How to Make Sauerkraut

May 28, 2011 8:01 am

A sour, but oh so good side dish

Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/7394371@N06/">Iban</a> on Flickr
Photo: Iban on Flickr
Sauerkraut starts as salt and cabbage in a glass container
 

Make your own sauerkraut? Why, you may ask. It's easy, and much tastier than the stuff that comes in a can (though it does take a bit of time). Follow the instructions below and you'll have a quart of kraut. Break it out at the next backyard gathering and boom! You've got bragging rights.

Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

1 head of cabbage (about 2 1/2) pounds

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

The ratio of salt to cabbage is a little more than one tablespoon of salt to one pound of cabbage. After mastering this basic recipe you can experiment with adding sugar, pickling spices, and other shredded veggies to your recipe. For now we are sticking to the most basic sauerkraut.

Remove the outer leaves of your head of cabbage, and any underlying leaves that may be brown or damaged. Cut the head of cabbage into quarters. Then remove the core and finely slice. You may use a mandoline slicer for this to get evenly sized pieces.  

Place the shredded cabbage into a glass or ceramic dish. Do not use metal or you will have a very funky reaction during fermentation, resulting in inedible sauerkraut. Add the salt and toss to evenly coat.  

Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap just to keep any debris out but do not seal. After about an hour you will see that the cabbage will begin to wilt and release moisture, creating a liquid. You want to keep the cabbage submerged, so use a plate with a weight on top (like another glass bowl) to keep it under the liquid.  

Place in a cool area and check after 2 days. At this point you can skim the top of the liquid and discard the scum. Use the plate to cover again, and after 4 more days, tast the kraut. If it's good to go, put it on the nearest grilled sausage or hot dog.

You can keep sauerkraut for a couple of weeks.  At this point we suggest you move it into the fridge.

Makes about a quart of kraut

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