Base Sauerkraut w/ Caraway

Base Sauerkraut W/ Caraway

Details

This simple and classic cabbage sauerkraut is a traditional staple in delis across the world. It's traditionally served on sandwiches.
  • Serves: 1 pt
  • Active Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 16,320
  • Success Rating: 0% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog
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Steps

Step 1: Preparing the Ingredients

• 1/2–head green cabbage (approx. 1 lb), chopped
• 1/4 tsp caraway seeds
• 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Method

To prepare the sauerkraut, begin by thinly shredding the cabbage, using a mandolin. Alternatively, slice very thinly, using a knife.

Next, add the caraway seeds and sea salt and gently massage into the cabbage. After just a few minutes, the cabbage will begin to soften and release liquid. This liquid will actually become the brine solution that the sauerkraut will ferment in.

Step 2: Storing & Fermenting the Sauerkraut

• additional Brine Solution (if needed)

Method

At this point, transfer the cabbage and the liquid to a jar or other non-reactive container. Tap the jar to release some of the air bubbles. If needed, add a bit more Brine Solution, so that once weighted, the cabbage will be completely submerged.

Now, cover the weighted container with a clean towel or cloth to allow the fermentation process to begin.

Leave the sauerkraut out, at room temperature, for 4 to 7 days, or until it begins to produce tiny carbon dioxide bubbles. This is an indicator that the fermentation process has begun. Taste it. It should be a bit sour or tangy.

If there is any scum or mold (called “bloom”), simply skim it off the top – this is very normal and only indicative of surface mold and not contamination.

At this point, seal the container, label and date it and refrigerate. Many krauts can keep six months or more if kept well refrigerated.

Chef's Notes

Some ferments can take longer to initiate, especially ferments with more volume, higher specific salinity and lower room temperature (e.g. in a 55°F/12°C basement vs. a 70°F/21°C apartment).

The longer the ferment, the tangier and more “bioactive” the mixture will become. Once you refrigerate it, the fermentation process will slow dramatically.

9 Comments

  • Rosana P
    Rosana P
    I was waiting for this recipe! !
  • Yuseph K
    Yuseph K
    Hi, I didn't get a look at the weighted jar. Is this necessary or can you put a lid with a cover instead?
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Anything that is nonreactive that can be used to weight it down (so the food stays submerged). That is what helps keep the fermenting started and going. ~Ken
  • Andy D
    Andy D
    I don't understand what you mean by weighted. The cabbage goes into the jar with the liquid...then you weight it before putting on the lid? How do you do that?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Andy and thanks for your question - so with regard to "weighting" when making your sauerkraut - it's important that the cabbage remain submerged in its liquid during fermentation. Where the "weighting" scenario comes into play is when the cabbage near the surface, which tends to float when fermenting in a mason jar, you need to place a large outer leaf of cabbage over the surface of the shredded cabbage to hold it down. It's really all about keeping all the cabbage in the brine at all times. I hope this helps - thanks for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Andy D
    Andy D
    Hi Kirk. Thanks so much for your reply. So I cover the shredded cabbage with a cabbage leaf making sure the shredded cabbage is submerged in the liquid and then I close the jar with the lid and leave it to ferment..right? For how long can I keep the fermented cabbage? Does it make a difference if I open the jar? And once opened do I need to store it in the refrigerator?
  • Andy D
    Andy D
    Hi Kirk. I have just seen that the answers to my questions are in the recipe!
  • Andy D
    Andy D
    Just one more question though..what do you mean by tap the jar to release air bubbles?
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Andy - Please send as many questions as you like! So when canning, you can tap or push down on the lid and it should sort of "give" to the center, allowing for any trapped air bubbles to escape and seal the contents...I hope this helps! Have a great weekend. Chef Kirk

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