If you love tart, crunchy, salty, savory, this recipe is for you – a probiotic, zesty addition to all kinds of meals – sandwich toppings, salad toppings, taco additions, the possibilities are endless. I am sharing a gingered version here, but feel free to leave the ginger out. Also, feel free to add herbs or spices of your choosing. For example, I love to include caraway, coriander, dill. The flavors will make their way through the kraut providing further depth and complexity.
One head of green cabbage, about 3 pounds
2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional)
2 Tbs sea salt
Extra brine if needed (at a ratio of 1 Tbs salt per 2 Cups water)
If necessary (for example damaged or from the grocery store), peel away and compost the outermost leaves, and halve and core your cabbage. Save aside a leaf for use later..
Reserving the leaf mentioned above, chop the whole head into thin long strips. As an option you can run this through the shredder blade of a food processor. This will be a matter of texture preference and it can be fun to experiment. Either method works fine though.
In a bowl with ample working space sprinkle the chopped cabbage and grated ginger with the sea salt, and begin to massage the salt into your mixture. Once the cabbage has softened up a bit and the juices have begun to release, I like to employ the help of a masher. Mash, pound, massage the cabbage until it’s evenly bruised and has become quite juicy.
Now we are going to transfer our salted cabbage to a fermentation “crock.” If you have a crock, wonderful. For fermentation, I have used mason jars, bailing wire jars, and my favorite so far – this old glass double boiler pot with the handle removed. What ever you choose, it should be non reactive and large enough to allow for a couple inches of head space (the mason jar pictured below was just a little too full and I ended up transferring some of it).
Transfer your kraut into your fermentation container and pack it down with clean hands or some kind of masher to help release any air bubbles and to push it below the brine.
Make sure all of the cabbage and other vegetable matter is below the surface of the brine, as contact with air can allow for mold and bacterial growth. With the cabbage leaf you’ve saved aside, lay it on top of the kraut to help contain any stray pieces, and then set a short glass jar or dish on top of that to keep it all submerged into the brine.
There should be an inch or so of brine above your cabbage. If you find you need more brine to achieve full coverage, you can mix up some pure water and additional salt at a rate of 1 Tbs salt to 2 Cups of water. You want to keep it salty.
Cover your kraut securely with a clean cloth, or a top that allows gases to escape. There are some great airlock options out there that fit mason jars.
Set it in a dark spot, ideally at a temperature of 70-75 degrees. Your sauerkraut should be ready in 2-4 weeks! Your taste will partly determine how long you choose to let it ferment.
Keep it clean, follow the suggestions above, keep it salty and keep an eye on your fermentation. Your kraut should happily behave.
Here is an excellent troubleshooting guide should you have concerns come up along the way https://www.makesauerkraut.com/sauerkraut-fermentation-gone-bad-troubleshooting-tips/
And feel free to leave any questions below. Enjoy!