In less than 5 minutes you can convert a simple head of cabbage into your own tasty sauerkraut! With this simple recipe you’ll never need to buy commercially made kraut again.
- White cabbage heads (qty varies by how many jars you want to make- 5lbs should make 2 quart jars)
- Salt- sea, kosher, pickling etc.- NOT iodized table salt! (3-tablespoons per 5lbs or cabbage)
- Clean mason jars with lids
- Bowls to place under the mason jars while the ferment
- Weigh your cabbage heads
- Wash and remove outer leaves from the cabbage (set aside, you’ll use some of these later)
- Cut the cabbage in quarters and remove and discard the core
- Slice the cabbage in very thin slices- as thin as possible, and put in a large glass or stainless mixing bowl
- Mix salt into shredded cabbage- based on the weight of the heads, add the appropriate amount of salt. i.e- 5lbs add 3 tablespoons (9 teaspoons), 2.5lbs- add 1.5 tablespoons (aka- 5 teaspoons), etc.
- With your bare hands scrunch and mix the cabbage and salt mixture until the cabbage breaks down- the water will be extracted, resulting in a puddle in the bottom of the bowl and you will be able to squeeze a handful of cabbage and the water will wring out.
- Pack the mason jars with the cabbage mixture, leaving 1inch of head space- pack as tight as possible so the water mixture covers the top of the cabbage mixture
- Tear or cut the extra cabbage leaves into 4 inch squares and coat in the water solution remaining in the mixing bowl
- Top the cabbage mixture in the jars with a piece of leaf, pressing down firmly to ensure the water solution covers it
- Pour remaining water solution left in the bowl, in to the mason jars- this should result in all cabbage mixture and leaves being covered- being sure to leave at least 3/4 inch of head room.
- If you don’t have enough water solution- create some extra brine by dissolving some more salt in water, and add the jars
- Loosely attach the mason jar lids- do not tighten down! The gases created during fermentation need to escape
- Place jars in a cool/dark place (65-70 degrees F) for 1-2 weeks to allow fermentation to take effect- place jars in a bowl to capture any liquid solution that gets pushed out during the fermentation process
- Discard the pieces of leaf and any layers of scrum that may have formed on the top of the solution
- Taste after one and two weeks- when you like the texture and taste move to the fridge to slow the fermentation process.
This recipe shows the most basic 2-ingredient recipe (cabbage and salt), you can expand the recipe very easily with the addition of onion, garlic, carrots, etc., being sure to include the additional weight in the salt calculation- the salt is critical to the process.