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.
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!
🤫 The Secret to the Best Kebab Shop Salad
There are three key steps to getting that delectable flavour and texture:
Slice Thinly: 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: Massage the cabbage with salt after it has been washed. This will soften it and draw out some of its bitterness.
Marinate: Give it time to marinate in a simple mixture of olive oil, lemon juice or wine vinegar.
How to Make It
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.
Step 1 - Prepare Your Parsley
Start with the parsley, wash it thoroughly, shake and pat dry, then strip off the leaves from the stems
Bunch up your parsley then, roughly chop it.
Step 2 - Shred and Wash the Cabbage
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 to cut into thin ribbons.
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.
Step 3 - Wash Your Cabbage
I find with cabbage it is much easier to wash it once it has been cut.
Place the shredded red cabbage in a colander and rinse under cold water and drain it well.
Step 4 (a) - 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, either as it is, OR...
I like to add a sprinkle of za'atar for some aroma and crunch, but that is entirley up to you.
Step 4 (b) - The Eat It Now Method
After you have washed your cabbage, add a sprinkle of salt while it is still in your colander
Then 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 massaged cabbage, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl.
Mix it 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.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
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.
For a vegan/vegetarian option, try it with some falafel or with some veggie burgers.
🤔 Did You Know? 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
Can I Use Green Cabbage?
- 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..
Should I Add Sugar to the Cabbage?
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.
Can Turkish Red Cabbage Salad Be Made Ahead?
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.
What Can I Do With the Leftovers?
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.)
Did You Know?
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
- 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.