Fermenting foods at home can sound like an intimidating science experiment, but it’s actually a very simple process to make a flavor-packed condiment like sauerkraut. This recipe only requires two ingredients, and a little technique!
If you’re joining our Tiny Kitchen Cooking Club class next Tuesday, July 18th at 1-2:30pm PST, top your Tempeh Rueben Sandwich with this sauerkraut to add a little tang to your delicious vegan sandwich. It takes 1-2 weeks to ferment, so we encourage that you make the sauerkraut ahead of time.
- 1 medium-sized cabbage (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt (non-iodized)
- Optional: Caraway seeds, juniper berries, or other spices for flavoring
- Remove any outer leaves from the cabbage and set them aside.
- Core the cabbage and shred it finely using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer. You can also use a food processor with a shredding attachment.
- Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt over it. If you’re adding any spices, sprinkle them in as well.
- Massage the cabbage and salt together using your hands. This helps to release the natural juices from the cabbage and starts the fermentation process. Continue massaging for about 5-10 minutes, or until the cabbage becomes softer and releases more liquid.
- Transfer the cabbage and its liquid into a clean glass jar or a fermentation crock. Press down firmly to eliminate any air pockets and to ensure the cabbage is submerged in its own juices. If the liquid is not enough to cover the cabbage completely, you can add a little bit of filtered water to top it up.
- Take one of the reserved outer cabbage leaves and fold it into a small square or circle. Place it on top of the shredded cabbage to act as a barrier and keep it submerged.
- Cover the jar with a clean cloth or fermentation lid to allow gases to escape while preventing dust or insects from getting in. Make sure to keep the jar in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
- Let the sauerkraut ferment for at least 1-2 weeks, checking on it every few days. During this time, the cabbage will continue to release more liquid and start to develop its characteristic tangy flavor. Taste it periodically to determine if it has reached your desired level of fermentation.
- Once the sauerkraut has fermented to your liking, remove the cabbage leaf and discard it. Transfer the sauerkraut to airtight containers and store it in the refrigerator. It will continue to ferment, albeit at a slower rate, and can be enjoyed for several months.
Remember, the fermentation process can vary depending on factors such as temperature and the desired level of sourness. It’s a good idea to start tasting your sauerkraut after a few days to monitor its progress and adjust the fermentation time to your preference.
Enjoy your homemade sauerkraut!