Only a Few Recipes Come From People

I am not talking about famous foods named after famous people. I am talking about Mom’s mashed potatoes, Granny’s pumpkin pie, Mary’s kale salad, and John’s BBQ sauce. I asked my daughter what would she say about recipes we name after our friends and family. She said: “A lot of recipes come from books, only a few come from people.” Those few are our emotional memories of food that connects us to the important people in our lives. These recipes are precious.

Today I am sharing one of my favorite salads with red cabbage. My Mom used to make it with white cabbage, imitation crabmeat, and canned corn kernels, dressed with mayo. After moving to the U.S., I eventually substituted white cabbage with red and an imitation crabmeat with the crustacean. Who cares about imitation when the real stuff is readily available? Love it dearly and still name it Mom’s Cabbage Salad. In the LCL Group on Facebook, I asked people with the Soviet past whether they remember this salad and where it came from. Apparently, the recipe was printed on the imitation crab sticks package, but many remember it as a family recipe.

Red Cabbage Goodness

I have to admit I praise red cabbage for its looks more than anything else. I like the colors of this salad. To preserve this harmony of contrasts, add corn kernels, the dressing and toss all ingredients together right before serving.

Red cabbage is a purple-leaved variety of Brassica oleracea. In addition to its striking appearance, it is highly packed with nutrients. With ten times more vitamin A and twice as much iron as green cabbage, it is considered one of the healthy foods with dietary fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals. The red pigment comes from plant-based chemicals (anthocyanins), which change the hue during the cooking to blue unless some acidic agents are added. There are no acidic ingredients in this salad and the cabbage stays purple.

Red Cabbage Salad with Shrimp and Corn

Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: corn, recipe, red cabbage, seafood, shrimp
Servings: 4 portions


  • 5 cups red cabbage shredded
  • 2 ears corn yellow, fresh, in husks, or 1 can yellow sweet corn kernels
  • 8 oz shrimp cooked, or any other crustaceans
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt or flaky seas salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise Kewpie preferred


  • Microwave 2 fresh ears of yellow corn (do not remove husks!) for 4 minutes on HIGH. Let it cool down to the room temperature, peel and cut off the kernels. When fresh corn is out of season, use your favorite brand of canned sweet yellow corn.
  • Wash red cabbage head and remove tough outer leaves. Shred it. Always shred red cabbage thinly for raw salads. Add salt and pepper, gently toss. No need to massage it. Let it stay for a few minutes, and salt will draw its juices to make cabbage softer.
  • Steps 1 and 2 can be done in advance. Combine all salad ingredients right before serving and adjust seasoning.
Red Cabbage Salad with Corn and Crustacean