I don’t trust anyone that doesn’t like sauerkraut. I’m kidding, kind of. I mean, what’s not to like? Sour, salty, crunchy and refreshingly fermented, it’s just such an enjoyably simple food. I love it straight out of the jar or on a pickle plate or piling it up with a veggie sausage and a good mustard or on a vegan Rueben. It should be a required jar in every fridge.
This is a very basic, easy recipe. No real surprises. I do like to add caraway seeds to my kraut, but they can easily be omitted if they’re not your thing.
Makes 1 quart jar
-1 medium head cabbage
-2 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp caraway seeds
1. Wash and remove any blemished outer leaves from the cabbage. Quarter it lengthwise and then thinly slice it, stopping at the tough core, which can be discarded. Add the shredded cabbage to a large bowl and sprinkle over the salt. With washed hands, mix and turn the cabbage to distribute the salt. Set aside for an hour.
2. Returning to your bowl, use your hands again to mix and squeeze the shredded cabbage. Don’t be shy about squeezing it. The intention is to release the liquid and tenderize the cabbage leaves. Add the caraway seeds and continue mixing for a minute or two. Add the mixture to a quart sized pickling jar, firmly pressing it down into the jar to submerge it in it’s own liquid. Place a lid on the jar and close very loosely so that air can escape.
3. Now it’s time to ferment. I like to find a spot in the kitchen that’s mostly likely to remain as close to room temperature as possible. In the summer, this is low inside a cabinet where it won’t get too hot. In the winter, it’s up high on a shelf where it won’t get too cold. I also like to set the jar on a plate in case it bubbles over, which often happens. The only way you’ll know when your sauerkraut is ready is by tasting it. I find it takes somewhere around 3 days to reach that perfect level of sourness, but sometimes that varies, so I recommend tasting it at least once a day. When it’s fermented to your liking, place it in the fridge where it will last at least a month.