Agny Danielsen's Surkal

By • April 17, 2013 11 Comments

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Author Notes: A traditional Norwegian sauerkraut, surkal is made with little more than cabbage, vinegar, and butter. Caraway and apple give it an added boost of flavor. This recipe, adapted from Daytona Strong's grandmother -- which Daytona discovered her grandmother had published in an old church cookbook -- is hearty and satisfying, perfect for a cold, rainy evening. Shared on Outside Oslo and The Outside Oslo Eye in its metric units, this version contains ounces and cups.Daytona Strong

Food52 Review: WHO: Daytona Strong is a Norwegian-American cook from Seattle.
WHAT: A barebones sauerkraut that will taste like anything but.
HOW: You've got this -- just shred, simmer, and let the cabbage slouch into itself for 90 minutes.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Time is the key to this dish -- in 90 minutes of simmering, the cabbage softens, as does its vinegary bite, and the apple and the caraway thrum away in the background. We know we're supposed to serve this with something else, but we couldn't stop eating bowls of it all by its lonesome.
The Editors

Serves 6

  • 26 ounces cabbage
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 2 1/2 ounces butter
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon caraway
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Curly parsley, chopped, for garnish
  1. Shred the cabbage using the slicing disc of a food processor, then switch to the shredding disk to shred the apple (it's okay to leave the skin on).
  2. Melt butter in a large, heavy pot, then add remaining ingredients (except parsley) and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 90 minutes, until the cabbage is soft and has darkened and the vinegar has reduced and softened in flavor. You may need to increase the heat near the end to finish reducing the vinegar.
  3. Remove from the heat and, as Grandma Agny indicated, "Serve in a nice-looking dish; garnish with apple wedges and parsley."

More Great Recipes: Side Dishes|Vegetables|Cabbage

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Comments (11) Questions (0)


8 months ago Ida-Maria Skavhaug

No Christmas without Surkaal :-)


over 1 year ago TheWimpyVegetarian

This is right up my alley. It looks delicious! Saving to make it soon. Congrats in being in the finals!


over 1 year ago Roar Danielsen

Perfect accompaniment to a hearty meal, especially with various sausages or pork roast. I grew up with this, and still love it. I made it myself during Christmas, it was easy and delicious. The caraway gives it zest.


over 1 year ago Showboat

Defies common sense, 2cups of white vinegar plus white sugar. Cook it as loong as you like or want, it will not turn nutritious or tasty, followed the instructions to a T, despite the misgivings, as awful as suspected. Some recepie just deserve to face from the collective conciseness


over 1 year ago veggiesfromheaven

Awesome...just the way I had it growing up...and what I've been craving lately! :)


over 1 year ago Daytona Strong

AntoniaJames, ENunn, QueenSashy, fiveandspice, and Linda--thanks for your comments! I hope you enjoy the recipe. Linda, isn't it fascinating how traditional recipes like this can have so many variations?


over 1 year ago Linda Reventlow Midtlyng

Don't think Surkal had apples, just caraway, surgar, and drippings from pork roast.


over 1 year ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Surkaal!!!! I love surkaal, but my brothers HATED it, so we always only had rodkaal growing up - except in Norway we would sometimes come in the heatable foil bag. Anyways, I haven't ever actually tried making my own. I'll definitely be giving this a try! Congrats!


over 1 year ago QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

I am a huge lover of sauerkraut and this looks like an absolute heaven. Congrats on the wonderful dish and on being the finalist.


over 1 year ago ENunn



over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This looks delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe. ;o)