German White Cabbage Salad with Bacon

There are a few similarities between Polish and German foods, and the inclusion of cabbage in the diet is one of them.  While I grew up with cabbage being a staple in my Polish-American diet, I wasn’t too fond of this nutrient-rich vegetable until my adult years.  Now, the only thing stopping me from eating a ton is my body’s reaction to it as it winds its way through the digestive tract.  [Yes, I’ve tried throwing in some cumin or caraway seeds to help, despite protests from my taste buds, all for naught.]

Cabbage is closely related to vegetables like broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and, of course, brussel sprouts.  It is a great source of fiber, as well as being full of nutrients, such as Vitamins C and K, Magnesium, Folate, and Calcium, to name a few.  Some claim it has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer qualities, particularly red cabbage.  It has been cultivated in Europe and Asia for thousands of years.  Despite being as old as can be, it is tricky to grow–and I can attest to that!  We planted a terrific looking cabbage seedling.  Within a month, it became a bug infested, nutrient deprived, fungus filled mess of a plant.  I’m not sure I’ll repeat the experiment any time soon.

In America, it seems as though coleslaw to be the no 1. cabbage dish.  (Is there a no. 2?)  This particular German cabbage salad that I made for dinner today is a different take on mayonnaise-infused American coleslaw.  It is so versatile that it can be eaten warm or cold.  The delightful part of this dish is the addition of bacon.

I recommend using a knife to prepare slices of cabbage, rather than a grater.  Here, I was in a rush and made slices that were technically too thick, though it actually turned out to be a positive thing in the end.

The cabbage is parboiled and then sprinkled with some vinegar, along with salt and pepper to taste.  Adding a little bit of sugar helps balance out the flavors.  But it’s the final addition of bacon (and bacon drippings) that makes this a winner!

Print Recipe
German White Cabbage Salad with Bacon
2016 © HollyTrail.com
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced (at least 7 strips)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 pound bacon, diced (at least 7 strips)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
Instructions
  1. Wash cabbage head and cut into quarters. Remove the tough stem. Cut thin strips of cabbage with a knife, or coarsely grate.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain in a strainer, pressing out remaining water.
  3. Shake the remaining water from the cabbage as you transfer it to a large bowl. Add vinegar and mix. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the diced bacon in a frying pan. Mix the bacon with the bacon drippings into the cabbage mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Horst Scharfenberg's 1980 cookbook (translated in 1989), The Cuisines of Germany.

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