Simple Sauerkraut – How To
1 white cabbage (about 500g) grated into thin pieces
2 tablespoons sea salt flakes
2 teaspoons black pepper corns
Sterilise your glass jar in boiling water.
Clean the cabbage well, before slicing it into thin pieces (a grater or mandolin is great for this step).
Place the cabbage into a bowl, and mix through the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage for roughly 5 minutes, before leaving for 5 minutes. Repeat the process until the volume of the cabbage has reduced quite dramatically and a liquid has formed.
Transport the cabbage and liquid into the sterilised jar, mixing through the black peppercorns. You want to try to ensure all of the cabbage is *submerged under the brine (liquid) – you can help this by by covering the cabbage with cling film and weighing down with a weight. Once all of the cabbage is in the jar and is being weighed down, close the lid of the jar and leave to ferment in a cool, dark place for 10 days. Check the cabbage everyday and open the jar to “burp” the substance, releasing any gasses that have built up.
*After 1 day, if the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon in 200ml of water and add enough to submerge it.
After 10 days, taste the fermented vegetables and place in the fridge if you are happy. You can leave the cabbage to ferment from 2-6 weeks, so taste as you go along and place into the fridge when you are happy with the taste – the cabbage will become more sour the longer it is left to ferment.
This will last in the fridge for up to 5 months.
Some general rules for fermenting vegetables:
- Clean everything – your hands, knives, vegetables etc. Ensure to sterilise your glass jars before starting – you can do this by either soaking them in boiling water or putting them in a hot oven for 15 minutes.
- Fermentation usually takes 10 days – the longer you leave vegetables, the more sour taste they will develop. Once you are happy with the taste of your fermented vegetables, you can place it in the fridge to enjoy.
- Most sauerkraut and kimchi calls for the “dry salting” method, meaning salt is rubbed into the vegetables to soften before being left to ferment.
- Fermenting vegetables enjoy cool, dark environments. Excessive heat speeds up the fermentation process, whereas an overly cold environment slows it down.
- If any mould or “scum” forms on your fermenting vegetables, rinse them in boiling water and place back into the jar, submerged in brine, to continue fermenting.