Winter is the best season to prepare sauerkraut as you will find plenty of fresh cabbages at your local markets. Sauerkraut is a perfect side dish for every meat recipe and it particularly goes well with bratwurst and as a lettuce replacement in sandwiches. If you are vegetarian, you can have sauerkraut with mushrooms or in your veggie salad.
Making sauerkraut at home is relatively easy but it may take a few attempts to master it.
Once your sauerkraut is ready to be consumed store it in a refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. You can also store your sauerkraut in a basement or root cellar but keep in mind that the sauerkraut will continue to ferment and sour slowly over extended periods of time.
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A simple recipe to make traditional, homemade sauerkraut using only cabbage and salt.
- 900 gr cabbage
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Sterilize the jar with boiling water or wash well with warm soapy water. As you will be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, ensure you wash your hands in warm soapy water.
- Remove outer leaves of the cabbage and place them on side. Then cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Shred cabbage into very thin ribbons and leave the core on side.
- Transfer the cabbage into a mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over the top. Start massaging and squeezing cabbage with your hands until it’s soft and juicy. This will take 2-10 minutes.
- Pack the cabbage and juice into a glass jar. Ensure the cabbage is submerged below the brine of cabbage juice. Apply added pressure to the cabbage while packing to ensure that there are no trapped air pockets in the jar.
- Leave at least 3-5 cm of space between lip of jar and brine. Place one or two larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the shredded cabbage. Then place a weighting stone on the top of the leaves to keep the cabbage weigh down. If you do not have weighting stone you can use cabbage core instead.
- Cover the mouth of the glass jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Placing the cloth will allow the air flow in and out of the jar and will prevent insects from getting into the jar.
- Ensure the stone is holding the shredded cabbage below the brine.
- Leave the cabbage to ferment away from direct sunlight. The fermentation process takes anywhere between 3 and 10 days. Keep checking it daily and start tasting it after 3 days. Ensure the cabbage is sitting below the brine, if not, keep pressing it down every time when you check it.
- When the fermentation is to your liking move the ferment into refrigerator, basement or root cellar storage. Enjoy this crunchy and delightfully sour ferment with your meat meals and sandwiches.
Equipment: Glass jar (Le-Parfair style jar with a rubber seal or similar), chopping board, cabbage shredder or chef’s knife, mixing bowl, weighting stone, cloth for covering the jar (if glass jar does not have a rubber seal) and a rubber band for securing the cloth (if glass jar does not have a rubber seal)
- Serving Size: 100 grams
- Calories: 19
- Sugar: 1.8 grams
- Sodium: 661 mg
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 4.3 grams
- Fiber: 2.9 grams
- Protein: 0.9 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 grams