Table of Contents
- 1 medium head white/green cabbage
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavour)
Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first, it may not seem like enough salt, but gradually, the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
Pack the cabbage into the jar: Pack cabbage and pack into the jar. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar
Weigh the cabbage down
Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevent dust or insects from getting in the jar.
Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will rise over the top of the cabbage.
Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid. After 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the cloth and screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer.
While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process.
The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged.
Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated.