Once you see how easy it is to make amazing sauerkraut, you'll never buy it again.
Add shredded carrots, radishes, or anything you like.
- 1 pound cabbage or other produce, see notes
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt (11 g), see notes
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
Set one of the outer leaves aside. Wash jar and, if using, airlock.
Slice cabbage to the thickness you prefer. Thin is traditional and a mandoline is the best way — use the thinnest setting. Strongly recommended to use a cut-resistant glove any time you use a mandoline. Ask me how I know… Sprinkle salt and caraway seeds in layers as you go. Mix well.
Pack into a quart size mason jar and press down using a rolling pin or large dowel to extract juices. Add salt water (1 teaspoon salt per 1 cup water) if the juices don’t fully cover the produce (allow time for the juices to develop; I’ve never had to add water). Leave an inch of headspace above the top of the brine.
Apply a weight to keep produce submerged under the brine. You can buy glass disks or just fill a ziptop bag with salt water (1 tsp salt per cup of water) and use it to seal the top. Remember the cabbage leaf you saved? Fold it to size and fit it to the top, under the weight, to act as a gasket.
If you’re using an airlock, set it up now. If not, just close the jar — but leave it loose so gas can escape, or the jar may explode.
Store out of direct sunlight in a relatively cool spot (your counter is fine but not on top of the refrigerator) and wait. If you get mold, just remove it before it develops.
Taste after about three weeks. You might prefer the acidity after 6 weeks or more! Eat or refrigerate once the kraut has reached your preferred level of sourness. Keep in mind that opening the fermenting set lid exposes the sauerkraut to oxygen and mold spores so if you want to be extra careful you may consider refrigerating the kraut after it’s been opened and fermenting longer next time if it’s not as sour as you’d like.
Use 1.75 oz by weight (54 g) salt per 5 pounds of cabbage. For every pound of cabbage (one small head), use 11 g = 0.39 oz = 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt ( about 1/2 T table salt or pickling salt)
Cooler temperatures ferment more slowly than warmer temperatures and many fermenters believe a long, slow ferment is the key to excellent sauerkraut.