Transylvanian Cabbage

26 Apr, 2020

This dish challenged me, because it is very delicious but very difficult to take a pretty picture of it, but I really wanted to share this good recipe with you. I would like to raise your interest because it is worth cooking at home.

This cabbage stew is very well-known in Hungary. Sauerkraut and pork meat are usually the main ingredients, but I made a modification and changed pork to turkey breast. My mother and grandma would never approve of this modification, but my family and I like this dish much better with turkey than with pork. It makes it slightly lighter and easier to digest.

White cabbage preserved by fermentation is very popular in Central and Eastern European cuisines. This fermented sour cabbage (sauerkraut) is a great source of vitamin C and K, low in calories and high in calcium and magnesium, and very good source of folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese. A special advantage of sauerkraut is acid-producing during fermentation, beneficial bacteria multiply that have a beneficial effect to the intestinal flora, preventing the settlement of other harmful microbes. It is recommended to consume not only cooked, but also in raw form.

One of the biggest threats for sailors back in the 18th century was scurvy. Scurvy was caused by a deficiency of vitamin C, characterized by swollen bleeding gums and if left untreated could actually kill you. James Cook a British explorer and captain in the British Royal Navy at that time, protected his crew against scurvy with, you guessed it, sauerkraut. The exact cause of scurvy was unknown at the time so captain James Cook paid attention to other crews and noticed that Dutch sailors didn’t seem to have this issue on board. The main difference being they ate sauerkraut. A little trivia for you.

Transylvanian Cabbage

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Hungarian
Keyword: sauerkraut, turkey
Servings: 4
Author: Andrea


  • 4 tbsp olive oil or duck fat
  • 1 big onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 kg sauerkraut
  • 800 gram turkey breast cut into 2cm cubes
  • 400 ml chicken broth or water
  • 300 ml lactose free sour cream
  • 2 pcs bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper freshly ground
  • 1 tsp tapioca flour


  • Put sauerkraut in a strainer and wash with running water for 2-3 minutes, until is not too sour. Squeeze the water out of it.
  • Heat up olive oil (or duck fat) in a large pot and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes until it has become translucent.
  • Add the garlic to sauté for about ½ minute. Do not burn it!
  • Add paprika powder and mix very quickly for ½ minute, otherwise paprika powder will become bitter.
  • Add turkey breast cubes, mix quickly.
  • Add salt, bay leaves, cumin, pepper and marjoram as well. Sauté together for 4 minutes, until the surface of the meat is white, but still not cooked.
  • Add washed sauerkraut into the pot and stir together.
  • Add chicken stock and stir.
  • Cover and cook it for 20-25 minutes until the meat and the cabbage is soft.
  • Sprinkle with tapioca flour and stir.
  • Add 250 ml lactose free sour cream into the cabbage and cook together for 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve it and decorate each portion with a teaspoon of lactose free sour cream.