How to Pick a Cabbage

Do you have a favorite recipe for sauerkraut? I just picked 3 fat cabbages this afternoon and I’m ready to dive in and give it a try. But I don’t have a good solid recipe. Do you? Help!


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  1. Jenn says

    You crack me up! Thank you for showing us :-) I’ll be growing cabbage this fall/winter as well. Trying to grow brussell sprouts from seed but they’re not doing too well. They’re just not getting very big. I hope they will survive.

  2. Lauren says

    Hey Mavis!
    I’ve used Sandor Katz’s recipe from “Wild Fermentation” and it’s good, authentic stuff!

    From the book (abbreviated a bit for space):
    2lbs cabbage
    3tbsp sea salt (rough guide, you may use more or less as you experiment with the recipe)
    Optional – some herbs, listed below

    1)Chop/grate the cabbage how you like it (fine or coarse). Place it in a bowl as you go, salting it as you layer it in the bowl.
    2) Add herbs if you want to (caraway seeds, dill seeds, celery seeds & juniper berries are classics).
    3) Put the salted (possibly seasoned) cabbage into a 1+ gallon crock. Put in a little at a time, tamping down hard on each addition. This keeps the kraut tight in the crock and also forces some water out of the cabbage.
    4) Cover the crock with a plate (or something else which fits snugly inside the crock) and place a clean weight on it (i use my marble mortar-Lauren). Cover the whole thing with a cloth to keep out flies/dust.
    5) Press down on the plate periodically (as often as you think of it, every few hours) until the brine rises above the cover. This can take up to about 24hours, as the salt draws water out of the cabbage. If the brine does not rise about the plate level by the next day, add enough salt water to bring the brine level about the plate (using a 1tbsp salt:1 cup water ratio).
    6) Leave the crock to ferment, checking it every day or two. You may develop a film on the top of the water which is perfectly normal. It’s just a surface phenomenon, a result of contact with the air. The kraut itself is under the anaerobic protection of the brine. Occasionally skim off what you can of the film.
    7) Taste the kraut after about a week. It will continue to develop over time and you can taste it periodically and decide when it is to your liking. Once you are happy with the tang and texture, you can move the whole crock to the fridge to slow the fermentation process (i generally pack it into mason jars at this point and pop them in the fridge, making sure to keep the kraut fully covered by brine in the jars-Lauren).

    I know it may seem laborious but the actual hands on time is pretty minimal and you get a very tasty, 100% authentic product loaded with stuff that’s good for you!

    • Mavis says

      Wow! Thanks Lauren! I’m excited to try this. No one has mentioned if this is going to stink u my house yet. I think I may have to store this in the laundry room. :) Thanks again for your recipe!

  3. says

    We much prefer homemade kraut to the bought stuff! Here’s how I do it:

    1. Sterilize quart jars. 1 jar holds about 2 pounds of cabbage.
    2. Shred each head in dime-thin pieces after removing the outermost leaves.
    3. Sprinkle 1 T salt over cabbage each two pounds of cabbage.
    4. Mix well with hands and let sit 10 minutes to let juices start to draw.
    5. Pack tightly (as in, super tight and no air bubbles). Juice will form and should reach the tippity top of the jars.
    6. Place lids LOOSELY on top of jars (I partly screw the rings on).
    7. Put jars in a dish pans or baking dishes with sides to catch drips.
    8. Let jars sit at room temp for 7 – 10 days. The jars will bubble and mold will form on the juices in the pans. When the brine level all of the sudden drops, the kraut is done.
    9. Either keep the kraut in the fridge for a few weeks or if you want to store it longer, you’ll have to can it.
    10. To can kraut, press it down in the jars with a wooden spoon to remove air bubbles lower in the jar. Fill the remaining space to within a half inch of the top of the jars with the following brine: 1 T salt dissolved in 4 cups of water.
    11. Place clean, sterilized lids and rings on the jars (this time screwing the rings down firmly). Place in your canner and fill canner to the tops of the jars with water. Bring to a boil and let boil nicely for about 30 minutes.
    12. Remove jars from canner and let cool to room temp before removing rings and washing in soapy water. Store in a cool, dark, dry place.

    • Mavis says

      Ahhh I wish I would have seen this before I went out and bought a crock. Thanks Zoe! I’m going to give this a try.

  4. Kristin says

    We just had some of my homemade kraut with brats for our 4th of July bbq! I used the same recipe as Zoe except I added caraway seeds. We have a wonderful market down the way… they make their own as well (she uses lots of salt, caraway seeds, and juniper berries). I will be adding that to my next batch! They give it an amazing flavor.

  5. Kristin says

    I forgot to add that I used whatever glass jar I had on hand that would hold all of the cabbage. I left mine for a month. It’s super easy to make!

  6. says

    Ok – I wish I was cool enough to insert pictures! We’ve got some cool ones from this year. Making sauerkraut is a big family tradition with us. Long story short: we pound the shredded cabbage (in a large crock) and pickling salt, until the juices cover it – making its own, authentic brine. Then, covered and weighted down, it sits (for up to a 6 weeks) until it is as sour as you want. Then, can it up. We do use it on hot dogs – but it is also wonderful with keilbasa (or whatever sausages you like). Just put a jar of kraut in your crock pot, slice the kielbasa on top – let cook until done. But, my most favorite way – is to use it to make Reuben sandwiches! Mmmmm… little mini reubens on dark rye bread are always the first to go at pot lucks or at parties.

    • Mavis says

      I’m beginning to think I’m going to have to have a sauerkraut party. :) Thank you for your recipe!

  7. Lucky L says

    There are several kraut/cabbage recipes in a book you featured in your beet blog entry – The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. We like the one for Turkish Pickled Caggage. I use 1/2 gallon canning jars instead of a crock. Make sure where ever you are fermenting is not too hot. Kraut is ready in 2-4 weeks at 70-75 degrees, 5-6 weeks at 60 degrees.

  8. Deb says

    chinese chicken salad is really good amd you serve it cold great for our first week of warm weather. I like it better the second day.

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