Russian Braised Cabbage
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This braised cabbage is a classic comfort food made in nearly every Russian or Ukrainian home and our 3 year old loves it. I received several requests for this braised cabbage recipe in the past week and Vadim just thought it needed to get done. He combined two recipes – one from his Mama and one from my sister, Tanya.
Then he set off to make it (without my help, mind you). He took the pictures and even wrote up the recipe. We just finished up the leftovers which he sautéed up while I studied for pharmacology. Great job Vadim, it was delicious!!
Ingredients for Braised cabbage:
1 Cabbage head
1/2 lb or up to 1 lb of pork
1 medium onion
2 large carrots
2 Tbsp of sour cream
4 Tbsp of ketchup
1 Tbsp of brown sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tsp of salt, divided
1/2 tsp of pepper
6 Tbsp of olive oil
How to Make Braised Cabbage:
1. Shred the cabbage into thin slices using a mandolin or by cutting it in half or into quarters then finely shredding each piece with the flat end of the cabbage against the counter. Place sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on the cabbage and scrunch the cabbage using both hands for 30 sec to soften it.
2. Dice the onion and grate both carrots. Preheat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Saute onions and carrots for 5 min, mixing frequently. When almost done, mix in 2 Tbsp of sour cream. Empty contents of the skillet into mixing bowl with the cabbage.
4. Cut pork into small cubes. Using the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook pork for 5 min over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When cooked through, add it to the mixing bowl with cabbage, carrots and onion.
6. Add 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 4 Tbsp of ketchup and mix all contents of the bowl together.
7. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to large skillet or dutch oven. And cabbage mixture and set the heat to medium. Add 2 bay leaves.
8. Cover and cook cabbage for 35-40 min, stirring every 15 min. Reduce temperature to medium-low after 20 min. Add more ketchup or salt to taste, if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Cooking time may vary – if not using a dutch oven, you may need to add an extra 5 minutes if cabbage is not soft enough.
Russian Braised Cabbage
- 1 med - large Cabbage head
- 1/2 lb or up to 1 lb of pork
- 1 medium onion
- 2 large carrots
- 2 Tbsp of sour cream
- 4 Tbsp of ketchup
- 1 Tbsp of brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
- 6 Tbsp of olive oil
Shred the cabbage into thin slices using mandolin or by cutting it in half or into quarters, then finely shredding each piece with the flat end of the cabbage against the counter. Place sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle 1 tsp of salt on the cabbage and scrunch the cabbage using both hands for 30 sec to soften it.
Dice the onion and grate both carrots.
Preheat a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Saute onions and carrots for 5 min, mixing frequently. When almost done, mix in 2 Tbsp of sour cream. Empty contents of the skillet into mixing bowl with the cabbage.
Cut pork into small cubes.
Using the same skillet, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and cook pork for 5 min over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. When cooked through, add it to the mixing bowl with cabbage, carrots and onion.
Add 1 Tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, 4 Tbsp of ketchup and mix all contents of the bowl together.
Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil to large skillet or dutch oven. And cabbage mixture and set the heat to medium. Add 2 bay leaves.
Cover and cook cabbage for 35-40 min, stirring every 15 min. Reduce temperature to medium-low after 20 min. Add more ketchup or salt to taste, if desired. Remove bay leaves before serving.
Cooking time may vary - if not using a dutch oven, you may need to add an extra 5 minutes if cabbage is not soft enough.
Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review
Looks wonderful–What pork do you cube use and cube? Your explanations are clear and concise.
Hi Al! Thank you. You can use a pork steak, pork chop, or loin.
I’m considering using instant pot for this recipe (will be using beef sausage instead of pork). I think I’ll have to add 1 cup or so of broth to make it work. Any other suggestion for instant pot version? Thanks
Hi Masha! I have not tried this in an Instant Pot to advise but I imagine that may work. I do worry about the liquid requirements of an Instant Pot and turning this recipe into mush. If you happen to experiment let us know how it turns out.
This looks so yummy, but can you recommend what to serve it with as part of a meal. I’m stuck in an American mind set of “meat, veg and carbohydrate makes a meal” and I’m not sure what I would put together with a dish like this that is veg heavy with decent chunk of meat in it.
Hi Emily, I think it would be great served with Lemon Butter Chicken, Grilled Chicken Kabobs, French Onion Chicken, Sheet Pan Italian Chicken, or Baked Chicken Parmesan.
I’ve made this several times and it’s so delicious 😋 thank you for yummy recipes !!
Hello Inna, happy to hear that you loved the recipe!
As I recall, this was the recipe that hooked me onto your blog, Natasha. It quickly became a must-have at family gatherings with my sis-in-law and dad. I’d like to share it with my in-laws now and was wondering if you had any insights into cooking cabbage in an instant pot so I could do it from a hotel room. Thanks for all of your wonderful recipes!
Hi Julie, I have not tried this in an Instant Pot to advise but I imagine that may work. I do worry about the liquid requirements of an Instant Pot and that turning this recipe into mush. If you happen to experiment please let us know how you like that.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you on this. That trip to the in-laws ended up not happening. I have tried since, though. I used the sautee function on the IP instead of the pressure cooking and it worked out fine.
I am sure that I read your recipes on Facebook and Oe was for cabbage soup. I have bought the pork spare ribs and ingredients but can’t find the recipe. Can you help please?
Val Perry x
Hi Val, we have a sauerkraut soup. Also, try searching cabbage in the search bar.
We love cabbage and all your cabbage recipes that I’ve tried are delicious. I sometimes use this recipe as a side and omit the pork but add a bit of bacon instead. I often serve this with pierogis. Love this recipe!
Thank you for sharing this wonderful review with me Alicia!
Do you have any advice on whether or not this delicious dish would freeze well?
Hi Sarah, I have not stored this in the past to advise. It never lasted long enough for us to freeze. If you experiment, let me know how you liked the recipe
Wow this was very easy with a good processor to shred. I had a 2lb pork loin and it worked just fine! I had to add 1 more tblsp. of brown sugar bc my cabbage was huge. This was really very surprisingly wonderfully delicious, especially topped with a bloop of sour cream! Thank you!
You’re welcome, Danielle! I’m so glad you enjoyed that.
I’ve made this twice now, and my one year old LOVES it. I was shocked the first time I tried feeding him some, just on a whim to see what he’d do. He actually makes “Mmmm” sounds while he’s eating it! On the outside, he may look just like my husband, but mal’chik russkiy.
Oh, just in case anyone is interested, I used ground beef instead of pork, and it was still so delish! My husband likes to eat his with Sriracha; I prefer to have mine sprinkled with vinegar or lemon juice. Yum!
Thank you so much for sharing that with all of us, Taisa!
Aww that’s so sweet! Thank you for sharing that with me.
Do you have any tips on how to make sure the sour cream doesn’t curdle?
Hi Becky, I haven’t had that issue but if you are experiencing that, it could be due to continuing to cook the mixture after the sour cream is added.
Oh my gosh I just made this and love love live it!!!!! Thank you! I made it exactly like the recipe.
You’re so welcome, Stephanie! I’m happy you enjoyed that!
Beaut recipe – right down my alley…
thanks. My other half couldn’t stop eating the meat filled pies so he ate them all!
I had to fight to get one. Now I’m off to make some more.
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Malou!
I made this for my family last night, to go with some pierogies I had in the freezer. Major win–I used chicken breast instead of pork–but everybody loved it. Such flavor!
I’m glad the recipe was such a success! Thanks for sharing your great review with other readers!
I love how it’s so easy and simple to make!
I’m happy you enjoy the recipe Katya! Thanks for sharing!
I LOVE this recipe because it sort of reminds me of cabbage rolls (which I love) but less work. Even my boyfriend with American taste buds likes it so it’s a win!
Awesome! I’m glad to hear you both like the recipe! Thanks for sharing your excellent review Amy!
Great recipie my 3rd time using it and love love love! Thank you Natasha!
I’m so happy you love it!! Thank you for sharing your awesome review!! 🙂
How come You didn’t add water ?
Hi Natasha, there is enough moisture in the cabbage that it isn’t necessary. If you wanted to add a splash of water, or if you leave it uncovered for too long and the water evaporates out, it wouldn’t hurt to do so 🙂
Tried to make it, tasted awesome! My north american boyfriend loved it! Spasibo 😀
You are welcome Masha and thank you for the nice review 😀.
Can I just incorporate the flavored beef from the beef cabbage recipe into this one? Will it throw the flavors off? Thanks!
Hi Valerie, I think that would work and salt to taste since the beef recipe is seasoned with a fairly salty seasoning.
Thanks for the recipe Natasha and Vadim! I ran out of sour cream so I used heavy cream. Instead of ketchup I used tomato juice (about 1/2 cup) and tomato paste (2 tbsp.), ground chicken breast instead of pork. Wow, irresistible! Thank you!!!!
It’s so great to know that it works with the substitutions as well. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.
This looks really good…. Very similar to my moms. Question: do you have a braised cabbage recipe, vegetarian style??? Without the por.
The only other braised cabbage that I have is with beef. https://natashaskitchen.com/2012/05/28/braised-cabbage-with-beef/ You could probably make it without the meat but it would need a little extra seasoning since the beef adds such nice flavor.
Delicious! And it’s very good cold straight from the fridge. I used over a pound of ground pork (it was what I had on hand). Thx!!
I’ve never tried with ground pork but I imagine it would be yummy and would probably make a yummy sandwich too; kind of like a sloppy joe, but a sloppy braised cabbage Jo? Sorry, I’m pregnant and crave strange foods. lol.
I made this without meat (added two potatoes instead), since my husband is vegetarian and it still turned out great. This dish is also made in Moldova where I come from. The difference is we do not add any sour cream, but I think it’s tastier with it. Thanks for the recipe!
You’re so welcome! Thanks for sharing your variations. I love trying new ways of making things 🙂
Hi there! I’ve been looking for authentic Russian “kid food” and comfort food for my blog about childhood food traditions from around the world and this is a great recipe. Would you mind if I reprinted it with slight changes on my blog and linked back here? My blog is www.thechildrenstable.com
Yes, that would be great! Thanks for asking 🙂 Also, if you are going to be using the photos, please keep the current watermarks on there 🙂
I made this today, instead of pork I used chicken. It turned out sooooo good. Thanks a bunch!
You’re so welcome. Thanks for sharing your variation. I love to change things up and try new versions 🙂
This is some good stuff! My husband loves it when I make it.
He especially loves for me to also make ‘pustushki’, just using like pelemeni dough and pinching it off in quarter sizes(or rolling it out, then use a pizza cutter to cut small pieces) to boil in salted water, and eat it with the braised cabbage. This is what I’m making him tonight, since I already have leftover dough, and all the ingredients for the cabbage.
Do you put the braised cabbage inside or just serve with braised cabbage on the side?
I just finished making this for the first time, and my friend and I are enjoying it as I write this! I made slight changes since neither of us are big ketchup fans. Instead of ketchup, I used tomato paste, added just a splash of chicken broth in order to thin it to ketchup consistency, and used the full tablespoon of white sugar (since the sugar in ketchup is no longer present). Also, we didn’t have any pork to use, so we used chicken!
5 stars from both of us!
Thank you very much Keith, great way to substitute ketchup. Thank you for sharing 🙂
is it ok to put white sugar and not brown sugar? what is the difference?
Brown adds some nice color to the dish so I prefer it, but I think it would work with white sugar if you don’t have brown. You might try 3/4 tbsp white sugar instead.
Thank you! I’m Filipina and my husband is from Ukraine. We just got married so I am always learning new recipes for him! So far this is one of our staples. Cheap and easy to make! Thank you 🙂
You are welcome Larayna. This dish is my husband’s specialty, he made it numerous times :).
The dish is really yummy, I also put rice and potatoes its really good too .
Is it like braised potatoes then? Hmm, I should try that! 🙂 Thank you Valya!
Thank you for the great recipe….. My family loves it 🙂
I’m making this for my very homesick Russian husband tonight. I’m american and we met when I was a missionary in Ukraine. So, I’m glad to find your blog since he misses Russian food so much!!!
I hope the recipe reminds him of home 🙂
Even my 10-month old baby liked this cabbage 🙂 Thanks, Natasha!!!
That’s awesome!! My son loves it too.
Made this and its yummy:)
Did this last week and it was DELICIOUS! My husband ate the whole thing in one day!! Thank You Natasha!
I’m so happy to hear you and your husband liked it so much 🙂 Thanks Lana!
yummy my favorite dish =)
Hi. I was born in Ukraine and have relatives who make Russian food all the time. Since I am only 14, I have time to cook and I wanted to try out some Russian recipes. These are the recipes I have been looking for!
They’re written in English (thank you) and look very yummy. I cooked some Тушеная капуста yesterday and brought some to my Grandma’s house.
Later I got a call from her saying it was very good and she liked it, so thank you for giving us this delicious recipe! 🙂
You’re very welcome Ella. I’m so glad you tried it and your Gradma enjoyed it. Hearing that really makes my day 🙂
Mmm Mmm Mmm, I love “tyshona kapusta” my mom always makes it, but with “kvashena kapusta” and i always thought that it was so complicated to make, but it really isn’t, Thanks so much for posting this recipe, i love it, i will make it this week, i like it that this recipe calls for just fresh cabbage 🙂
Natasha may God abundantly bless you and your family.
Thank you Inna! God bless you too!
Just wanted to let you know that kutia is actually really simple to make, there really isn’t much of a recipe, just combine all the ingredients in the proportions that suit you taste and voilà. I was born in Ukraine and ever since I can remember it’s been a family tradition to make kutia for Christmas Eve dinner.
You will need:
-Cooked barley “psheno” (you can buy it in most grocery stores if not any organic store will have it for sure.)
-Canned poppy seeds (will find in the canned pie filling section of the store, this will save you a lot of time and its already sweetened.)
-Cut up walnuts (can toast them before if you want to)
-Cold water (my mom boils her water and then chills everything in the fridge but I don’t think that’s necessary, I guess old habits die hard)
-Cut up halve (optional, I actually prefer kutia without it)
-Sugar (if need more, taste before adding because the canned poppy seeds are really sweet)
Mix ingredients together. You might need to play around with the proportions of everything until you get it to the consistency you like. We never measure so I can’t really give you exact amounts. The end product should look like a soup. Chill well before serving. I think it tastes better when it’s cold.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to email me. And good luck in nursing school, I know exactly how you feel. I’m almost finished with the program myself. God bless you and your family.
Thank you Alla, I have most of those ingredients. I would like to try that recipe out when I get a chance. congratulations on almost being finished with a program. I bet that feels good 🙂 God bless you too!
My mom always used compote cherry ( or any other fruit or berries) instead of water- Amazing!
And honey instead of sugar 😉
Ooh I bet that does taste great. I have canned cherries that I made this summer; I bet the juice from that would be perfect! Thank you Lina!
Great dish! I’m Ukrainian also, and I hope you put up a recipie for Kota! I love kota, I look forward to it every Ukrainian Christmas/celebration!
I’ve never heard of it before. Maybe I have a different name for it. Can you describe it?
I think she means Kutya….its made out of wheat kernels, poppy seeds….ect.
Kutia, is made out of poppyseeds (MAK) and wheat! You could always add nuts or honey, but I like it plain. Here’s info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kutia
click here for a photo: http://friendseat-images.s3.amazonaws.com/2010/12/kutia.jpg
Thank you for the links! I do kno wwhat this si now. My mama-in-law is working on getting a recipe from Grandma in Ukraine. I’ll get it posted when I get it.
Sounds like good hearty and tasty “peasant food.” Lots of cheap vegetables to stretch out a little bit of expensive meat. In other words, really good eats.
Ever notice how some of the best food is peasant food? And a lot of the expensive trendy stuff that restaurants charge out of proportion to the cost of ingredients for. Braised shanks, pork belly, risoto, coq au vin, ravioli, and the like.
I agree, there’s nothing like peasant food. It’s what most Ukrainian and Russian kids grew up on.