Sauerkraut is having a moment. Not only is it incredibly delicious (like, eat it by the fork-full straight from the jar kind of delicious) but it is also incredibly good for you. It is teeming with good bacteria that your gut absolutely loves. You can buy sauerkraut from the supermarket, but we’re here to tell you that once you’ve had proper homemade sauerkraut you’ll never look back. This recipe is super easy, inexpensive to make, and the vibrant red colour just makes every meal beautiful, so is sure to become a staple in your fridge!
Ingredients (Makes Approx 4 jars)
1 large red cabbage (or 2 small ones)
1 knob of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
20g sea salt
Sterilize all of your equipment (you can do this by submerging it in boiling water, or alternatively with a sterilising solution from the chemist)
Put aside 1 of the outer cabbage leaves for using later. Thinly slice the cabbage and place into a large bowl.
Add the ginger to the bowl of sliced cabbage. Weigh the cabbage and ginger together.
Once you calculate the cabbage and ginger weight, you now need to calculate how much salt to add. The weight of the salt should be between 1.5-2% of the overall cabbage weight, depending on how salty you like it. The easiest way to calculate this is to use an online calculator like this one!
Once you have weighed the salt, sprinkle it on cabbage mixture and toss through. Leave to sit for 5-10 mins. The salt will begin to draw out the moisture in the cabbage and start breaking it down.
Now comes the fun part! You need to start breaking down the cabbage, so find something heavy and flat that you can use to pound the cabbage in. We use the end of a wooden rolling pin, but I’ve also seen people use the flat end of an empty wine bottle. Pound away for about 10 mins, or until the cabbage has really softened and is all juicy and sitting in its own liquid. This brine is what helps the good bacteria convert the sugars and begins the fermentation process.
Once done, transfer the cabbage mixture into the large jar and pack it down tightly making sure that the cabbage is completely covered in its own brine. Cover the top with the cabbage leaf that you put aside at the start, and weigh it down with something heavy so that the cabbage stays submerged in brine. We use a glass jar filled with water. Place a lid on the jar and transfer the jar to a dark place (like a spare room or pantry).
Check on the cabbage every day, releasing the gas to ensure it doesn’t build up (which is called ‘burping’).
The sauerkraut will be ready after about 10-14 days, though, the best way to know when its ready is to taste it! Depending on the weather it can take shorter or longer, though when it’s done it should have a pleasant aroma and be absolutely delicious!
When done, transfer it to smaller jars and store in the fridge for up 6 months.