Red fermented cabbage is a staple in our whole foods diet. We always have a few two litre Mason jars 'on the go' fermenting or have a few jars in the fridge door.
Why is red cabbage sauerkraut so good?
It tastes fantastic and is versatile enough to use in many different dishes. You can add it to soups, stews, veggie burgers, salads, or as a side dish.
This cabbage dish is also one of the easiest fermented foods to make. Although some people add extras to spruce up their sauerkraut - like coriander seeds, caraway seeds, juniper berries, apple or carrot - I think that this dish tastes best when it is just two simple ingredients. Salt and red cabbage. Simple, fuss-free and delicious.
Red Cabbage Sauerkraut
2 medium-sized red cabbages.
2 tablespoons of sea salt or Himalayan salt.
Optional: Juniper berries and caraway seeds, apple or carrot.
Peel the hard, outer leaves off your red cabbage. Cut the ends off your cabbage and cut it in half.
Finely slice your red cabbage into strips and place into a big mixing bowl. The slices will be similar to making coleslaw. You can use a mandolin to make this process quicker and easier.
Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage. Massage well with your hands.
Leave the mixture for at least 20 minutes. The salt will draw the water out of the cabbage.
Optional: Add flavourings such as juniper berries and caraway seeds.
Pour the cabbage mixture and brine into a Mason jar. Push it down with a fermenting tamper/stomper or use your hands. The more pressure that you apply, the more effective the process will be. As you push the cabbage down, more water will be squeezed out of the cabbage. This will produce a salty brine that will cover your cabbage.
Leave approximately 5cm headspace at the top of your jar. The salty brine should be a few centimetres above the cabbage. If you can't get enough brine to keep the cabbage submerged, then leave your brine sitting at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. You can also make a small quantity of brine with water and a very small quantity of salt - less than 1/4 teaspoon. Keep in mind that a whole cabbage only needs one tablespoon of salt. Go easy or your brine will end up being too salty.
Place a glass weight or big cabbage leaves on top of the brine. This will ensure that the cabbage stays submerged underneath the brine (*** keeping your veggies under the brine is the most important part of creating a safe, anaerobic environment ***)
Put an airlock lid on top of your glass jar.
Place in a corner of your kitchen bench for 2-4 weeks. The fermentation will be the most active in the first 3-5 days. Once it has settled, you can eat it. The flavour gets better over time, and your patience will be rewarded.
When your fermentation is ready, store in the fridge.