I grew up in the Philippines with white-green cabbage, the one we used for ‘pancit’ noodles, the one we saute with chicken or pork or use for the sweet-sour-creamy coleslaw. I did not even know there were cabbages colored other than white-green.
Imagine my surprise when I came here and saw exotic purple cabbages. Attracted by its color, I once added it to beef soup (nilaga) and of course it turned the soup an unappetizing purplish blue hue. I learned my lesson: you have to be careful how you use it. Upon cooking, red cabbage will normally turn blue. To keep the vibrant, red color it is necessary to add vinegar or acidic fruit while cooking.
By itself, this purple cabbage is a work of art. Just try and look at this picture without getting mesmerized. It has a very intricate design and the contrast of the white against purple is beautiful. God is really in the details.
And so I searched and searched for ways to use this vegetable. At last, I have found it. This recipe is one of the best purple cabbage recipe which results in a colorful, tangy and very healthy salad. This is vegan and gluten-free and anticancer.
Purple Cabbage Coleslaw Recipe
- 1/2 pc purple cabbage medium, shredded
- 1 cup carrots shredded
- 1 pc apple julienned
- 1/2 cup raisins optional
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
Place the apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix well.
Add the cabbage, carrots, apple, raisins and mix until the dressing is spread evenly
Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
How to Serve
You can serve this coleslaw with any savory meal. The flavor gets better the longer you store it in the refrigerator but it will probably not last long because it tastes good. It pairs well with baked chicken, roasted pork, steak, fish, ribs, the list is endless.
It is very good with Southern style barbecue or even Filipino Style Barbecue. The vinegar acts as preservative and it does not have mayonnaise so you can bring it to outdoor dining.
if you want your coleslaw a little sweeter, you can add a tbsp or two of honey. You can increase or decrease the apple cider vinegar according to your taste. Add black ground pepper, chili flakes or green onions if you want. Make it your own.
Other ways it is served around the world:
German meals (most often Sauerbraten) are traditionally served with purple cabbage as a side dish. At Christmas time, it is spiced and served as a side dish to roasted goose.
It can be pickled. It is a lot like making coleslaw but you heat the sugar and vinegar in a pot until the sugar dissolves. You can also add onions to the pickled cabbage.
It can be braised with soy sauce, star anise and ginger.
It can be slow-cooked with pork (origins in Germany). This results in very well cooked cabbage if that is your preference.
Health Benefits of Purple Cabbage Coleslaw
I have discussed the anticancer benefits of cabbage in Best Anticancer Foods. Well, guess what? because of its purple color, this cabbage is even healthier. it is loaded with Vitamin C and K.
The rich color is due to a very high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols: which means it has very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
The carrots in this salad add even more health benefit – helps with weight loss, improves eye health and can help with lowering cholesterol.
What do You Think?
I am sure you have heard of the cabbage soup diet for weight loss. When I tried it years ago, it did not work for me because I quickly tired of eating cabbage soup day and night. There are more fun and delicious ways to eat healthy. This is one of them.
This is a very easy recipe and the resulting salad looks and tastes very good. I hope you try it and make it part of weekly meals. You can also serve this as side dish to festive holiday spreads.
Do let me know if you have other ways of using this vegetable. Have fun cooking!
Kain Na! (Let’s Eat).