Learn how to make delicious Kebab Shop Red Cabbage at home with this simple Turkish salad recipe, using only 4 ingredients!.
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Kebab shop red cabbage, you know what I’m talking about - that tangy, pickled, shredded cabbage that sits on top of your juicy meat, wrapped up in a fluffy pita. It's crunchy, it's colourful, and it's downright delicious.
I’m going to show you how easy it is to create this fresh and tasty Turkish salad at home!
The key to great kebab shop red cabbage is in the pickling. You will thinly slice the cabbage and then leave it to soak in a mixture of lemon, olive oil & salt. This pickling liquid infuses the cabbage with flavour and also tenderises it, so you get a satisfying crunch without any toughness. White wine vinegar can also be used in place of the lemon juice, however I feel it tastes better with lemon juice.
If you are looking for more ways to use this delicious vegetable, check out my Braised Red Cabbage With Red Wine.
🥘 Ingredients Needed & Notes
✋ Be sure to double check all packaging for allergens. ✋
- Cabbage - I have used red cabbage as I love its vibrant colour and feel it has slightly more flavour than white cabbage, but this recipe will work just as well with white cabbage.
- Olive Oil - Just use regular olive oil, not extra virgin olive oil as the flavour will be too strong and over powering.
- Lemon - I always prefer to use fresh lemons as they are high in vitamin C and much better for you, but you can use the bottled lemon juice if that’s all you have. If you can buy fresh though, do, because it will taste much fresher!
- Salt - Use sea salt and not table salt. I love this Cornish Sea Salt and always have a tub in the cupboard.
🤔 How To Slice / Shred Cabbage
First, take your head of red cabbage and remove any loose, outer leaves that look wilted or damaged. Then, cut off the stem at the bottom so you have a flat base to work with.
Next, slice the cabbage in half from top to bottom. You should see the inner core of the cabbage now - this is the tough part that you don't want to eat, so we'll need to remove it.
Take one half of the cabbage and use your knife to cut a V-shape around the core, being careful not to cut too deeply into the edible part of the cabbage. Then, simply use your hands to pull out the core and discard it. Repeat with the other half of the cabbage.
Now that your cabbage is cored, you're ready to slice it into thin strips. Hold one half of the cabbage with the flat side down and use your knife to make thin, vertical cuts from top to bottom. Try and make the slices as thin as you can.
Finally, repeat with the other half of the cabbage and you are all done!
✏️ How to Make Kebab Shop Red Cabbage
For the full printable recipe, along with ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the end of the post ⬇️
To start, slice your cabbage into thin strips (see above for a quick tutorial on how to do this).
Then, place the cabbage in a colander and wash thoroughly under a cold tap. Shake to drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Next, toss the cabbage in a mixture of olive oil, salt, and lemon juice until it's fully coated and ready to soak up all those delicious flavours. You can use a spoon to mix it through, or even better, get stuck in with your hands!
Once your cabbage is seasoned to your liking, pop it in the fridge, covered, to pickle for at least an hour (though overnight is even better). This will give the cabbage time to soften and absorb all the zesty goodness of the marinade.
Taste the cabbage after 30 minutes and if its too tart for your liking, sprinkle in a teaspoon of sugar and mix through. Taste again and add more if necessary.
🤔 How Long Should I Leave The Red Cabbage in The Fridge To Pickle?
Leave the cabbage to marinate in the pickling mixture for at least an hour, but the longer you can leave it the better!
Ideally make the cabbage up the day before and leave overnight in the fridge. This will give it enough time for the flavours to really seep into the cabbage and give you that tender, yet still crunchy texture that we all know and love.
🥡 Leftovers & How To Store
If you have leftovers they will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for around 3-4 days. Any longer than this, although the cabbage will be ok to eat, the texture of the cabbage will be a lot softer and you will find it may start to go soggy.
🍴 Serving Suggestions
As it is called kebab shop red cabbage, the first thing that springs to mind is a kebab!
Make my Air Fryer Chicken Shish Kebab and then load up a pitta bread with the red cabbage, shredded iceberg lettuce, cucumber, tomato, sliced raw onion and wedge of lemon.
Add some chilli sauce for extra authenticity.
You don’t just have to serve it with kebab though. This cabbage will pair really well with any grilled meat and rice or as a side for a summer BBQ.
💬 Recipe FAQ
Red cabbage and green cabbage are both nutritious and offer numerous health benefits, but there are some key differences between the two.
Red cabbage is actually a variety of cabbage that is characterised by its deep purple-red colour. This colour comes from anthocyanins, which are powerful antioxidants that have been linked to a range of health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving brain function, and lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.
In addition to its high antioxidant content, red cabbage is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fibre.
While green cabbage may not contain the same level of antioxidants as red cabbage, green cabbage is still an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and fibre.
Yes, it is generally safe to eat raw red cabbage. In fact, many people enjoy adding raw red cabbage to salads, slaws, or as a crunchy topping to sandwiches.
Raw red cabbage is packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, fibre, and antioxidants.
However, it is important to note that some people may experience digestive discomfort or gas after consuming raw cabbage. This is because cabbage contains compounds called raffinose and fructan, which can be difficult for some people to digest.
To minimise the risk of digestive discomfort, it is recommended to start with small portions of raw cabbage and gradually increase intake over time. Additionally, thoroughly washing and properly storing the cabbage can also help reduce the risk of food borne illness.
📖 More Side Dishes...
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Kebab Shop Red Cabbage (Turkish Salad Recipe)
- 1 head red cabbage finely sliced
- 2 medium lemons juice of
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar optional - if needed
- First, slice your red cabbage into thin strips (see the blog post above for a quick tutorial on how to do this)
- Place the shredded cabbage in a colander and wash thoroughly. Shake well to drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Mix With Marinade
- Tip the cabbage into a large bowl, then add the olive oil, salt and lemon juice.
- Stir or mix with your hands until all the cabbage is fully coated in the mixture.
Leave To Marinate
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour or ideally overnight. The longer the cabbage sits in the pickling liquid, the more flavourful and tender it will become.
Add Sugar If Necessary
- Taste the cabbage after 30 minutes and if its too tart for your liking, sprinkle in a teaspoon of sugar and mix through. Taste again and add more if necessary.
- Once the cabbage has pickled to your liking, it's ready to be enjoyed! Serve it with your favourite kebab and salad.
Let me know what you think of this recipe!