Quick Pickled Red Cabbage with Thai Chili Flakes

June 23, 2018 (Last Updated: April 1, 2020)

pickled red cabbage in a glass container

Let’s face it, a head of red cabbage is something many of us can never manage to use within one go. In the past, I would buy a head of red cabbage to add a pop of color to my salads, actually end up using just about a quarter each time, and then leave the rest in my fridge drawer, only to discover two weeks later that it had already gone bad. ?

I felt guilty about having to throw away my leftover red cabbage then, but I’m pleased to announce that that’s not the case for me anymore, and that it doesn’t have to be the case for you either. Now I’ve discovered a way to use up and enjoy the leftover red cabbage that used to end up in the trash. And that way is to quick pickle it.

Pickled Red Cabbage


In case you’re new to the pickling world, quick pickling, also known as refrigerator pickling, is an excellent way for preserving vegetables. For one thing, it’s a method that doesn’t require an effort at all. To make quick pickled vegetables happen, all you need is a simple brine and a refrigerator. Yet the result you get is flavorful and satisfying. What’s good about this is that you can quick pickle pretty much anything you like. If you enjoy a vegetable that’s seasonal but want to have it all year round, you might want to start quick pickling it for that reason too.


This recipe is incredibly easy and so good that sometimes I don’t even wait until I have leftover red cabbage to make it anymore. I now buy red cabbage to pickle. That’s how much I enjoy it!

As for the flavorings you add to your brine, these can be switched up to suit your preferences. I know pickles are not something most commonly associated with Thai food, let alone Thai ingredients. However, I like to add the dry ground Thai chili flakes (prik bon or พริกป่น) to my brine because I’m a crazy Thai person who loves a good kick of heat in everything. The stuff is so cheap and easy to find here. If you’re not up for the same level of heat or you don’t want any at all, feel free to try something else. 🙂

Also, if you’re not familiar with vegetable pickles in your diet, you might want to start small. After all, you’ll probably already have most of the ingredients required. So it doesn’t hurt to try right?

Hot Dogs with Pickled Red Cabbage

I used this quick pickled red cabbage in my hot dogs and it was amazing!


There are only so many out there. I know I eat mine with pretty much everything but you can use it in your sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, and salads or just eat it on its own. Or if you want to be a little bit more adventurous, add it to a “yum” or Thai salad or try it with my Thai pork toast!

I hope you like this easy pickle recipe and that for some of you it helps save your otherwise-would-be-thrown-away red cabbage! If you prefer other vegetables, remember you can use the recipe with them. Also, if you want to make more of less than this recipe, just make sure you keep the ratio and you’ll be just fine.


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Quick Pickled Red Cabbage with Ground Thai Chili Pepper Recipe

pickled red cabbage in a glass container

An addictive accompaniment to meat, sandwiches, hot dogs, burgers, salads, and more.

  • Author: Cooking with Nart
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: ½ head red cabbage 1x


  • ½ head small to medium red cabbage
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar (or any other kind you prefer)
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground Thai chili pepper


  1. Wash the cabbage and remove the core. Slice with a mandolin and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, dissolve sugar and salt in the water. Add red wine vinegar, smashed garlic, and ground Thai chili pepper and mix well.
  3. Pour the brine over the cabbage, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for about 6 hours before transferring into a glass container and storing in the fridge.


You can eat the pickled cabbage right away after 6 hours but it will be better if you start eating it the next day. The pickle will keep refrigerated for about a month.

Keywords: red cabbage, pickled red cabbage, quick pickle

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