This Turkish Red Cabbage Salad is a quick, easy, delicious side, just like you'll find at your local kebab shop! Packed with flavour, it tastes amazing and only requires four simple ingredients. Plus, if you have it on hand, za'atar adds a fragrant and savoury touch that takes the salad to the next level.
Can't get enough of the vibrantly hued lip-smacking salad you get at a local takeaway kebab shop? Don't worry; we will show you step-by-step how to make your own Turkish Kebab Salad, it makes an easy yet delicious side to add to your next meal.
This Turkish salad with red cabbage is a great option for a quick and easy side that won't break the bank! The ingredients are basic, affordable, and easily obtainable. Plus, a little bit goes a long way - making it perfect for entertaining. It's no fuss, no frills, just cabbage, oil, and vinegar, and you're good to go!
Want to make a Middle Eastern Salad smorgasbord? Try our Kale Fatoush Salad our Herb Tabbouleh Salad, our Lebanese Sumac Salad or our Middle Eastern Zucchini flower salad.
The Secret to the Best Kebab Shop Salad
There are three key steps to getting that delectable flavour and texture:
Slice the cabbage very thinly, if the slices are too thick, they'll be hard to chew, and the bitter taste will be much stronger, even overpowering.
Massage the cabbage with salt after it has been washed. This will soften it and draw out some of its bitterness.
Give it time to marinate in a simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice or wine vinegar.
I make this red cabbage salad recipe one of two ways, I will either quickly throw it together and let the dressing works its magic overnight in the fridge. I use red wine vinegar in this version.
Or I will massage the cabbage first, let it marinate for 30 minutes and eat it on the day. I use lemon juice in this version.
The First Sep - Shred and Wash the Cabbage.
Start with the parsley, wash it thoroughly, shake and pat dry, then strip off the leaves from the stems and roughly chop it.
Remove any loose outer leaves from the cabbage and cut out the core. Then, you have a few options.
You can slice it thinly by hand - just sit the cabbage wedge on its side and use a large sharp knife.
Alternatively, use a mandolin for easy, even shredding and use the guard to protect your fingers.
Or, if you've got a food processor, cut the cabbage into chunks and shred it using the slicing blade.
Place the shredded red cabbage in a colander and rinse under cold water and drain it well.
STRIP PARSLEY LEAVES FROM STEMS
ROUGHLY CHOP PARSLEY
CUT RED CABBAGE IN HALF
REMOVE THE HARD CORE
SHRED IN FOOD PROCESSOR
USING A MANDOLINE OR V-SLICER
USING A SHARP KNIFE
WASH IN A COLANDER
The Overnight Method
Place the cabbage, parsley, oil and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, season and toss well, cover and pop it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
On the day, take it out of the fridge, drain off any liquid, give it a quick toss, arrange it in a salad bowl and serve.
I like to add a sprinkle of za'atar for some aroma and crunch.
PLACE EVERYTHING IN A BOWL
MIX WELL TO COMBINE
ARRANGE IN A SALAD BOWL
ADD AN OPTIONAL SPRINKLE OF ZA'ATAR
The Eat It Now Method
Add a sprinkle of salt and massage it for a few minutes to soften the texture of the cabbage. There is no need to rinse the salt, as this will season the salad.
Add the shredded cabbage, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl, and mix well to combine. Let it stand for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave the cabbage in the marinade, the better it will taste.
After 30 minutes, drain off any liquid, and arrange it in a salad bowl. The longer you leave it, the tastier and more vibrantly coloured it becomes.
For an exotic touch, sprinkle on some za'atar.
MASSAGE TO SOFTEN
ADD PARSLEY AND LEMON JUICE
MIX WELL TO COMBINE
ARRANGE IN A SALAD BOWL
This Turkish salad with red cabbage is the perfect way to add flavour and colour to your plate.
If you're looking for a delicious side salad to pair with your kebabs, kofta, or just about any kind of barbecue, then this salad is perfect! It's a great winter salad that goes wonderfully with roasted meats and stews.
Try it with steak kebabs, lamb kofta or chicken shawarma as aside to a lamb roast or alongside a hearty beef stew.
For a vegan/vegetarian option, try it with some falafel or with some veggie burgers.
That the colour of red cabbage is determined by the acidity of the soil it grew in - a more acidic environment will make it look reddish, while a neutral soil will give it a more purple hue.
Even after cooking, it can still react to the acidity, so don't forget to add a bit of lemon juice or vinegar to make sure you've got a vibrant colour.
Tips and Questions
You can use any type of cabbage that's available, or whichever one you prefer, or why not try a mix of both?
We love the purple cabbage because of its gorgeous colour, as a bonus it has more antioxidants than the green.
If you find the cabbage to be too tart after marinating it for 30 minutes, you could consider adding a bit of sugar to balance out the flavours of olive oil and vinegar/lemon juice; it will add a pleasant sweetness.
Yes, this is a great salad to make a couple of days before you need it as the cabbage will marinate in the dressing and taste even better.
If you are going to do this, then you can skip out on massaging the cabbage.
Pop it in an airtight container, it will keep in the fridge for approximately six days - the cabbage will become softer over time.
This is a versatile salad that suits all eating styles - Dairy-Free; Gluten-Free; Keto; Low Carb; Nut-Free; Paleo; Vegan; Vegetarian; and Whole30.
Each serving has 127 calories with a net carb count of 6 grams, including the za'atar.
(Nutritional Information is provided as a courtesy based on a nutritional database and should only be used as an estimate.)
- 4 cups shredded red cabbage (tightly packed, approximately 370 grams, 13 ounces
- ⅓ cup parsley, chopped (approximately 20 grams, 0.7 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or freshly squeezed lemon juice)
- 1 tablespoon za'atar (to garnish - optional)
- Start by washing your parsley thoroughly and drying it off, then stripping off the leaves from the stems and roughly chopping it.
- Next, remove any loose outer leaves from the cabbage and cut out the core. Now you've got a few options: slice it thinly by hand and use a large sharp knife; use a mandolin for easy, even shredding and use the guard to protect your fingers; or, if you've got a food processor, cut the cabbage into chunks and shred it using the slicing blade.
- Finally, place the shredded red cabbage in a colander, rinse it under cold water and drain it well.
- Place everything in a large mixing bowl, season and toss well, cover and pop it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
- On the day, take it out of the fridge, drain off any liquid, give it a quick toss, arrange it in a salad bowl and serve.
- I like to add a sprinkle of za'atar for some aroma and crunch.
- Add a sprinkle of salt to shredded cabbage and massage it for a few minutes to soften the texture. No need to rinse the salt, as it will season the salad.
- Then add parsley, lemon juice and olive oil to the bowl, mix, and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. Drain off any liquid, and give it a quick toss.
- Then arrange the salad in a bowl and, for an exotic touch, sprinkle on some za'atar.
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