Please consult the OU's guidelines for checking fruits and vegetables.

Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (pareve)
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (pareve) Eileen Goltz. | Pareve

Cabbage may be infested with black/gray thrips or aphids and, less often, cabbage worm. Though cabbage infestation is seasonal, being more prevalent during the summer months, our research has indicated that outbreaks of infestation do occur in the winter months as well. We, therefore, recommend that cabbage be inspected throughout the year. Please check “Special Instructions” below for Insect Infestation Instructions.


1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon mustard Seed


Steam cabbage and onion with 1/4 cup water in a covered saucepan over medium high heat (or microwave) until cabbage is softened but still crunchy, not more than 5 minutes.  Add other ingredients and cook on medium high heat for 5 more minutes, to blend flavors (microwave, 2 minutes). Taste and correct seasoning, then cool to room temperature.

CABBAGE and INSECT INFESTATION: Fortunately, it has been determined that infestation is predominantly limited to the first three layers of leaves, i.e. the outermost six leaves on the head (two per layer). If these six leaves are found to be clean, the rest of the head may be used. (Although insects have been found deeper than the third layer, this is uncommon.) The above holds true for Grade A cabbage only. Inferior grades of cabbage are much more prone to infestation, and their use is not recommended. Packaged, pre-washed, shredded green cabbage may pose kashrus concerns with regard to insect infestation. These products are only recommended when bearing a reliable certification. Prepared cabbage salads such as cole slaw, health salad and sauerkraut contain numerous ingredients which may pose kashrus concerns in addition to the question of insects. CABBAGE INSPECTION: When examining sacks or cases of cabbage (typically containing 12–16 heads of cabbage taken from the same field), if three heads are found to be completely clean, the rest of the cabbage in that sack or case may be used without any inspection once the wrapper leaves have been discarded. Cabbage taken from larger cases or bins must be individually checked. Several methods have been developed for the inspection of cabbage: 1. Detach the loose leaves (‘‘wrapper leaves’’) and discard. 2. Core the cabbage and split the head in half, allowing the leaves to be peeled away more easily. 3. Peel the three outermost layers (approximately six leaves, not including wrapper leaves) off the head and discard. The remainder of the head may be used. 4. Some maintain that the six outermost leaves should be checked rather than discarded. The most practical way to check is to hold the leaf above direct light. Because the leaf is translucent and the bugs are not, the bugs are accentuated and easily detected. Check both sides of each leaf. 5. If only one or two insects are found on these six leaves, then they and the remaining leaves of the head may be used without further checking. It is recommended that the remaining leaves be washed before use. 6. If three or more insects are found on the first six leaves, the remaining leaves must be thoroughly washed and checked prior to use. The second method described above (_4) is impractical when cabbage quarters must remain tightly packed so that they may be shredded easily. It should be noted that the outer leaves of the quarter sections must be removed, checked and put back to facilitate shredding.