Russian Language Blog

Family recipe for Kvashennaya Kapusta Posted by on Apr 15, 2021 in Food, Russian life, when in Russia

Kvashennaya Kapusta is known as sauerkraut or pickled cabbage in the US and was mentioned on this channel before.


Kvashennaya kapusta with baked potatoes – yumm!

Today, I’ll be sharing my family’s recipe for квашенная капуста (kvashennaya kapusta) with you.

Ингредиенты (Ingredients)

To make six 2-liter jars

3 cabbages (8kg total) – 3 кочана капусты (белокочанная капуста)

2 kg of carrots – 2 кг морковки

Salt, NOT iodized- поваренная соль, НЕ йодированная (80 grams per 10 kg of cabbage and carrot mix)

Black peppercorns – Перец черный, горошком

Note: the cabbage weight will vary and some might have a thicker center that you won’t use for the recipe. Also, the cabbage shouldn’t be too green.



Glass jars (2-liter ones are the best cause they fit in the fridge), lids, and a deep plate for each jar

A large tub to mix the cabbage and carrots

A thick wooden stick for filling the jars

A long thin stick for “poking” the jars

Инструкция Приготовления (Instructions)

*All images and videos in the links by author

  1. Clean the outer cabbage leaves, cut it in half and remove the heart (the center of the cabbage)
  2. Slice the cabbage, with a knife or on the shredder (full view)
  3. Shred carrots on a large grater
  4. Mix the cabbage and carrots in a very large tub (using a tub ensures that any juice that’s released from the mix at this point is preserved)
  5. Add salt and peppercorns, mix well
  6. Stuff the cabbage and carrot mix in the jars using a thick wooden stick or the back of a wooden spatula

Note: you are going to see juice from the cabbage and carrots collecting in the tub. KEEP IT. You will need it further in the process.

After filling the jars

cabbage-carrot mix in a tub

  1. Keep the jars open, preferably away from heaters and direct sunlight but also not where it’s too cold. You should see air bubbles forming on the surface — that’s when you know things are working.
  2. Have a deep dish under each jar because the brine will be dripping out of the jar.
  3. Starting from day 2, use a thin long stick to “poke” inside the jar. This ensures that all of the рассол (brine) reaches every part of the jar. This is what makes the kvashennaya kapusta in this recipe so juicy, flavorful, and crispy.
  4. After poking the jar, fill it back up with the рассол that collects in the dish under it. I recommend pushing the top of the cabbage further in so that there is at least 1cm of space to pour the juice.
  5. By day 5-6 there should be no new рассол dripping out of the jars. That’s when you put temporary plastic lids on them to store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  6. Afterwards, you can закатывать банки (to seal the jars) and put them in погреб (a cellar).

What to eat with kvashennaya kapusta? bubbles on the surface   

Kvashennaya kapusta is a great appetizer and a side dish, though I often enjoy just having some on its own. If you have eaten it before and like it, you know that its refreshing pickled flavor goes well with so many dishes, but particularly well with buttery meat-and-potato kind. Though the best part is certainly the crispy yet juicy and ever satisfying crunch that comes with each bite. Kvashennaya kapusta is truly unlike any other food in a sense that more and more flavor bursts as you chew. And if you’ve never had kvashennaya kapusta, I hope you try out this recipe or buy some homemade kvashennaya kapusta.

Most people dress it with unfiltered sunflower oil (нерафинированное подсолнечное масло) though you don’t have to. Enjoy it all year round with cold foods like marinated herring on bread, salty pastrami sandwiches, with soups or in a soup (например “щи”, a traditional Russian soup called “shschi”).



Kvashennaya kapusta is great for improving digestion and strengthening your immune system.

It does have a lot of salt, so be careful if you need to measure your sodium intake.

A little note on the family recipe.


My grandma (in a jacket on the right) says she learned how to make квашенную капусту from her mom. She bought the grater on the pictures above when living in Derzhavinks (Державинск), a small town in Akmola region of Kazakhstan. She makes the best квашенную капусту and now my dad is passing down the recipe to me.

Приятного Аппетита! (Priyatnogo Appetita!)

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  1. Eugene Sedita:

    Thank you for healthful and delicious recipe.
    What is your family name?

    • bota:

      @Eugene Sedita Thank you for your comment, Eugene. Have you tried kvashennaya kapusta before? And it’s Yergaliyeva, (Ергалиева in Russian).