Spicy pickled cabbage
This is my spicy version of Mrs Beeton's pickled red cabbage recipe.
Adjust the spices to suit your personal taste.
I've made this recipe 4 or 5 times now and it's a real winner!
- 650g red cabbage (1 large red cabbage)
- About ½ cup of cooking salt or table salt. It needs to be fine so rock salt won't do.
- 1 litre of pickling vinegar
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon chili flakes
- 1 heaped tablespoon ground ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries
- Rinse and dry the outside of the cabbage
- Peel and discard any floppy or damaged leaves
- Cut into quarters, cut out the core and then cut into eight pieces.
- Shred the cabbage, preferably with a food processor fitted with a slicing attachment
- Pick through the shredded cabbage, remove and chop any large pieces by hand.
- Split the shredded cabbage between a couple of colanders and build up in layers; a layer of cabbage, a layer of salt, a layer of cabbage, etc.
- Place the colanders over plates and leave in a cool place for 24 hours
- Meanwhile we'll spice up the vinegar.
- In a well ventilated kitchen, add the vinegar and the spices to a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely
- When cold, pour into a jar and cover until the cabbage is ready
- After 24 hours, rinse the cabbage under a cold tap to remove the salt and then squeeze out as much excess water as you can. A salad-spinner would be good for this.
- Leave to drain in the colanders whilst you strain the vinegar through a clean muslin cloth or a tea-towel.
- Pack the cabbage into clean sterilised jars and cover with the vinegar
- Seal and store in a cool dark place for up to 10 weeks.
- It will be ready to eat after 1 week.
If you notice a musty smell from the cabbage before you cut it open, yet it appears perfect on the outside, cut it in half and check the core. More than once I've had a little mould on the inside leaves around the core. Discard them and wash the cabbage once it's been sliced if you are really paranoid. Do pat it dry on a tea-towel before salting.
There is no need to peel ginger. As a result of attending a Thai cookery demo, we have learnt that peeling ginger is unnecessary unless for aesthetic purposes as the skin is high in fibre and full of flavour. However, do remove any bits that have become tough or woody.
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