A different take on red cabbage

Red cabbage is called “Blaukraut” in Bavaria and is a classic and delicious side dish. The chopped cabbage is usually cooked in a broth made from icing sugar, reduced port and red wine and vegetable stock and then flavoured with bay leaf, allspice, cinnamon, orange zest, apple purée and vinegar.

There will certainly be a recipe for this here too, but not today. In Munich, the great Tohru Nakamura cooks Japanese-inspired dishes with many regional influences and products. A few years ago, he presented a completely different version of red cabbage for a newspaper, which we of course had to try. It was sensational and we now love cooking his version with a slightly more traditional approach.

This is very easy, but it is essential to start the day before:

The stalk is cut off the red cabbage, then it is halved and the outer leaves are removed. You then no longer need to wash the cabbage.

We lay the halves on the cut surface and cut off slices about 5 mm thick, which we then dice crosswise to about the same size. If necessary, any particularly firm parts near the stalk are left out.

This makes for colourful hands

The chopped red cabbage is now mixed with the ingredients listed below, plus 2 tsp salt and approx. a dozen turns of a mill with black pepper.

We knead everything vigorously with our hands, which are now thoroughly coloured but can be easily cleaned. We always wear such work certificates with pride and, apart from in exceptional cases, we don’t approve much of disposable plastic gloves.

The red cabbage is covered and left to rest overnight in the fridge or, in winter, on the balcony. The next morning it looks like this:

We peel the outer skin of an orange thinly, without the white part, and then squeeze it out. The zest and juice are added to the red cabbage, along with bay leaves and a little dark balsamic vinegar. Everything is mixed together and placed in a pot with a lid and baked in the oven at 180 degrees with convection for 90 minutes. If the red cabbage is still not completely soft, we just add 30 minutes.

Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper. Stirring in a little cold butter adds extra flavour and shine, but this is optional. Vegans simply leave it out, as well as the honey.

The red cabbage can be warmed up for serving and any leftovers will taste even better the next day. We are working on a vegetarian burger that includes this red cabbage.

The nutty flavours that the sesame oil and soy sauce bring are a wonderful variation on the classic preparation.


And may the taste be with you.

Ingredients (for 6 people as a side dish):

The day before:

1 red cabbage (1 kg or a little more), diced

50 ml olive oil

50 ml sesame oil

50 ml light soy sauce

Juice of 1 orange

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp honey

1 apple, grated

2 tbsp preserved lingonberries (alternative: cranberries)


Black pepper

The next day:

1 orange

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp dark balsamic vinegar

Optional: 2 – 3 tbsp cold butter

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