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Vietnamese Pickled Cabbage

Vietnamese Fermented Cabbage

This simple fermented cabbage is a great side dish or accompaniment for any salty Asian rice dishes, bao buns or burgers.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Vietnamese
Keyword Vietnamese Fermented Cabbage
Prep Time 15 minutes
Drying Leaves 1 hour
Servings 6
Calories 17kcal
Author Scruff


  • 3 cups cooled boiled water
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 6 outer green cabbage leaves (approx 300 gm), shredded
  • 10 gm Vietnamese mint, roughly chopped (Optional but recommended) (Available at Asian groceries)
  • 1 medium brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 L boiled water


  • Let the cabbage leaves wilt outside in the sunlight for 1 hour.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap. 
  • After drying, wash the wilted cabbage leaves and pat dry. Chop them in half and shred them with a knife so that they are approximately 0.8 of cm. (See pictures above for examples)
  • With the Vietnamese mint, pull the leaves off the stem and roughly chop. Cut the onion into small wedges and pull each layer apart. 
  • In a bowl, combine the sugar and salt with the the cooled boiled water. 
  • In a bowl, toss the cabbage, onion and Vietnamese mint
  • Before pickling, pour boiling water into your 2 - 3 clean medium sized jars and swirl the water around. Discard the water and repeat. 
  • Put cabbage mixture into the jars and squash them in. Pour the pickling liquid over the top until covered.
  • Make a plastic cut out or fill a zip lock bag with some water and put it on top of the cabbage to keep it completely submerged in the pickling liquid. (see picture above) (Note 1)
  • Place the lid on and leave it at room temperature for 2 - 3 days.
  • Refrigerate after opening.


  1. To make a plastic cut out, I use the packaging of a blueberry or strawberry box. I simply cut a corner off like in the progress picture above and then cut a slit into the center.  Then bend the cut out into a cone by pushing the two cut edges past each other and place on top of the cabbage. If you have a small zip lock bag, put a bit of water in it and place it on top of the cabbage. You may have to adjust a few times so that you are able to screw the lid on.


Calories: 17kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1176mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg