Simple Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is one of the simplest lacto-fermented foods there is. Most recipes make enough to feed an army, and this recipe is easily doubled (or tripled, quadrupled, etc.) if you have a lot of cabbage on hand. Choose firm, heavy heads. Green cabbage is traditional, but if glossy purple spheres call to you from the market stands, they will make a vibrant magenta kraut!
By / Photography By Katie Doner | September 01, 2015

Ingredients

  • 2 medium head of cabbage, about 2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt

Preparation

Cut the cabbage in quarters through the core. Cut the solid core out. Cut the cabbage crosswise into fine shreds using a knife, the shredding blade on a food processor or a mandoline.

In a large bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with the salt. Massage and pound the cabbage––it will start to soften and release juices. Pack the cabbage into your crock or jar(s). Pack it in tightly, pounding it down to eliminate air bubbles. The cabbage will create its own brine and the liquid should cover the shreds (if not, make a light brine of 1 teaspoon salt stirred into 2 cups of water and add to cover).

Cover the crock or jar loosely with a lid (do not tighten it down, you just want to inhibit evaporation but let any fermentation gases escape). Leave the sauerkraut to ferment at room temperature, out of bright light. The kraut might bubble over if your crock is very full, so it can be a smart idea to put the fermentation vessel into a saucer to catch any overflow. Start taste-testing your kraut after about 2 weeks. As fermentation progresses, the kraut will get more tangy. (It’s normal to see a little hazy scummy stuff develop on top of the brine. Just spoon it off and discard.) When it’s tart enough to your taste, transfer it to the refrigerator for storage.

About this recipe

You will need a pickling crock or jars. If you have a gorgeous earthenware pickling crock, use it, by all means, but a half-gallon jar (or several wide-mouth quart canning jars) will work as well. Wash your crock well with hot, soapy water. Rinse well.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium head of cabbage, about 2 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt or kosher salt
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