Chef's Recipes


Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for chow-chow by Alistair Wise from Sweet Envy in Hobart.

By Alistair Wise
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 10 mins cooking
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"This preserve is addictive and you'll find it doesn't last long in the fridge," says Wise. It pairs with any meat perfectly, from a roast chicken to a ham sandwich. It's best made a couple of days ahead to allow the flavours to mellow and develop." Makes about 1.5kg.


  • 1.2 kg cabbage (about 1 small cabbage), finely shredded on a mandolin
  • 2 tsp each ground turmeric, ground cumin and celery seed
  • Pinch each of ground cloves, ground cinnamon and ground allspice
  • 80 ml vegetable oil (1/3 cup)
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 4 long red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 200 ml white vinegar
  • 60 gm brown sugar
  • Small handful of fresh curry leaves
  • 50 gm mustard seeds


  • 1
    Place cabbage in a large bowl, season lightly with salt, toss to combine and set aside.
  • 2
    Dry-roast spices, stirring, until fragrant (2-3 minutes), then set aside.
  • 3
    Heat half the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add onion, celery and chilli, and sauté until tender (4-5 minutes), then add vinegar, sugar, spices and cabbage. Reduce heat to low and simmer until cabbage is tender and liquid has almost completely evaporated (50 minutes to 1 hour).
  • 4
    Heat remaining oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat, add curry leaves and mustard seeds and fry until seeds pop (30 seconds). Add to cabbage mixture, season to taste, then transfer to sterile jars, seal and cool to room temperature. Chow-chow will keep refrigerated for up to a month.