This is that “special” recipe Nasim has been raving about – the pickled cabbage recipe, similar to the popular “Russian Sauerkraut”. I did not want to call it Russian Sauerkraut, because it is a little different than the Russian version ingredient-wise and taste-wise (it is much better :)) This pickled cabbage came out so good, that we ate it all in less than a week! It is sooo tasty and crunchy, that you will never want to try any other pickled cabbage elsewhere. And the good news is – it is very simple to make!
During the last two weeks I have not been able to post anything, since we have been very busy enjoying the company of our parents. I do not think I have to say much for people to understand how it is to spend time with the people you love, who are only able to visit you once in so many years. I both consciously and unconsciously refused to spend time on my routine Internet surge. Even though my mom and dad were encouraging me to keep on blogging and taking pictures, I did not want to spend my time away from my parents. We talked for hours, watched movies, cooked and ate, and did all kinds of fun stuff together. My come back to blogging only means that I yet again will keep on dreaming and awaiting our next meeting with my beloved parents and wishing that those two weeks lasted a little longer, if not forever…
My parents always taught me to cherish memories that bring me joy. While there is a lot I can tell you about my cherished memories, I decided to pick one that goes back to my grandmother, who passed away a couple of years back. The recipe of pickled cabbage is of my grandmother’s. We would eat it almost every day, along with different types of food. I have been craving for this cabbage for years and I asked my dad to make it for us while he was here. He gladly accepted the job and taught me everything he knew about my grandmother’s secret recipe while making it. We joked, laughed and cried, adding another share to our cherished moments and memories. In time, I hope to pass this recipe on to my children, but meanwhile, I decided to share it with my lovely readers.
Pickled cabbage is a very healthy side dish or a salad option. It is full of vitamins C and K. Furthermore, pickled cabbage can be used in food preparation, soups and pies.
- 2 medium matured cabbages
- 4 medium carrots
- 6-8 cloves of garlic
- 3 Tbsp salt
- 3 tsp of whole black peppercorns
- 6 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup of warm water
My father brought a couple of fine knives for my two sons as a gift. This is our family tradition! This was the first time we tried out the knives and I was amazed with their performance. These knives are hand-crafted by a master blacksmith, one of the best in Uzbekistan! I hope my children will cherish their knives once they get older and remember their grandfather, who loves them dearly.
Wash whole cabbages, cut each cabbage in four, shred the cabbage as seen in these pictures:
Crush the cleaned garlic cloves once or twice. My dad used the bottom of the knife handle for this, but you can do it your way. Just make sure that the garlic is not cut or crushed to small pieces. Set aside until needed.
Salt is very important in pickling the cabbage. If you add less than you should, the cabbage will not ferment and ultimately will not pickle. If you add more salt than needed, cabbage will be unpleasantly salty. My dad uses approximate measuring like I do for the most part. But since a lot of people like to know the exact measurements, I asked him to give me a number. 3 Tbsp is your number for this recipe :) Sprinkle the salt over the readily cut cabbage and start pressing/squeezing the cabbage little by little. This way the cabbage will loosen and start releasing water, which is an important ingredient for proper fermentation.
Once done squeezing the cabbage, you should see water coming out a little. Now it is time to place the ready ingredients in a large pot. We are going to make three layers of cabbage and carrots. Make sure you have big enough of a pot.Â Starting with the cabbage, place 1/3 of the whole amount on the bottom of the pot, top it up with 1/3 of the carrots, drop 2-3 cloves of garlic, spread 1 tsp of black peppercorns and place 2 bay leaves:
Repeat the process twice more and every time press the mixture down with your fist to let the water out of the cabbage.
Usually, water is not a necessary addition. But to be on the safe side, you can add 1/2 cup of warm water. Cover the cabbage with a plate, making sure that almost everything gets covered. I didn’t have that big of a plate, so we had to work with what we had:
What you’ve done with your fist so far is very important in obtaining the right type of pickled cabbage. You will need to ensure that the cabbage is tight enough to release water to properly pickle. For that, you will need to put a heavier object on top of the plate and let it stand until the pickling process is over. Press everything nicely and put the pot somewhere with a constant room temperature – cold environments are not good for this. Check the cabbage out the next day. Is the water level up? Is it salty enough? If you think it can use more salt, make sure to add it to the water that the cabbage released that day without delaying.
After 3 days, the cabbage will be ready to consume. Replace the pickled cabbage to jars and keep in the refrigerator.