If you are just getting started making your own fermented food, you may want to consider one of the most commonly known foods: Sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut, a popular condiment, is fermented cabbage. Cabbage is an ancient vegetable and has had a long history in European and Asian diets.
In its most basic form, sauerkraut only has two ingredients: Cabbage and salt.
Make Your Own Sauerkraut
- The finely shredded cabbage is layered with salt in a clean crock or jar. Each layer is pressed tightly and mashed down to release the natural juice creating the brine – enough to cover all of the cabbage completely.
- Once the crock is filled, a clean saucer or plate is placed on top of the brine. Then a plastic bag of water is carefully placed over the top, to ensure no air reaches the brine and to weigh down the cabbage, keeping it submerged.
- Put the filled crock in a room that is kept between 60 and 65 degrees.
- During the fermentation, check twice a week and remove any scum that has formed. Wash and rinse the saucer or plate before replacing it and the bag of water. After 6 weeks it is finished fermenting. During these 6 weeks, the sauerkraut will smell extremely strong – do this step in an out of the way place, trust me.
- Some people make sauerkraut directly into canning jars, thus being able to wipe the finished jars. They put on fresh lids and bands, then can in a pressure canner at 10 pounds of pressure, for 20 minutes. This time is appropriate for both pints and quarts.