This is super easy and requires nothing more than a cabbage, a jar, some salt and then time. And feel free to apply these instructions to any veg – carrots, beets, cucumbers…
- Chop up the cabbage very finely and put into big bowl.
- Add salt. About 1-2 tbsp per head of cabbage (or if you’re just going to experiment with a jar-full of ‘kraut, about 1/2 tsp of salt per jar.) The salt is critical to draw the water out and it will stifle the growth of putrification microbes. You can also use whey (the liquid that settles on top of yogurt.) If so, use about 4 tbsp of whey to replace 1 tbsp of salt. If you’re just doing a jar full, use about 1 tbsp of whey and 1/4 tsp salt.)
- Massage the cabbage, salt, and whey like you’re trying to squeeze every last bit of moisture out of it. Which you are. Use a wooden meat hammer if you have one, though they have largely gone the way of the popcorn popper.
- If you need a touch more moisture add a little filtered water.
- For a twist consider adding 1) sliced apple+caraway seeds or 2)cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds or 3) diced garlic with seaweed (or any combo you wish!)
- Grab a Mason jar and be sure it’s super clean/pretty close to sterile.
- Once the moisutre has started to emerge from the cabbage (might take about 5 mins of massaging), put it into the jar. Really pack it in tightly, and be sure there is visible liquid at the top. If it’s not drowning in the liquid it will rot.
- Leave about 1″ at the top since it expands when it ferments.
- Screw the lid on.
- Leave at room temp for 2-3 days.
- Transfer to fridge for about 10 – 14 days.
- Unscrew and enjoy!
(These instructions are a compilation of those given by Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions, the folks at Hawthorne Valley Farm and my own beginner experience.)