How to Make Naturally Fermented Sauerkraut - courtesy of Microcosm Publishing
Recipe type: Vegetable / Fermenting
A few episodes back I introduced a new book all about natural fermentation, called Basic Fermentation, published by Microcosm Publishing. Consequently they have sent me the final hard cover copy to replace my preliminary copy. It is full of excellent fermentation recipes, all very clearly explained and accompanied with good quality full color photography. You can check out their website by clicking the link in the description below. Today we're going to feature another recipe from this book when we make a batch of delicious home-fermented sauerkraut.
- Kosher salt
- We will be using a new technique to do this, as well as the traditional method.
- For the new technique, you will need to own a ham press which will negate the need for pressing plates and weights.
- To start, strip away any dodgy leaves on your cabbage.
- This cabbage is about 1.2kg once stripped. I will use half of this for each method.
- Use a large knife to cut the cabbage into quarters.
- Use a cleaver to cut away the heart from each quarter.
- Cut each quarter into thin strips.
- I have transferred half of this to a large non-reactive bowl, and measured out 18g of kosher salt. This is 3% of the weight of the cabbage. This makes it really simple to calculate the salt requirement no matter what quantity of cabbage you start with.
- Pour the salt over the cabbage and mix this in.
- Pack the cabbage into the ham press a little at a time, pressing it down firmly after each addition. This is a 1.5 liter press, and 600g of cabbage fits perfectly, filling to an inch below the rim.
- Insert the pressure plate and secure the lid and you're done.
- For the traditional method, place the remaining cabbage in a large non-reactive bowl and add 3% salt to the cabbage. Mix the salt into the cabbage.
- Pack the cabbage into a tall cylindrical glass or ceramic container, pressing it down firmly after each addition.
- Now you will need something to press the cabbage. I am using a glass tumbler with closed end in contact with the cabbage.
- To press this down, I have a short langth of bamboo, but you could use anything from a pencil to a butter knife for this.
- Place the stick across the tumbler.
- Loop a long elastic band underneat the container and bring the ends up to the stick. The elastic will pull the stick downwards, applying pressure to the tumbler and the cabbage.
- Transfer the container and the ham press to a warm shady place to ferment.
- After 10 to 14 days, your sauerkraut will be ready to eat. This is when you will notice the vast difference between home-fermented kraut and the packaged or canned versions. This is bright in appearance, with loads of crunch and an amazingly vibrant pickle flavor.
- All you need to now is enjoy your masterpiece.
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