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Chow Chow from "Southern from Scratch"

Serves: Makes about 3 pints
Hands On Time: 
Total Time: 


1 small green cabbage, grated
1 medium cucumber, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon celery seeds


Combine the cabbage, cucumbers, onion, bell pepper, and pickling salt in a large nonreactive mixing bowl, such as glass or ceramic. Using clean hands, toss the vegetables with the salt to fully combine. Cover loosely with a kitchen cloth and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Drain the mixture in a colander, pressing on the vegetables with a wooden or metal spoon. Don’t rinse with water, though, just press out and discard any juices. Combine the vinegar, brown sugar, water, mustard powder, turmeric, and celery seeds in a medium pot. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has fully dissolved. Add the vegetable mixture, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

While the chow chow cooks, fill a canner or large stockpot with water, place three or four pint jars inside, and set over medium-high heat. Bring just to the boiling point.

Using a jar lifter, remove the hot jars from the canner and place on top of a kitchen cloth on the counter. With the help of a canning funnel, pack the chow chow into the jars, reserving 1/2 inch headspace.

Use a spatula or wooden chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles around the interior circumference of the jars. Wipe the rims clean with a damp cloth. Place the lids and screw bands on the jars, tightening only until fingertip-tight.

Again using a jar lifter, slowly place the filled jars in the canner. Be sure that the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, and then process for 10 minutes, starting the timer once the water is at a full, rolling boil. Adjust for altitude as needed.

Photo: Johnny Autry

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