Here I’ve got a very simple recipe for sauerkraut that you can whip up in 10 minutes and eat the next week!
This sauerkraut recipe dosent use any heat. You may have noticed that there are two different jars of sauerkraut you can buy from the store. One is on the shelf and is generally cheap, while the other is refrigerated and usually much more expensive. This is because the shelf one has been made using a heat process that speeds up the fermentation process to practically nothing, but also means that all the healthy probiotics (healthy gut bacteria) are killed off from the heat - giving it almost no nutritional value. This is why its super important to alway choose the refrigerated sauerkraut (if not making your own) as it has actually spent at least a week if not much longer fermenting with all the probiotic goodness still in there!
- 700g cabbage (whatever colour)
- 70g water
- 12 - 15g salt
- 1-2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
This quantity makes about 1 medium/large jar of sauerkraut.
I made 1.5 times this recipe - making a big jar of white sauerkraut with the caraway seeds, and a small jar of purple sauerkraut without the caraway seeds.
Important pre steps:
I would highly recommend using a quality jar that seals itself very well.
You will need to wash your jars with detergent and hot water and let them air dry before using.
- Make sure your hands are very clean throughout the whole process of making the sauerkraut and everything you use to make the sauerkraut is also very clean.
- Thinly slice your cabbage to about 3-5 mm thick. Place the shredded cabbage into a large bowl and sprinkle the salt on top.
- With clean hands massage the salt into the cabbage and let it sit for 5 - 10 mins until the salt has had enough time to extract some liquid from the cabbage.
- Add your water and caraway seeds to the cabbage and leave for another few minutes.
- With clean hands, squeeze as much water out of the cabbage as you can. Put the squeezed cabbage into a clean bowl as you go. Keep the brine as you will use it later.
- Grab your clean jars and start packing them with sauerkraut using your hands or a spoon. Take this step slow and do it in tablespoons at a time. Your goal here is to try and get as much air out of the jar as possible - so your sauerkraut should be very compact when you finish.
- You will notice that some of the brine that wasn’t squeezed out will start to rise to the top of the jar. Make sure there is about 1-2 centimetres of space left under the rim of your jar. If the brine has risen too much past this point, simply spoon some of it out. If you don’t have enough brine at the top, take some leftover brine from earlier and spoon it in until you have the correct amount.
- Put the lid on your jar and set it somewhere that is warm (near a cupboard light, near your stove, etc).
- I find that this sauerkraut is generally ready after 7-12 days of fermenting but this is totally up to your own preference. You will need to let your sauerkraut ferment for at least 7 days before transferring it to the fridge. Note that once your sauerkraut is in the fridge, the fermenting process is much much slower, so don’t refrigerate it until your happy with how much it has fermented.
- Lastly, you will need to tend to your sauerkraut every 12 hours or so - simply to let some air out and top up the liquid if need be. All you need to do is open your jar lid to let the air out, and spoon in some water if the brine has sunk lower than the sauerkraut. It is also a good idea to press the sauerkraut back down as much as possible with a spoon every time you check it to ensure there isn’t much air. Once you’ve done this, put the lid back on and repeat this every 12 hours for the first 4-5 days.
This sauerkraut will last about 1 month in the fridge and can be enjoyed with anything you like!