What the hell have we been eating all these years? I enjoy kraut dogs here and there and I’ll soup up a bottle for a party if need be. But it’s usually underwhelming and always cooked. Sauerkraut from a bottle is pasteurized, so in essence it boils down to cooked cabbage, (puns are fun). Which is good, sometimes. I promise you there is nothing like Sauerkraut in all it’s raw glory. I’ll take it over kimchi without thinking twice. The complexity you get from a few pantry ingredients is giggle inducing. The texture is tender yet bouncy, with crunch and moisture. Flavors are fruity, sweet, sour, earthy and awesome. If you’ve never made it before, do yourself a flavor and get after it. Here is how:
1 organic cabbage
1/4tsp caraway seed
7ish juniper berries
pinch of dried dill
Wash and rinse all surfaces well and wash hands. Thinly slice or shave cabbage into a large bowl; mandolines work great. Add everything else and massage the cabbage until it goes a bit limp. I work it for 30-60 seconds, walk away for 5 minutes and work it another 10 seconds. Pour into a lidded jar but don’t cover. Place small glass bottles inside to weigh down the cabbage. After the jars are weighing it down, add some water to cover and a little salt to help the fresh water. Cover with a towel and place in a cool but non-refrigerated spot for a few days. Once you see a bunch of bubbles…you’re good!
– It is important to have it fully covered with liquid before letting it ferment. The acid you want is anaerobic. – If mold appears on top, just remove it and refrigerate. This is common. – I used too much caraway in mine on accident. I don’t care because it’s f’ing glorious, but it was a mistake. I used 1/3-1/2 teaspoon in the pictured kraut.
I’m sparing you all the fermentation science about lactic acid, and sauerkraut being a probiotic wonderland. There are a gazillion articles about that, I just want you to make it cuz iz good.