I love the crunch texture and sharp taste of sauerkraut, and it eat it all the time. It is really simple to make, you can tweak it as much as you want, and its probiotic.
The recipe scales very well so you can make as much as you like. I normally make about 4kg at a time in my big polish crock, but a regular glass jar will work fine.
- a big bowl to mix everything in
- a few big glass jars with lids
- some sort of weight that will fit into the jars (heavy river stones will work well)
- something to bash the cabbage with (I use my rolling pin)
- as much cabbage as you need (1 or 2 is usually fine)
- salt – 1 tablespoon of salt (20g) per kg of cabbage will make a 2% brine solution. You must use natural salt; if you use regular salt with iodine (most commercial salt) the iodine will stop the ferment from happening
- Keep a few large clean cabbage leaves on the side
- Trim, quarter and core the rest of the cabbage
- Weight all the cabbage and work out how much salt you need
- slice the cabbage as thin as you can (use a mandolin if you have one)
- Put the cabbage into a large bowl (you may need to do a few batches depending on how much cabbage you have)
- Add the salt and bash it for about 10 minutes, get it really nice and bruised – take out all your frustrations, and it will get very soft and wet
- Put in a glass jar, put some of the leaves you kept aside on top, and put the weight on
- Make sure it is all submerged. You may need to add a little extra brine (20g salt per 1l water) to make sure it is covered
- NOTE that it will expand a bit so leave a healthy gap at the top
- Screw on the lid, but don’t screw it super-tight – some air will need to escape (especially in the first few days).
- That’s it. Eat it when it tastes ready. I usually leave it for 6 weeks, but anything from 1 week to several months if it’s cool enough will work fine. The longer you leave it the stronger it will taste
For a variation try adding carrots, garlic, onions, some spices, a few bayleaves etc…go wild.
If you can find a crock it will work best, but they can be expensive and hard to find. I bought mine in Warsaw and had to carry it hand luggage all the way back to Cape Town. They have a special water seal to keep the bugs out.