Pickled cabbage

Pickled cabbage

This is another classic that is always in the fridge at all my restaurants as well as at home. It’s great to eat by itself, amazing with cold cuts and even brilliant on a sandwich with some chicken or beef, as with the last pickle.


  • ½ savoy cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 dried long red chillies, deseeded
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) white vinegar
  • 345 g (12 oz/1½ cups) sugar


Cut the cabbage into large chunks, toss with the sea salt and then leave for about 30 minutes.

Roast the chillies and peppercorns in a preheated 200°C (400°F/Gas 6) oven for about 3 minutes, or until the chillies blacken and the peppercorns are fragrant. Pound the spices in a mortar with a pestle until coarsely ground.

Put the vinegar and sugar in a small pot over low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, turn off the heat, then add the ground spices and mix together.

Firmly pack the salted cabbage into a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) sterilised glass jar (or several smaller jars). Gradually pour in the spice and vinegar mixture, allowing the liquid to find its way to the bottom of the jar before you add more. You should be able to add most, if not all, of the liquid.

Seal with a tight-fitting lid and set aside for at least two days before using.

NOTES: This pickled cabbage will get better the longer you leave it. The jars can be stored unopened in a cool dark place indefinitely, or in the fridge for several months, once opened.

First published in Neil’s cookbook Balance & Harmony.