Delicious & Easy
My go-to recipe for sauerkraut uses a tart apple to add sweetness and fresh ginger root to add brightness. Mix red and green cabbage together to create a stunning pink-purple accoutrement to sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, eggs, and more!
Want to know more about fermenting? Make sure to read the companion story by Austin Durant.
2 medium heads red or green cabbage (or one of each, about 5 pounds)
3 tablespoons fine sea salt
2 medium tart apples (around 1⁄2 a pound)
2 to 3 inches ginger root
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts
Fermentation time: 7 to 84 days, depending on weather and taste
Clean cabbage to wash off the dirt and remove any tough or floppy outer leaves.
Shred or thinly slice each cabbage into 1⁄4- to 1⁄2-inch ribbons and add to a large mixing bowl.
Sprinkle salt over shredded cabbage. Brine will form as salt draws water from the cabbage.
Squeeze or pound the mixture to break the cell walls and encourage water to seep out of vegetables.
Clean and thinly slice the apple into 1-inch bite-size pieces and add to the bowl. Wash ginger to remove dirt; peel if desired. Grate and add to mixing bowl.
Add caraway seeds to the mixing bowl. Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.
Pack and Ferment
Add mixture to jars or a fermentation crock. Make sure to add every last drop of brine that has formed in the mixing bowl. Pack contents tightly so that there are no air bubbles and the top surface is even and flat.
Place weights on top of the sauerkraut, leaving at least 1 inch of headspace from the contents and the top of the container with the weights applied.
Cover the container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep out flies and dust. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties, or an elastic strap. Label your container with its contents and the date when you started fermenting it. I use blue painter’s tape and a permanent marker, and I always stick the label on the side of the container rather than the lid—those lids have a notorious habit of switching jars when you’re not looking, usually in the middle of the night! Stash sauerkraut containers in a cool place out of direct sunlight. I place my container in a conspicuous spot so that I don’t forget about it. Typically, I ferment sauerkraut for two weeks in warm weather or four weeks in cooler weather.
When taste and texture are to your liking, transfer the contents to jars and store them in the refrigerator.
Sauerkraut will last in the refrigerator for several months.
Questions About This Recipe
Notes & Thoughts
Originally published in issue 72.