Fermented food is so good and so good for you. It is easy and fast to make with just a few ingredients, common kitchen tools and supplies.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this.
Ideally you have a kitchen scale. Having the correct ratio of vegetables to salt/brine mixture makes making fermented food 99.9% foolproof. So, weigh your ingredients please!
2-3 carrots (optional) Kitchen scale
2-3 cloves garlic (optional) Cutting board, knife and large mixing bowl
1 medium head fresh cabbage Vegetable peeler, measuring spoon
1 tablespoon Kosher salt 1-quart jar and a 4-ounce “jelly” canning jar
Width-mouth plastic storage cap
- Set up your clean jars and the ingredients you are using.
- Wash the cabbage and cut out the core. Shred your cabbage (and peeled carrots and garlic if you are using them) and weigh it out into a bowl. You will want to have 1 and 3/4 lbs (28 ounces) total weight of your vegetables. That is how much will fit in a quart jar and the perfect weight for 1 tablespoon of salt to allow for the proper fermentation to take place.
- Mix 1 tablespoon Kosher salt into the vegetables. Squeeze and massage the vegetables for a few minutes. You will see liquid starting to pool in the bottom of the bowl and the vegetables will start to look a little wilted. The liquid is actually a brine that will start the fermenting process.
- Pack the vegetable and brine mixture into the quart jar, really cram it in there-press-press-press it in there, it will all fit. You might want to pound it into the jar with the back of a wooden spoon-keep at it until it is all in there. Once you get it all in the jar you will need to keep the vegetables under the brine, that is what the little jelly jar is for. Sometimes, if I remember, I like to cut a little piece of a cabbage leaf out the size of the jar to help hold the vegetables down under the brine and the jar. It isn’t necessary, just a jelly jar will work. It’s just a little cleaner with the cabbage leaf though.
5. Put the plastic cap on the jar, and that it is. I like to use the plastic lids because they don’t rust like the two piece lids that come with the quart jars. Also, I put the jar on a plate while it is fermenting because once the sauerkraut starts to ferment it will almost always over flow and make a mess.
6. leave that on the counter for 2 to 4 weeks. Taste it after two weeks and see if it is tangy enough for you. If you like it, put it in the refrigerator. It will be good for at least a year, though I doubt it will last that long. You’ll eat it all and start making more!
You can substitute beets or apples for the carrots and ginger or turmeric for the garlic. Honestly there are endless combinations you can make, this is just a starting point.
I love this time of year and I really love putting food up to enjoy in the winter.
See you at pick-up.