There’s nothing like home made sauerkraut. You can control the degree of fermentation simply by tasting. It’s only me that eats it in this home, so I work in small quantities. I’m not an expert – but I’ve been asked for my recipe – so here it is.
To start: Make sure you have clean jars. Find jars that you can fit a glass into the top of comfortably.There should be a little air space between the jar and the glass. (You’ll see why in a minute) I don’t worry too much about “sterilising” but I do make sure the jars have been thoroughly washed and perhaps I will boil some water in the microwave in them for a few minutes before I bottle if I’m not sure about how ‘clean’ they might be.
1/2 head cabbage (finely shredded)
1 carrot (as above)
1 small cucumber (finely sliced)
about 1 tBspn good quality salt
1/2 tSpn powdered ginger
1/2 tSpn powdered garlic
Difference between shredding and slicing for me and in future recipes will be as follows; shredding = long strings and slicing = short fibres
ie: if slicing a cucumber you cut it so you end up with rings. If you shred a cucumber you not only end up with a mess – but also long strings.
Place all ingredients into a container with enough room that you can either use your hands to massage the stuff for about 10-15 minutes or pound it with a blunt ended wooden rolling pin until ‘water’ is seen and the cabbage and other veges are soft and juicy. (You can even taste it to make sure it’s OK – it should be a little salty)
Pack tightly into the jars or jar (your choice of size). Ensure the mix is pressed down firmly enough so that the ‘water’ is covering the mix. If there is not enough ‘water’ to cover then add a little – but I have never had to do this.
Place the glass into the jar to help hold down the mix. Fill the GLASS with water to add weight.
Wrap some cling wrap around the jar and the glass to make a loose seal between the jar and the glass.
Sit the concoction in a bowl or something to catch any spill or over fermentation.
Leave for a few days. You will see the bubbles start to rise after a day or so. I like to leave mine only about 3 days, then I taste and if I like it, I put on the lid and refrigerate until ready to eat.
PS I find the fermentation works better at around 25 C too hot and you’ll have all the liquid come out of the mix and no sauerkraut.