Sauerkraut is pickled cabbage, we tend to associate it with Germany however it is thought to have been a Chinese invention that was later bought over to Europe and has fast become a beloved condiment! It's rich in probiotics that strengthen the digestive system and restore the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut. I had a vibrant red cabbage in my Crop Drop bag this week but this would work just as well with white. You can tailor your sauerkraut to your taste: perhaps adding garlic or dill, hot peppers, in fact the choices are endless!
1 1/2 tbsp unrefined sea salt
1/2 tbsp caraway seeds if using
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 °C
2. Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and put to one side. Rinse the cabbage and shake the water off, then chop the stem away and discard. Cut the cabbage into equal quarters length ways and then slice out the core from each quarter and discard this too. Thinly slice each quarter length ways and place it in a large bowl. Add the salt, (and caraway seeds if using) and set aside for approximately 10 mins.
3. Sterilise your jar: I used a clip top jar with a rubber seal. Remove the seal and put the jar in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Boil some water in the kettle and pour this over the rubber seal. Both jar and seal are now sterilised and ready to use.
4. With clean hands massage the salt into the cabbage until it has softened and reduced in volume, mine took around 10 minutes to wilt. It should now be sitting in its own liquid (brine). Transfer the cabbage into your jar and pour in the brine. The trick here is to pack in the cabbage as tightly as possible, I used the end of a rolling pin pushing a small hand full down at a time. Cover the cabbage with outer leaves that were set aside, tucking in the edges and then close the jar.
5. I stored my jar in a cupboard where the temperature wasn't likely to vary too much - sit it in a saucer as once it starts to ferment, the brine may ooze out! The longer you leave it to ferment the more it develops it's signature sour flavour. When you've got the flavour to your taste levels, store in the fridge.