What you need:
- Mason jars (I use 32oz jars at home)
- large bowl
- 1-2 heads of cabbage (white and both work)
- Himalayan Salt
- Optional ingredients:
- Garlic, ginger and turmeric
- caraway seeds
- Dulse flakes
- beets (works well with red kraut)
- carrots (works well with white kraut)
- Take your cabbage and wash it lightly. Peel off the first 2 leaves and reserve them for later.
- With the rest of the kraut (we call cabbage "kraut") use your mandolin or food processor (if you have neither you can use a large chefs knife) and shred the cabbage into the desired thickness.
- Weigh your shredded cabbage and calculate 2% of the total weight. That’s how much salt you’re going to need. So if you have 1000g of cabbage you’ll need 20g of salt.
- Place the cabbage in a bowl, add your optional other ingredients (see ideas below) and then sprinkle your salt all over.
- With very clean hands mix and massage the salt into the cabbage for 3-5 mins.
- You’ll notice that the cabbage will soften and some water will start getting released. This is good. Let the mix sit for 10 mins.
- Once the time is over, pack the kraut into the jars. You want to pack it tightly to remove the air bubbles. Only pack the jar about 3/4 full, repeat until all your jars are packed
- Evenly distribute the liquid into the jars. There should be enough liquid now to cover the cabbage in the brine. If there isn’t you can make a 2% brine, by dissolving one tsp of salt in 4 cups of water and adding a bit of that into your jars.
- Remember the big cabbage leaves? Use them to top your kraut. You can fold them and stuff them into the jar. It will help your cabbage stay submerged in the brine as it ferments.
- Now you’re ready to put your lid on and wait anywhere from 1 week to 3 weeks or longer (I can never wait this long, but the longer your wait the more intense the fermented flavor gets). While the sauerkraut is fermenting you have to burp your jars. Essentially that means release the gases that the fermentation produces. To do that, very carefully release the lid ever so slightly and carefully. If you open it too fast you’ll risk losing all your brine with the gas in a huge mess, so be gentle.
- Let the gas out and tighten the lid again. You can buy special fermentation lids (see below), but I prefer the old school method
- Once your ferment is ready you can store it in the fridge for a very long time. One serving is usually 2 Tbsp, but I eat it almost every day with lunch and dinner and sometimes for dessert (joking!) and often a lot more than 2 TBSP
My optional favourite flavours have been ginger, turmeric and garlic (also so good for extra immune boosts right now during the Covid lockdowns), Dill and seaweed or garlic and chilis, but feel free to experiment with your own combination.