BIGOS UK - The Association of Polish Bloggers Living Abroad


Polish Ingredients – Sour Cabbage (Sauerkraut) & Sour – Pickled Cucumbers

Pictured from the top left: sour cabbage & puff pastry swirls and quick-eating salted dill cucumbers.

If you are not familiar with Polish cuisine and came across some Polish products in a shop or maybe were gifted something “mysterious” by a colleague and have no idea where to start with it, we can help.
We are planning series of articles explaining some of those ingredients and ways to use them. For the beginning some of the most popular ingredients – kiszonki (fermented foods).

Sour cabbage / sauerkraut (kapusta kiszona) & sour pickled – cucumbers (ogórki kiszone) are integral part of Polish cuisine and can be used both on their own or as cooking ingredients.

Sour cabbage / sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) usually comes in jars and generally is ready to it, as it is. But if you want to make it nicer drain in a bit, chop, add some olive oil, sugar to taste and enjoy. It makes perfect, healthy salad. And if you are not in a hurry you can also make it from scratch at home, recipe here: homemade sauerkraut.

Sour pickled – cucumbers (fermented cucumbers in brine, not vinegar) come either in jars or bags and can be used the same way one would use pickles: in sandwiches or as a side, they are great cooking ingredient, too. And to make things even better, they are super easy to make at home. Here is my recipe for quick-eating salted dill cucumbers in brine (ogórki małosolne), those are much lighter and less fermented than store bought sour cucumbers and taste superb on open sandwiches (kanapki). 

Fermented foods are well known for their health benefits and are not only popular in Poland and Eastern Europe in general but also in Scandinavia, Mexico and Japan among other places.
Some of the benefits of eating fermented foods include:

  • healthier digestive system,
  • better skin,
  • stronger bones,
  • immune system boost,
  • good for the heart
  • anti-inflammatory properties.

Below you can find couple of recipe ideas calling for those two brilliant ingredients, check them out.



Bigos (Polish Hunter’s Stew)

Bigos – Polish Hunter’s Stew (vegetarian version)

Mama’s Bigos – Hunter’s Stew

Cabbage with Mushrooms {Kapusta z Grzybami}


Babcia Ala’s Wild Mushroom & Sauerkraut Pierogi

Mushroom & Sour Cabbage Pierogi – Polish Filled Dumplings

Other recipes

Polish Sour Cabbage / Sauerkraut and Puff Pastry Swirls

Kulebiak – Traditional Polish Sour Cabbage & Mushroom Pie

Polish Sauerkraut Slaw {Surówka z Kiszonej Kapusty}

Polish Sauerkraut Soup {Kapuśniak}

Polish Sour Cabbage & Mushroom Croquettes – Krokiety z Kapustą i Grzybami



Zupa Ogórkowa – Polish Sour Cucumber Soup

Cucumbers In Brine Soup

Polish Cucumber Soup


Rice Salad with Tuna, Corn and Parsley

Polish Veggie Salad {Sałatka Jarzynowa}

Traditional Polish Vegetable Salad

Simple Tomato & Onion Salad with Gherkins

Other recipes

Koreczki – Polish Party Appetisers

Feel free to suggest the next Polish ingredient we should explore in the comments section below…

Photos: © Margot Dolewska Dyer

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