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Easy Cabbage Tsukemono Recipe (Japanese Pickled Cabbage)

cabbage tsukemono

This is my go to recipe for making cabbage tsukemono (i.e. Japanese style pickled cabbage).

All you need is salt, vinegar, and sugar. Also, cabbage of course.

It’s super easy, and super tasty.

Let’s get started!

Quick Version

Chop up the cabbage. Salt and rest 10 min to remove water. Mix with sauce. Rest again for 10 min. Enjoy!

Detailed Cabbage Tsukemono Recipe

This recipe was adapted from (Japanese).

Easy Cabbage Tsukemono Recipe (Japanese Pickled Cabbage)

Course: SidesCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Easy


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Cooking time


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Super easy cabbage tsukemono recipe (キャベツ漬物). Adapted from (Japanese).

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Equipment
  • Large mixing bowl

  • Knife & cutting board

  • Chopsticks (for mixing; or use your hands)

  • Ingredients
  • Cabbage … 200g

  • Salt … 1/2 teaspoon

  • Rice vinegar … 3 tablespoons

  • Sugar … 1 tablespoon

  • (optional) Lemon juice … 1 teaspoon

  • (optional) Soy sauce … 1 teaspoon


  • Cut the cabbage into 5cm squares.cabbage tsukemono step 1
  • Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. After mixing, leave for 10 minutes and drain / squeeze out the water.cabbage tsukemono step 2
  • Add vinegar, sugar, and other optional seasoning to cabbage and mix well. cabbage tsukemono step 3
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes or more. Preferably longer. Enjoy!cabbage tsukemono step 4

Recipe Video


  • Add soy sauce, lemon juice for some more umami and flavor
  • Add hot chili peppers / oil for an extra kick
  • Adjust sugar / vinegar ratio to your personal tastes
  • Chill for an hour or more in the fridge for a cool refreshing taste.

Cabbage Tsukemono FAQ

Are Japanese pickled vegetables (tsukemono) healthy?

Yes. In general, Japanese tsukemono (i.e. pickled foods) is considered healthy.

Pickled vegetables are high in fiber, and maintain all the vegetables’ natural vitamins, and minerals.

If rice vinegar is used (like in this recipe), it acts as an antioxidant and helps control cholesterol.

The main downside of tsukemono is the potentially high amount of salt and/or sugar content.

If you are really watching your health, you should reduce the amount of salt or sugar you add in the recipe.

What is the difference between Tsukemono and Sunomono?

Tsukemono (漬物) is a general term for pickled foods.

Tsu” () means “to soak” or “to pickle”. “Mono” () simply means “things” or “stuff”, which in this case is referring to food.

Sunomono (酢の物) is a general term for foods mixed or pickled with vinegar. “Su” () means vinegar.

Many sunomono dishes are pickled dishes, so they can also be called tsukemono.

Not all tsukemono dishes use vinegar though (some use just salt, miso, etc.), so they can not be considered as sunomono.

What is Tsukemono in English?

Tsukemono (漬物) means “pickled foods” in English.


Now, you can make Japanese pickled cabbage! Easy, wasn’t it?

Did you like this cabbage tsukemono recipe? What is your favorite type of pickled vegetable?

Let me know in the comments below!

Chef Goku

Chef Goku

Chef Goku is the founder and sole operator of The Chef Dojo. He loves Japanese food, and has lived in and out of Japan for many years. He started this blog in 2018 to share everything he learns about Japanese food and cooking. He is also a self-certified Japanese knife nerd. Contact Chef Goku

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