Sticky spiced red cabbage

Sticky spiced red cabbage

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(51 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 35 mins


Serves 6 - 8
This colourful dish will complement any festive main course. Toss any leftovers with a drizzle of olive oil and serve with cold cuts, pâté or cheese

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal137
  • fat3g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs27g
  • sugars24g
  • fibre0g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.04g


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 medium-size red cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded



    The cabbage, or brassica, family is huge, and includes everything from the familiar red, white…

  • 1 finger-size piece fresh root ginger, finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 onions, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml red wine vinegar


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add cabbage, ginger, onions, allspice and mustard seeds, then cook for 5 mins until just starting to wilt.

  2. Scatter over the sugar and pour in the vinegar. Cover pan, gently cook for 10 mins, then remove lid and turn up the heat to medium. Simmer the liquid in the cabbage for about 20 mins, stirring occasionally, then stir continuously for the last few mins until all the liquid has evaporated and becomes sticky on the bottom of the pan. Tip cabbage into a large bowl and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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13th Apr, 2020
Tasty but agree with previous reviewers - it took a LOT longer than stated (I probably had it going for about an extra half hour and it still didn't get sticky). Also both very vinegary and very sweet so would probably cut the vinegar to 100ml and the sugar to 50g next time.
1st Jan, 2020
Made half a quantity with slight onion, added half a chopped apple, little bit of mixed spice instead of allspice and didn't have red wine vinegar so used a bit of white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar and a glug of red wine which worked well.
2nd Mar, 2019
Excellent. Quick, easy, very tasty. Lovely cold for a few days afterwards. Love it.
13th Jan, 2018
I have made this a few times as per the recipe and it has always been lovely. But, yesterday, in a moment of (slightly tipsy) inspiration, I added a (large) glug of port. Took it from four stars to five stars. Hence, the four star rating - I came to this conclusion with the assistance of prosecco, not the recipe. I see from reading other comments that some of you guys came to this conclusion without prosecco - you are so right! It makes it way better! If you are reading this - do it! Oh and also - don't consign this to the 'festive' bin. It is delicious any time of the year.
25th Dec, 2017
Like the fresh ginger in this for a change for Christmas dinner.
20th Feb, 2017
Made this for first time tonight, it was amazing! The red wine vinegar I used was way out of date but didn't appear to affect the taste! Agree with others, I cooked it for twice the time and it was perfect. I will be making this on a regular basis, great recipe.
ashikeeps's picture
24th Dec, 2016
I'm sorry but this was way too sweet AND vinegary. My family were choking on the level of vinegar as I was cooking and we all hated it even after simmering for much longer than stated in the recipe. Tried it again with less sugar and vinegar and turned out fine but seriously, this recipe should come with a warning!
2nd Feb, 2016
Always a favourite on Christmas Day. Inevitably with timings on the day it ends up simmering for longer but plenty sauce. Leftovers keep for days in the fridge.
3rd Jan, 2016
I've made this twice, once as a trial run for Christmas day and Christmas day itself. The first time I felt it was a bit on the sweet side and the second it seemed a bit too vinegary but family liked it both times. Four and a half stars.
17th Dec, 2014
I made this today and have frozen it for Christmas Day. I added 2 chopped apples, a large slug of port and only 70 ml of the red wine vinegar after reading the comments comparing it to chutney. I added about 15 minutes to the cooking time and it is neither too hard nor mushy. I am not usually a red cabbage fan but am looking toward to serving and eating this next week! Delicious!


18th Dec, 2016
If I make this and freeze today for Christmas dinner, how will I cook it from frozen? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Dec, 2016
You can cook this in the microwave from frozen or defrost and then reheat in the microwave. Alternatively, you can defrost, put in a serving dish, cover with foil and heat through in the oven for around 15-20 mins alongside the rest of the Christmas meal.
Liloid's picture
11th Dec, 2019
Very tasty - but I wouldn't say it needed quite so much sugar! All the flavours came together very nicely, and I'd recommend cooking it a few days before to allow the sugar and vinegar to mature the flavour.
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