Micro Fermenting Essentials: Cabbage to Sauerkraut

Andy Anderson !


Fermenting veggies is a good thing for your gut, and promotes good bacteria; as well as other great health benefits. You can add them to a salad, eat them right out of the jar, or use them to enhance your soups and stews.

If you are new to fermenting, this is probably where you want to start, because it is one of the easiest veggies to work with.

I am “officially” designating this class as: Fermenting 101.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen


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2 - 3
20 Min
No-Cook or Other



  • 1/2 large
    green cabbage
  • 1 Tbsp
    salt, kosher variety

  • ·
    caraway seeds
  • ·
    cumin seeds
  • ·

How to Make Micro Fermenting Essentials: Cabbage to Sauerkraut


  3. Make sure that everything is clean, and free of any dirt or residual soap. Clean everything in hot soapy water, and rinse thoroughly.
  4. Chef’s Note: I am using a 1 quart (0.9 liter) wide-mouth canning glass jar with a metal sealing disk and tightening ring. However, you could use something bigger if you desire; just remember that the bigger the jar, the longer the fermentation process takes.
  5. Chef’s Note: If you want the plans for my really neato fermenting jar, here ya go:
    DIY Essentials: Making a Fermenting Jar
  6. Start with a head of green cabbage.
  7. Cut the cabbage in half (reserve the other half for another recipe), and cut into wedges.
  8. Cut the wedges crossways into thin strips.
  9. Add the cabbage to a large non-reactive bowl.
  10. Sprinkle the kosher salt over the cabbage.
  11. Chef’s Note: You might not think that a tablespoon of salt is enough; however, it is all that you will need.
  12. Stick your “clean” hand into the bowl and begin squeezing the cabbage… Squeeze the life out of it.
  13. After about 5 minutes the salt will begin to wilt the cabbage. Continue for 5 more minutes, until it is beginning to release its liquid into the bottom of the bowl.
  14. Chef’s Note: At this point you could add some peppercorns, cumin seeds, caraway seeds, red pepper flakes; just about anything you wish to try. Or, you could leave it plain.
  15. Place about half the cabbage into the jar, and push down with a “professional” wooden pounding stick. NOT!!!
  16. Do not get me started on the “professional” wooden pounding stick. No doubt it is made from a sustainably harvested hardwood species, handcrafted using old-world wood carving techniques and finished with an organic, gluten free, fair trade oil specially imported from a country the name of whose capital you cannot pronounce. But let us face it, it is just a damn stick. And when this “wonder stick” is not pounding vegetables it is taking up room in your kitchen cupboard collecting dust.

    Just use an old-fashioned (French style) rolling pin without the handles on the side with which to pound your veggies… and bake more, you should really be baking more anyway.
  17. Add more cabbage, but leave enough room for the fermenting weight.
  18. Add the fermenting weight, and push the cabbage under the liquid.
  19. Screw the sealing disk on with the tightening ring, and fill the airlock 1/3 up with water.
  20. Put the cap back on the airlock, and place the jar in a cool place and wait.
  21. The process of fermentation will take from 1 to 4 weeks, depending on temperature. If it is warm, it will take less time... cooler, more time.
  24. Here is how the process works:
    1. Thoroughly, clean all fermenting parts in hot soapy water.
    2. Prepare the veggies… Cabbage is probably the easiest veggie to prep.
    3. Add the veggies to the jar; leaving enough room for the fermenting weight.
    4. Add the fermenting weight, and make sure the veggies are below the level of the brine.
    5. Screw on the sealing disk with the airlock, using the tightening ring.
    6. Place the jar in a cool area of your kitchen or cupboard; making sure it away from sunlight, or any direct source of heat.
    7. After a few days, open it up and sample the veggies. If you do not feel they have fermented enough, then reseal, and come back in a day or two.
    8. When you like what you taste, remove the sealing disk with the airlock, replace with a new sealing disk, and put the veggies in the fridge.
    9. Since they are fermented, they will last quite a long time.
  26. A fermenting weight is any food-safe object that is placed on top of the veggies to keep them submerged below the level of the brine. I use glass fermenting weights, but you could use a nice flat stone, a crumpled piece of wax paper; just about anything that will weigh down the veggies, and is considered food safe.
    The airlock that I am using comes in three pieces:
    1. The bowl
    2. The gas trap
    3. The cap
    Its sole purpose in life is to allow the expanding gasses of the fermenting process to escape from the jar. Without an airlock, the process of fermenting becomes much more labor intensive, and requires you to check your jars on a daily basis. With an airlock, you only need to check on the jars when you want to sample the veggies, and that will not begin for several days.
    To assemble:
    1. Place the airlock into the grommet on the sealing disk.
    2. Place the gas trap on the tube, inside the bowl.
    3. Fill the bowl with water about 1/3 up.
    4. Place the cap back on, and you are ready to go.
  30. Actually, that is an easy one…
    The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe and everything is: 42.
  31. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Micro Fermenting Essentials: Cabbage to Sauerkraut

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Main Ingredient: Vegetable
Regional Style: American
Other Tags: Healthy Heirloom

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