My favorite cabbage salad: only a few ingredients and so easy to make, this white cabbage salad is the perfect side dish for almost any kind of meal.
This simple Romanian white cabbage salad is one of the best salad side dishes you can imagine. I think it has been my favorite salad all through my childhood and youth and I still love it dearly.
I make it often because I think it fits just about anything and I variate it slightly sometimes adding more ingredients if I feel like having something a bit different.
I chose to post it now because I think it fits this Gypsy Recipe series very well, you could have it as a side dish for every single Gypsy dish I’ve posted, either the Pork, Rice and Cabbage Stew (yeah, I know double cabbage, but it still fits), the Pork Burgers, the Skillet Chicken in Garlic and Roasted Pepper Sauce, the Gypsy Potatoes with Vegetable Sauce or the Gypsy Pork Chops.
So, no matter what you choose to cook, be sure that this white cabbage salad will be a very suitable side dish.
I strongly recommend you trying this salad at least once, I think it is quite different from the American Coleslaw or the German Sour Cream Salad, all of them absolutely great (I actually love any kind of cabbage salad), but quite different.
INGREDIENTS FOR WHITE CABBAGE SALAD
- White cabbage is actually pale green, especially on the outside, turning even paler on the inside. It has dense-leaved heads, which are generally pretty large, it is crip and sweet. It is the kind of cabbage I use most of the times, the cabbage I need when making Romanian cabbage rolls, cabbage noodles or fried cabbage with bacon.
- This is my grandmother’s white cabbage salad recipe, the way she always made it. My only change is to use less oil, only about 2-3 tablespoons, while she would just pour the oil from the bottle until she felt it was right.
- You can add more oil than I do if you wish, just taste and decide for yourself. Do not use olive oil though, that will not fit a Romanian cabbage salad at all, olive oil was never used much in Romania, I don’t think my grandmother has ever even tasted it.
- For a genuine taste use a mild sunflower oil or another rather neutral tasting vegetable oil.
- When buying sunflower oil in Germany I usually go for an organic brand, which has quite a dominant sunflower seed taste. However, for this particular white cabbage salad, I prefer the cheaper and milder sunflower oil variety.
HOW TO MAKE WHITE CABBAGE SALAD
I think what makes this white cabbage salad different from other cabbage salads is its consistency. It is softer than the usual crisp cabbage salad due to the kneading of the cabbage. That might seem strange to you, but it is really not hard to do it and the result is really well worth it.
- After slicing the cabbage as finely as you can, sprinkle it with the salt and leave it for about half an hour (sometimes I leave it even a bit longer, it’s OK).
- Knead the salad shortly, then start taking handfuls from the salted cabbage and squeeze them as well as you can. That will help release the extra moisture and make the salad really really tender and somehow comforting, an unusual word to use when talking about a salad.
- Mix the kneaded cabbage salad with the dressing ingredients and stir well. Add the parsley.
- The white cabbage salad can be eaten immediately, but it only improves if left alone for at least a few hours. It is delicious during the next couple of days as well.
HOW TO SERVE CABBAGE SALAD
Cabbage salad with boiled potatoes:
- Like I’ve mentioned above this Romanian white cabbage salad used to be my favorite salad when I was young and I remember that my preferred way of eating it was as a meal with plain boiled potatoes.
- My grandma would just boil some potatoes in their skin and we would have those with cabbage salad, which was always slightly sour due to the vinegar, a bit salty and rather oily. She was always very generous with the oil (I am not that generous nowadays), which gave the cabbage that glistening look…
- I would crush the potatoes with the fork, pile lots of white cabbage salad on top and enjoy! Delicious!
Cabbage salad as side dish:
- The cabbage salad makes a super side dish for any of the dishes mentioned above, any meat dish you can think of, perfect for pork but also suitable for chicken or turkey.
- You can serve it with Hungarian beef goulash or pork goulash or with any kind of grilled meats, like pork kebabs or sausages.
- The white cabbage salad can be easily brought to any potluck party.
What to do with cabbage salad leftovers?
- Cabbage salad keeps well in the fridge, you can eat it for at least 2-3 in a row.
- You can use some leftovers to make sandwiches, like the Japanese katsu sando or a vegetarian sandwich with pan fried tofu and cabbage salad.
- Cook some pasta, drain it well, mix it with the leftover cabbage salad. Melt some butter in a large skillet and fry the noodle cabbage mixture. Adjust the taste and serve.
- Cook some potatoes, slice them and fry them in a little butter together with the cabbage salad leftovers. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper and be generous with the fresh parsley.
OTHER CABBAGE SALAD RECIPES:
Ramen Noodle Napa Cabbage Salad – the best ever noodle cabbage salad!
German Cabbage Salad – a typical German salad for any occasion.
Simple White Cabbage Salad- Romanian Recipe
- 500 g/ 1.1 lbs white cabbage
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or more to taste preferably a mild-tasting sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small bunch of parsley
- Slice the white cabbage as finely as possible. Place it in a bowl, mix it well with the salt and leave for half an hour.
- Knead the cabbage shortly with your hand, transfer it to a colander, and wipe the bowl clean to remove the moisture and extra salt.
- Take handfuls of the cabbage and squeeze them in your hand to release the extra moisture. Return the cabbage to the bowl.
- Add the oil and the vinegar and some freshly ground black pepper. Stir well, until the cabbage salad starts to glisten. Taste and adjust (if necessary) with more salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil. It should taste rather sour and salty. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
- It will keep well for several days in the fridge. Covered, of course.