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German Cabbage Salad with Creme Fraiche and Herbs

by Adina 04/06/2016 7 comments

German Cabbage Salad

A very simple cabbage salad with crème fraiche.

german coleslaw German Cabbage Salad with Creme Fraiche and Herbs

This is my husband’s favorite grill salad, I would say. It is just the way his mother and grandmother have been making it for their whole lives, and considering that his grandmother will turn 96 in July, you could call this a vintage recipe :).

It is not a recipe I’ve often made myself, the main reason for it being that this is one of those recipes that my mother-in-law usually makes, just like her Beef Roulades, Jägerschnitzel or Choco Crossies. Everything easy and delicious, but somehow belonging to her, the way the Chicken Dumpling Soup or birthday cakes belong to me. So usually when my husband or my brother-in-law feel like eating this particular cabbage salad, they don’t ask me, they call their mama… 🙂 And these are not the only dishes I never have to bother making, there are quite a few more… maybe I should make a “Mother-in-law recipes” series one day! Not a bad idea, she has some really good ones… By the way, her name is Rosi.

german cabbage salad 683x1024 German Cabbage Salad with Creme Fraiche and Herbs

Returning to this cabbage salad, it is really very very easy to make and soooo delicious! The only thing you have to consider is planning ahead, after thoroughly kneading it with salt, you will have to leave it to tenderize for several hours or overnight. It makes a great accompaniment for grilled meats and sausages. But as we always have quite a huge bowl full of it, I keep eating it for several days after we grilled and I really don’t need any meat anymore, it is great just as it is with some bread on the side or as a side dish for roast potatoes for instance.

german coleslaw salad German Cabbage Salad with Creme Fraiche and Herbs

German Cabbage Salad

Prep time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 6-8

german coleslaw German Cabbage Salad with Creme Fraiche and Herbs
  • 1 small cabbage
  • 1 onion
  • 250 g/1 cup crème fraiche
  • 2-3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • some milk
  • small bunch of parsley
  • small bunch of chives
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Slice the cabbage very finely, you could use a mandolin or something similar. Place it in a large bowl, add some salt starting with 2 teaspoons. Knead the cabbage very thoroughly with your hands, taste and add more salt if not salty enough. Don't overdo it though with the salt. Cover and let it stand in the fridge for at least 6 hours and up to 24.
  2. Chop the onion very finely, my mother-in-law always crushes it with a fork after chopping it. Mix the crème fraiche with the onions, add the vinegar and give everything to the cabbage. Mix well and adjust the seasoning with salt if still necessary, pepper, sugar and more vinegar if necessary, the salad should be on the sour side. Add a splash or two of milk to loosen the dressing.
  3. Chop the herbs very finely and give them to the salad.
  4. Stir well and keep refrigerated until ready to serve. It keeps for several days in the fridge.


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Anca 04/06/2016 - 10:22

The recipe sounds delicious. I am not keen on cabbage salad, but I would like to try this one with onions and creme fraiche is different from I am used to.

[email protected]'s Recipes 04/06/2016 - 13:55

Looks quite crunchy, delicious and easy to prepare!

Sissi 04/06/2016 - 18:44

What a wonderful cabbage salad! I love cabbage in all forms (sauerkraut, cooked, raw…) but this salad sounds quite original. Judging from the look and the ingredients I’d really like it, so I must remember to try it. I’m very glad to discover your beautiful blog. So many luscious-looking dishes!

Kate @ Framed Cooks 05/06/2016 - 21:16

Looks perfect to go alongside of grilled steak or chicken – I love finding out about a new summer salad!

Brie 06/06/2016 - 16:58

Rosi sounds like a pretty fantastic cook and MIL 🙂 Oh Adina my husband is going to looove this salad, he’s crazy for anything cabbage but especially salads that are slightly tangy and sweet like this one! Thanks for sharing this vintage family recipe.

Elizabeth Weaver 11/09/2019 - 23:40

Did I do something wrong? Mine is frothy. I used sour cream and mixed in some half and half instead of Creme fraiche because I cannot find it in stores. I also substituted about 1/2 teaspoon of “no salt” because we try to keep the sodium content down.

Adina 12/09/2019 - 08:38

I don’t know, Elizabeth, maybe one of the milk products was passed its best before date or you left the salad in a warm place. I don’t know what “no salt” is, maybe something in it reacts with the milk products. Replacing the creme fraiche with sour cream and half and half is fine, that should not be a problem at all.


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