I don’t know why I didn’t start doing this before. It’s about as easy as falling off a bike, but better for you. So here’s how I do it:
- Get a food grade bucket, or if you’re really posh, get a sauerkraut fermentation vessel, or crock. I use a bucket which cost me about £3.
- Thinly slice up some cabbage, with a mandolin if you’re not so keen on your fingers.
- add some salt (For 2 cabbages I used about 2tbsp sea salt), mix it all up well in the bucket, push it down flat. I like to add some caraway seeds in there too. I then put a couple of the outside leaves on top of the chopped cabbage.
- put a plate, or other (sanitised) weight on top of the cabbage in the bucked to hold it down, make sure it’s all underneath the brine which will be produced after a few hours.
- put the bucket in a coolish place , and wait. Check it the next day to make sure the cabbage is completely underwater. If there’s not enough natural brine created to submerge the cabbage, you can add a bit more brine.
- taste it every now and then to see how it’s coming on. I leave mine for about 3 weeks so it’s nice and sour.
- Once it tastes nice and sour – or how you like it (no hard and fast rules here) – put it into sterilised jars. You want the jars with a waxy inside lid. (how to sterilise jars)
- optionally process the cans (with pop-up type lids) in a hot water bath for about 10 minutes. This video gives a quick overview of the canning process.
- let the jars cool.
- If the lids don’t go “pop”, they haven;t sealed properly and they’re only safe to be kept in the fridge, otherwise keep them on the shelf in the pantry.
- eat the delicious, tangy sauerkraut at your leisure. Great with sausages and mustard!
It really is very tasty, cheap, and good for you.
Here’s a shot of my fermentation bucket ready to put the weight on.