Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
Quick pickled red cabbage adds a crunchy sweet, acidic hit to any dish. Pickling is a technique as old as time and takes time to prepare. However, this quick pickle method speeds up the entire process. The idea here isn’t to preserve the vegetables but to imitate the flavour of a pickled vegetable.
What does pickling do?
Pickling aims to preserve an item using an acidic or saline solution to immerse said item. The goal is to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and prevent Clostridium botulinum from growing. The last bacteria are deadly serious as they’re the bacteria that cause botulism.
Most vegetables can be pickled, but doing so will alter their taste and texture. This quick pickled red cabbage recipe speeds up the pickling process, requiring the submersion of vegetables into a pickling solution. The spices here are entirely optional and changeable to whatever suits your recipe.
Vinegar for Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
Most recipes use distilled white vinegar for pickling. This vinegar smells mellow but has a tart flavour. It is made from fermenting grains. The main benefit of this vinegar is its clearness. The colourless vinegar is perfect for preserving colour in lightly colour vegetables such as cauliflower. This recipe calls for red wine vinegar as it helps maintain the colour of the cabbage. Still, any vinegar can be used for pickling. Just be sure to consider the flavour and appearance you wish to create. However, good quality vinegar with 5% acidity is a must.
How Long Should I Wait Before Using?
This quick pickled red cabbage is good to go as soon as it has cooled down. However, the longer it stays submerged in the pickling liquor, the longer the flavours have time to infuse the cabbage. In an ideal world, this pickled cabbage would be best served the following day after a few hours in the fridge. But life is short.
This pickling process aims at creating a replicated flavour and will not preserve the cabbage for long. Therefore the cabbage will lose its crunch and turn sour after two weeks. Traditionally, foods were submerged in a pickling liquor, sealed in Kilner jars, and boiled for an extended period to kill off bacteria. This is the method used to keep pickled foods in the store cupboard.
Quick Pickled Red Cabbage
- Kilner Jar
- Heatproof Bowl
- ½ Red Cabbage Shredded
- 250 ml Red Wine Vinegar
- 250 ml Water
- 1 Tbsp Sea Salt
- 50 g Sugar
- 1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 Tsp Peppercorns
- 1 Bay Leaf
- Bring the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and spices to a boil in a small pan.
- Place the red cabbage in a heatproof bowl, and pour the boiling liquid over the top.
- Cover and leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight, preferably.