Timeframe: 1 Week or Longer
Sauerkraut is an easy vegetable ferment that lends itself to improvisation with ingredients.
- 1 head of red or green cabbage
- 2 tablespoons of kosher or sea salt (non-iodized)
- optional: carrots, beets, radishes, onion, garlic, apples, pears, spices like caraway or dill
- mixing bowl
- mason jars
- canning funnel (optional)
- Chop cabbage finely. The finer the pieces, the more surface area will release water.
- Mix in salt with cabbage gradually. Stop adding salt once cabbage becomes saturated
with its own water (squeezing a handful should release water).
Have a scale? The salt will be about 2% of the combined weight of the vegetables.
- Blend in other finely chopped ingredients and pack tightly in mason jars. Water must rise over the surface of the food for anaerobic fermentation to begin.
- Cover with a loose lid, and write the date on the lid with a dry erase marker. Set
each jar in a bowl on the countertop away from direct sunlight.
Within a few days, the vegetables will begin bubbling and brine might overflow from the jar.
- Check daily to ensure the cabbage stays submerged, and pack down if necessary.
- Taste after one week, and ferment till it reaches the desired level of sourness. Cap tightly and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!
Keep your ferments submerged. A white bloom on the surface is safe — scrape it off
and eat sauerkraut below. If the sauerkraut turns any other color, oxygen has stopped
fermentation and enabled unknown microorganisms to colonize. Compost the entire batch.