Home made Slovenian Food, delicious, diverse, interesting, healthy.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Jota is like a hotpot, thick soup or a vegetable-meat stew. This very traditional dish comes from Western part of Slovenia, Primorska Region. It can be made with sour cabbage or sour turnips and potatoes, beans and a beat of ham or sausages. It is what we call a real winter dish.

Traditional Slovenian thick soup - stew from Primorska Region
Jota, traditional Slovenian thick soup.

When we are talking about diet, we always say that the best and the healthiest diet is to eat seasonal and regional foods. I could not agree more. With that kind of food our body would get the nutrients it needs the most. 

Nowadays we can buy fresh vegetables, fruits all year around. In the past, there was a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the winter. People used to preserve food by fermenting it, like cabbage, turnips etc., which would then be use in everyday diet.

Sour cabbage or "sauerkraut" is very popular in Slovenia. Many people still make it at home, or it can be bought in all grocery stores or at the farmers' markets. We can eat it raw in a salad cooked or roasted etc. When we are abroad, as we are now in Japan, it can be hard to find sour cabbage in the nearest shop. But there are always some shops where you can buy it. 

This is sour cabbage I recently
discovered in Tokyo.   

Jota recipe:

Main ingredients:

500g of sour cabbage or sour turnips

500g of potatoes
300g of dried kidney beans
1 medium onion
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
salt to taste
1 tsp of hole black pepper
1 tsp of caraway seeds
1 tsp of red sweet paprika, optional
1 tbsp of tomato pure
2 tbsp of vegetable oil or pork fat or
100 g of bacon
Bonito flakes - optional
Water or clear soup or dashi

Wash the beans well and let them soak in water over night. Next day cook the beans in water separately, also cook pilled potatoes separately. 

Separately cook pilled potatoes.  
When cooking beans and potatoes, start to prepare the cabbage. I do that as follows:

Chop the bacon and anion and fry all together with bay leave until they get nice light brown colour. Now add the cabbage. You can wash it before cooking but only if it is too sour. We actually appreciate the sourness of this dish. Stir fry for few minutes. Add crushed garlic and all the spices except salt. Sour cabbage is already salted! Mix well. Add water or soup - just enough to cover the cabbage. Cover the pot and cook approximately 15minutes. Than add cooked and drained beans and potatoes. Take a few pieces of cooked potatoes mash them into puree to thicken the soup. I prefer this way of thickening soups instead of adding flour, which is of course, also possible. Add water used when cooking potatoes or beans, or both, if needed. The soup must be thick as it is actually a main dish. Taste it and add more spices if needed. Bring it to boil again and cook it few more minutes.

You can serve it as it is, or with some ham or sausage. In Slovenia that would be "Kranjska klobasa - Carniolan sausage" or a piece of dried pork neck.  

If you do that, you can also add some water in which the ham or sausage was cooked. That will add more flavour. If you do not want to use meat you can add bonito flakes and you will get similar taste. I use bonito flakes in many dishes instead of ham. 

Jota with cooked dried pork.
Carniolan sausage is very
tasty substitute for dried pork.

To complete your lunch menu you can add any dessert you want. 

See more photos on this LINK!

My tip: 
Like all traditional recipes this one is also made for a big family. The main ingredients cabbage, potatoes and beans gives you the quantity. You can decide to use less of each, just keep in mind to maintain the proportions, about 1/3 of each main ingredient. 
But you can also store it in the fridge up to a week. Just make it hot again and enjoy!


  1. thank you for this receipe. I spent week in Slovenia and absolutely loved this soup. Going to cook by myself now:)

  2. Dear Eliza Anna, I am really glad you like it. Wish you a lot of fun with cooking. Bon appetit! Enjoy!

  3. Hi! I don't know if you are still active, but I want to thank you so much for all these great recipes! I'm an Irish girl living in Slovenia nearly two years now and I have been making all your recipes one by one! Today I have a giant lot of Jota on the stove cooking away.hope it turns out as well as the other recipies I have followed.thank you so so much!