A collection of Hungarian recipes and home cooking

Hungarian Tidbits

Braised Red Cabbage

Braised red cabbage

Perfect side dish for roast meats especially roast duck and goose or pork.  The taste is subtle with a lot going on from the caramelised sugar, little vinegar, caraway seeds and salt. Red cabbage is called “purple cabbage” in Hungarian which seems fitting.


  • 1 medium-sized red cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of pork fat or sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon of soft dark brown sugar or plain granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of whole caraway seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup water, topped up during cooking if needed
    (you could substitute all or some of the water with red wine, it works well with it)

How to make:

  1. Quarter the cabbage – this makes easy to remove the tough white core – and shred the leaves into fine strips.
  2. Peel and finely chop the red onion
  3. Heat the fat in a large, heavy-based saucepan (with a lid)
  4. Fry the red onion on low-medium heat with the sugar sprinkled onto it until soft and changing colour.
  5. Add the cabbage leaves, salt, caraway seeds and vinegar, fry a little and stir to coat for a couple of minutes.
  6. Pour in a cup of water, cover with a lid and slowly cook, checking and stirring from time to time and topping up the water a little if needed, cook until the cabbage is soft, about 20-25 minutes. Take off the lid towards the end so most of the water evaporates.

red cabbage recipe

12 thoughts on “Braised Red Cabbage

    1. Assembling material for a book with instruction would be very important. Many of our Magyar friends, family, and occasional aquaintences mention ; Grandma’s this or that, or NayNee’s secret ingredient, etc., etc, ad infinitum. No one has a paper trail! If You did not grow up hovering close, and PAID attention; it would sound like alchemy! I keep sketchy records, and am ashamed that I did not clarify; techniques, or ingredients. You could , and should assemble some guide, as most of us kitchen “VAGABONDS” only remember the high notes. Have a merry Christmas All.

      1. Luckily there is still something magical remains in paper books even in this digital age. This one is just a little hobby website really, maybe one day I would organise the recipes into a little pocket book, (easier said than done) Merry Christmas to you and all family!

        1. I have scrap books: Mom left me in Chicago at age 20! So I put letters in clear protector sheets, and each letter has a great little recipe plus little tips on saving ingredients, and time. But she is long gone to her maker. So When I visit I am back in time; with “My Ladies”! I do miss them. Both my kids are very aggressive trying all cuisines. But they remember Grand-mas most. You CAN do a little collection , and it will grow in time. Merry Christmas Ron B.

    1. Thank you, just saw your message, couldn’t recover the old site but more or less finished the new design – maybe I’ll save a back up this time round, just in case ;-)

  1. Thank you from another Eva. I’m a Hungarian/Canadian. I often refer to your site to refresh my memories of how my mom made this or that…. the Braised red cabbage recipe was a life saver. It helped me remember how my mom made hers.

  2. Thank you for this! On our recent trip to Hungary, Austira and Czechia, it was the red cabbage that did me in! I’m in love with Magyar food, and I’m desperate to find good recipes from Hungary, not the American version. Thank you so much!

  3. I’m going to make this today. I’m a Hungarian woman who grew up in the U.S., having moved here when I was 2, in 1956. My mother made this dish every Easter with roast duck. I’m excited because this recipe sounds totally authentic.

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