Danish Red Cabbage

Pronunciation: "Reth'koh'l".

Very difficult to pronounce for english speakers. The problems are similar to those presented by the famous taunt "Rødgrød Med Fløde" (see Jawz's writeup). The Danish word for fresh red cabbage is also "Rødkål". You have to figure out the meaning from the context.

Not actually a dish but rather a garnish. It is used for many different traditional Danish dishes. In Denmark this is seldomly cooked from scratch. Since the recipe just lends itself to mass production, it is completely customary to just buy it ready made from the grocery store. Then you just need to warm it up with water and it is ready to serve.

If however you insist on making this yourself, or live in a part of the world where ready made rødkål is unavailable, here are the instructions on how to prepare it yourself.



Remove the outermost layer of the red cabbage. Cut it up parallel to the stalk so you get six to eight boat shaped pieces. Remove the stalk and cut the cabbage finely. You can use a food processor for the fine cutting. You want the pieces to be just about the same size, as your little finger nail.

Melt the butter in a pot at medium heat and add the water. Peel off the skin of the apples. Add the cabbage little by little and stop once in a while to grate the apples into the mix also. Use a coarse grater to rake the apples. Bring the mix to a light simmer and wait for the cabbage to become tender.

Add a small amount of vinegar, suger, currant juice and just a pinch of salt to taste.


Serve warm in a small bowl as a garnish for flæskesteg, frikadeller and other traditional Danish dishes.

Preparing it well in advance and simply freezing it will work well. Reheat it with just a bit of water, to prevent it drying out.