This is a good recipe to get you started with sauerkraut making. Once you’ve mastered the method only your imagination is the limit to the possibilities of fermenting!
- 400g cabbage – red or green
- 1 tsp good quality salt
- Optional: Seasonings eg Caraway seeds, minced garlic or ginger
- Remove any outer layers of cabbage that are damaged and reserve one whole leaf for later use.
- Finely chop cabbage discarding the hard stems
- Massage the cabbage (with clean hands) for between 10 – 20mins. Squeeze it between your fingers breaking down the structure of the cabbage. You’ll know when it is ready when it is soggy and there is a lot of juice in the bowl.
- Taste the cabbage to test for saltiness. Add more if required.
- Pack the jars tightly with the salted cabbage pushing it down so it’s completely submerged in the liquid. If there isn’t enough liquid make a brine of salt and water and top up the jar. Leave about an inch of space in the top of the jar to stop the liquid spilling out when fermentation occurs.
- Fold the whole cabbage leaf and wedge it firmly down into the jar to ensure the cabbage is completely submerged.
- Place the lid loosely on the jar. DO NOT SEAL THE JAR. As fermentation occurs gases will form and bubble in the jar.
- Sit the jar out of direct sunlight for 5 – 10 days. Taste after 5 days and put in the fridge if it tastes good, leave out a few more days if stronger flavor is desired. It’s normal for a bit of foam or scum to form on the surface of the liquid, just spoon it off.
- Store in the fridge with the lid secured. It will last up to 6 months provided it is always submerged in the liquid. And yes it is meant to smell like that. Its fermenting cabbage! It doesn’t taste like it though.
Adding whey or water kefir grains will supercharge your sauerkraut with probiotics and increase the speed of fermentation. They will also add saltiness so use a little less salt. It is normal for whey sauerkraut to develop a little fizziness.
- Add ¼ cup of whey to the prepared cabbage and mix through thoroughly.
- Or add 1 tsp of kefir grains to the prepared cabbage and mix through. The grains can be eaten with the sauerkraut
Other fruit and veg can be fermented and are delicious when added to your sauerkraut. Just remember to add extra salt /whey /kefir grains to the recipe if you are adding more vegetables.
- Grated carrot
- Grated beetroot
- Finely chopped celery
- Grated apple
- Finely chopped radish or Daikon
- Chopped parsley
Adapted from Cultured not Refined with thanks!