How To Make A Sour Cabbage In 6 Steps

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

This is the easiest recipe you’ll find all day. An easy six-step guide on how to sour cabbage – a popular and tasty dish enjoyed all around the Balkans!

Balkan Recipes_How To Make Sour Cabbage

What Do You Use Sour Cabbage For

There are so many different things that you can use sour cabbage for! If you love pickling things, then you can definitely use sour cabbage to make your own homemade sauerkraut. Not only is this a great way to add some extra flavor to your dishes, but it’s also a great way to get your daily dose of probiotics.

Sour cabbage is also delicious, and it is used widely in the Balkans in soups and stews. It makes a great accompaniment to meats like pork and sausage.

If you find yourself with some soured cabbage, don’t worry – there are plenty of delicious recipes that make use of this souring ingredient. From sauerkraut to kimchi, there are all sorts of ways to enjoy soured cabbage.

Here are five recipes that will help you make the most of your soured cabbage:

  • Sauerkraut & sausages: This classic German dish, fermented cabbage is served alongside sausage and potatoes for a hearty meal
  • Sarme: Sarme is a dish from the Balkans that goes by many names. In Croatia, it’s known as sarma; in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s called sirnica; and in Serbia, it’s called sarmića. This dish is typically made with minced meat (usually pork or beef) and rice wrapped in sour cabbage (or grape) leaves. It’s then cooked in a lightly seasoned broth and served with a dollop of sour cream on top. Find my sarme recipe here ↳
  • Kimchi: A Korean favorite, kimchi is made by pickling cabbage in a spicy mixture of chili peppers, garlic, and ginger. It’s traditionally served as a side dish but can also be used as an ingredient in other dishes like stews or stir-fries
  • Cabbage Soup: This simple soup is a great way to use soured cabbage. Just simmer the chopped cabbage in chicken or beef broth until tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with some crusty bread for dipping

No matter how you use it, sour cabbage is a versatile and tasty ingredient that should definitely be in your kitchen repertoire!


How to sour a cabbage recipe

How To Sour A Cabbage - Sour Cabbage

Here is how to make your own sour cabbage in a simple six-step process.


  • Cabbage (any size)
  • Water (see the ratio below)
  • Salt (see the ratio below)
  • Jar or container that seals air tight


  1. Clean the whole heads of cabbage and trim off the hard hearts. The easiest way to do this is to make 4 cuts (square-shaped) deep around the heart
  2. Once the fibrous and hard part of the cabbage has been removed, fill the gaps with sea salt
  3. Make the brine. Use a 1:1 ratio of water to salt. That is 1 tablespoon of salt for every 1 liter of water
  4. Place the cabbage in a jar and cover it with the brine so that the liquid covers the cabbage. If you need to make more brine do so, it must be 100% covered
  5. Finally, we put a weight on top to keep the cabbage low and not float
  6. Let stand for 4 to 15 days in a dark place
How to sour a cabbage recipe

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