Homemade red cabbage sauerkraut

I just made my second batch of sauerkraut with a head of red cabbage. I’m getting into this, and I will never buy sauerkraut in a store again. It’s so easy and gratifying to make at home.

The first time, I used half a head of green cabbage, wakame (seaweed), and salt. It was good. Not that juicy, so I added a bit of sauerkraut juice from a jar of Bubbie’s!

This time, I used only two ingredients: cabbage and salt, and followed these easy steps:

Slice the cabbage into shreds. Do you like my Kyocera Mandoline? It saves time and gives a nice shred.IMG_4862

Add salt. I used Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt for this batch.

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Massage (squeeze and wring) the cabbage until the cabbage is drippy and there’s liquid in the bottom of the bowl.

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Put the cabbage in a jar, submerging it in its own liquid. I used clean rocks on top of a quart mason jar lid. Okay, these are some of my favorite rocks from West Texas taken off my blessing altar…and I couldn’t think of a better auxiliary use for them than to assist with my nourishment. (Isn’t that purple liquid a gorgeous color?)

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Leaving the lid open, cover the jar with a cloth and a rubber band to keep the bugs out and let the fermenting bacteria in.

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After 3 days, taste it every day until it tastes good to you (3 days to 3 weeks, depending on temperature and other variables). Remove cloth, close lid, refrigerate, and eat.

Here’s what I ended up with. It only took two days of fermenting in the Texas heat. The kraut has a nice crunchy tanginess to it.

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I told a friend how easy it was to make, and he couldn’t believe that sauerkraut didn’t have vinegar in it. That sour taste comes from the fermentation. Vinegar is fermented too, so there you go. I believe that “sour” is the taste of fermentation.

My learning curve

For this second batch, I used red cabbage because I love the color. I also let the cabbage come to room temperature before slicing, and it seems to have needed less massaging before getting juicy than my first batch, when the cabbage came right out of the fridge. I only needed to massage it for 3-4 minutes for it to get drippy-juicy, as opposed to 10 minutes the first time (and I added juice from store-bought kraut).

I’m happy to have found the mandoline. I’m imagining using it to grate fresh ginger for tea and beet-ginger kvass. Also: shredded brussels sprouts cook quickly in the summer heat. Mmmm.

What’s next?

My next batch of sauerkraut will include caraway seeds, a traditional kraut seasoning, and perhaps I’ll shred a Napa cabbage. I will make it with Real Salt instead of kosher salt.

 

3 thoughts on “Homemade red cabbage sauerkraut

  1. Thanks for detailing your experience with making homemade sauerkraut! The red cabbage looks absolutely beautiful as an end-product – and I’ve only ever made it with yellow. So I think my next go around will have to be with red cabbage. It really adds a great color to dishes when you throw it on the plate. What is your reasoning for using sea salt over kosher salt? Is there something that happens during fermentation that makes one of the two better? Thanks for your response, and thank you for posting your process of fermentation!

    • Hi, Billy. Wow, are you really from Bubbies? ❤ My inspiration!

      I use sea salt over kosher salt because it's less processed and has more trace minerals. I doubt there's any difference in fermentation, although kosher has bigger grains so you might want to use just a tad more of it. I am always looking for ways to get more nutrient density into food, and getting enough trace minerals is important for great health.

      My preference these days is Redmond Real Salt, mined in Utah, loaded with trace minerals.

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