“For a long time I had a real, deep-rooted complex about Ukraine’s cabbage and potato dishes, all too often the only things people in the West associated with Eastern European cooking. But now I embrace them all – none more so than a delicious braised cabbage,” explains food writer Olia Hercules.

“This is my mother’s recipe, and it is a pretty common one. When my Cornish friend Sean cooked it, the next day he texted me these beautiful words: ‘I cannot convey how much I loved the cabbage last night, so amazing. It goes so far to disprove the stereotype. I had dreams about it.’ Needless to say, that made my heart sing! Serve this as an accompaniment to poultry or sausages, or on its own with some good bread.”

Braised cabbage (Joe Woodhouse/PA)
Braised cabbage (Joe Woodhouse/PA)
Braised cabbage (Joe Woodhouse/PA)
Print Recipe
Nutrition Facts
Braised cabbage
Amount Per Serving
Calories 169 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 58mg3%
Potassium 445mg13%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 1105IU22%
Vitamin C 88mg107%
Calcium 109mg11%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Braised cabbage

Great with poultry or sausages or on its own with some good bread
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Servings: 6
Calories: 169kcal


  • Bowl
  • Frying pan


  • 1 small white cabbage
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions thickly sliced
  • 1.5 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 large red pepper thickly sliced
  • 100 ml tomato juice (or use the juices from tinned tomatoes
  • 200 g crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Sea salt and black pepper


  • Slice the cabbage into 1cm wide strips and put it into a bowl. Add one teaspoon of salt and use your hands to massage it in well.
  • Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or shallow, flameproof casserole over a medium-low heat. Add the onions, along with a pinch of salt to help release their juices and stop them from burning. You could also cover the onions with a lid or cartouche (a circle of baking parchment about the same size as your pan) to speed things up a bit. Cook, stirring every so often, until the onions are soft and turning a deep golden colour. Add a splash of water if they seem dry or are starting to catch a bit.
  • Now add the cabbage and caraway seeds and turn down the heat to low. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the cabbage starts softening. If it gets too dry, add a splash of water. Add the red pepper and cook for another five minutes.
  • Gently warm the tomato juice in a small pan, then stir in the crème fraîche and add to the cabbage. Taste the sauce and make sure it is well-seasoned, otherwise the cabbage will be too bland and it will not become the cabbage of your dreams. Cover and braise for another 30–40 minutes – when it is ready, the cabbage should be soft, but not falling apart. Stir through the parsley and serve.


Calories: 169kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 58mg | Potassium: 445mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 88mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg

Summer Kitchens by Olia Hercules is published by Bloomsbury. Recipe photography by Joe Woodhouse.

Try Olia’s curd cake with caramelised apples.

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