This week, I went to a Japanese Fermentation workshop which was very interesting (more to come on this soon). So this afternoon, I decided to tackle a favourite fermented of mine: sauerkraut.
I love making sauerkraut at home because 1) it is really easy and fun; 2) it is way less acidic then the store bought versions; 3) it’s pink!
Here is what you’ll need:
- 1 small head of green cabbage
- 1 small head of purple cabbage (this will make your sauerkraut pink, but if you can only find green cabbage, it’s fine too)
- 2 tbsp coarse sea salt
- some glass sterilized glass jars and some weight.
Here is what you do:
- Gently rub the two cabbages under water to wash them.
- Cut them in quarters and remove the central stem.
- Grate them or thinly slice them. Put the shredded cabbage in a salad spinner and gently separate the leaves from one another(especially useful for the purple cabbage). Cover with water and give it a rub to clean everything up. Drain and place the cabbage in a large bowl.
- Add the salt and rub it in so that everything is well combined. Let sit.
- Sterilize your glass jars and let them cool (I usually place my glass jars in the sink and pour boiling water in them, but the “real” method usually requires you to boil the jars).
- Place the cabbage in the jars, pressing it down tightly. You want to remove as much air as possible. Pour the remaining water on top of your cabbage. You want it to be completely submerged with liquid.
- I use a smaller mason jar to press the cabbage down and some almond milk cartons to put pressure on everything: the idea is that you want the cabbage to always be covered in liquid to avoid rotting or nasty bacteria to develop. I also cover everything with some plastic wrap to keep it clean.
- Let this sit for a few days, tasting it after two or three days. If the acidity level it to your taste, place the lidded jar in the fridge. This will stop the fermentation process. You will be able to use this sauerkraut in salads or as a side dish for a few weeks.
This sauerkraut will have a lovely shade of pink and can be used in a variety of ways: in salads (it can easily replace the dressing as it provides with acidity and saltiness), in sandwiches, as soup topping or as a side dish. It’s also very easy to make and customize: why not add your favourite seeds to the mix: mustard, fennel or coriander? You can easily adapt it to match your own taste.
As all lacto-fermented food, this sauerkraut is also the home of gut-healing bacteria which will you digest food better and feel better too!
Let me know if you try this out, or if you have any other lacto-fermented food reciped that I should try out. I’m working on fermented beets, and will let you know how it turn out!