salt and hot pepper sauce to taste

Heat oil in skillet and cook onion until tender and a little wilted. Add cabbage, stock, vinegar, sugar and celery seeds and cook until cabbage is tender. Most of the liquid will evaporate. Add the apples and cook until apples are just heated through. Season with salt and hot sauce and serve. Serves 5-6.

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