Homemade Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

There's nothing like having jars of homemade sauerkraut on hand to add a some probiotic goodness to a meal.

While I'm a traditionalist and love the white cabbage sauerkraut, I've recently been experimenting with different recipes.

This one for Red Cabbage Sauerkraut is quickly becoming a firm favourite.

Fermenting your own sauerkraut is not only satisfying but also a fantastic way to incorporate beneficial bacteria into your diet.

This particular recipe features red cabbage, infused with warming mustard seeds, peppercorns, garlic, and fresh parsley.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small red cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns - crushed slightly
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • A kilner jar

Method

1. Prepare the Cabbage

Start by removing the outer leaves of the red cabbage and setting them aside. These will be useful later. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Thinly slice the cabbage into fine shreds, using a sharp knife, mandoline, or food processor.

2. Massage the Cabbage

Place the shredded cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle it with sea salt. Use your hands to massage the cabbage for about 10 minutes. This process helps to break down the cabbage and release its natural juices, which will form the brine needed for fermentation.

3. Add the Flavors

Once the cabbage has released enough liquid, mix in the mustard seeds, peppercorns, sliced garlic, and chopped parsley. Ensure the spices and herbs are evenly distributed throughout the cabbage.

4. Pack the Jar

Transfer the seasoned cabbage into a clean, sterilized jar. Use a tamper or the back of a spoon to pack the cabbage down tightly, ensuring there are no air pockets. Pour any liquid released during the massaging process into the jar. The cabbage should be submerged under its own brine. If necessary, you can add a bit of filtered water to ensure complete coverage.

5. Use the Reserved Leaves

Take the reserved outer cabbage leaves and press them on top of the shredded cabbage to keep it submerged under the brine. This helps to prevent exposure to air and potential mould growth.

6. Ferment

Seal the jar with a clip-top lid or a fermentation lid. If you're using a clip-top lid, make sure to "burp" the jar every few days to let out the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation. This involves simply opening the lid briefly and then closing it again.

7. Wait and Taste

Place the jar in a cool, dark place to ferment. The sauerkraut will take about a week to be ready, but you can let it ferment longer if you prefer a stronger flavour. Taste the sauerkraut after a week, and if it's to your liking, transfer it to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.

 

Woman holding jar of red cabbage sauerkraut

Enjoying Your Sauerkraut

Homemade red cabbage sauerkraut is a versatile condiment that adds a tangy, crunchy texture and a burst of flavour to various dishes. Here are a few ideas for incorporating it into your meals:

  • As a Side Dish: Serve a spoonful alongside grilled meats, roasted vegetables, or sausages.
  • In Salads: Add it to salads for extra crunch and a probiotic boost.
  • On Sandwiches: Use it as a topping for sandwiches, burgers, or hot dogs.
  • With Breakfast: Mix it into scrambled eggs or serve it with an omelette for a savoury start to your day.

 

Pro Tips:

  • Sanitation: Ensure all equipment and jars are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to prevent contamination.
  • Brine Coverage: Keeping the cabbage submerged under the brine is crucial for a successful fermentation. Use fermentation weights if needed.
  • Temperature: Maintain a consistent temperature of around 18-22°C (65-72°F) for optimal fermentation.

Have You Tried It?

Making your own sauerkraut is not only easy but also incredibly rewarding.

Have you tried fermenting vegetables at home?  Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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