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Red Cabbage Sauerkraut — 58 Comments

  1. Wow, 2-3 weeks! Unless those spices slow it down, you must really like it sour! I start refridgerating and eating mine after 3-4 days. I usually do more of a curtido, with carrots, a little onion, a couple chilis and oregano added to the cabbage. I will try this recipe though, juniper and carroway sounds nice!

    • You are missing out on the important second ferment. It may taste fine, but the health benefits are not there if you only let it sit a couple of days. I ferment mine for 12 weeks and its not any more sour than its after 1 week but the probiotic bacteria count has increased by millions.

    • Fermentation requires 3 stages. After 3-4 days you haven’t even completed the first stage. Going through all stages insures that any unwanted bacteria has been killed. It takes at least 3 weeks to go through all 3 stages. I let mine ferment for at least 6 weeks, if not longer.

      • After trying the Red Sauerkraut I will never go back to the green…SOOOO Good! And I read 7X more nutritious.

    • Anyway it continues to ferment a bit in the fridge!
      Mine is also ready after 2 – 3. Days! I live in Oman where it’s hot so it ferments too quick!
      However it’s perfect now in Jan Feb when it’s cooler!

  2. Is there an alternative berry I could use…I have never seen juniper berries for sale at any of my grocery stores. Thank you for the recipe!

      • They aren’t on the shelves here (I live in Wyoming & other than in Jackson Hole we’re a bit behind the times unfortunately…don’t get me wrong though, I LOVE my state.) I will check on the mountain for fresh and look online for dried juniper berries. Thanks for the tips!

        • At least you live in one of the most beautiful places in America. I love Wyoming. You’ll be fine making Sauerkraut without Juniper Berries too, but it is a traditionally used ingredient. Good luck!

          • Yes I do! I love my home state too, its an amazing place. Okay…I will try to find them online if I can’t I’ll just omit it. If I like the recipe I will just have to plant some juniper bushes next year. Thanks so much for your help!

  3. I’ve never made sauerkraut before and was looking for some recipes. Yours looks and sounds delicious, I’ll know in a few weeks. By the way, I was quite surprised to learn you’re in FB, I’m in Point Arena. Small world isn’t it!

  4. Hi Ted

    I’ve been diagnosed with gastro reflux that affects my throat too.
    I love fermented food like kimchee and pickles especially ginger and lime pickles.

    Would eating them aggravate my condition? The doctor did say I need to avoid hot, spicy and oily food – that leaves me with boiled and steamed dishes options.

  5. Hi Ted

    Tq for the reply.
    I find that pickle ginger soothe my throat while citrus drinks make me difficult to swalloW.

    I’ll drop by again sometime to update you with my progress (bought some napa cabbage & kale to make kimchee and purple cabbage to try your sauerkraut recipe today).

    Regards

  6. I have just been advised to eat sauerkraut and kimchi to cure my acid reflux – i have been on drugs for 3 years – which tho they helped, have wiped out my gut bacteria – so tho I have always HATED sauerkraut, I am now loving it – and if `i feel a reflux coming – a spoonful sorts it out very swiftly, quite amazing. Soused herrings are good for it too.
    – but I am having trouble with my first attempt – making the easy red kraut….maybe my jar is too small, and I think I didnt keep the air out properly – if a little hairy mould appears on top – does that mean I have to throw it all out???

    • If a hairy mold starts to grow, I would recommend throwing it out. If you are more daring as I tend to be, you can remove the moldy layer, then mix it all up again and see if the mold comes back In a few days. If it doesn’t, you’re probably fine.

  7. My first batch I left to ferment five months…. really, really, really good. My second batch (that I’m currently waiting on will go for six.

  8. I read that ferment times can be as little as two weeks. My first batch went for five months… so good. I’m currently working on my second batch and I;m going to let it go for six. I read that one person had a batch that had been overlooked in a cellar. Said it had been put up in 1999 ( I think the post was made in 2014.) Said it looked good (had been put up in jars) so they tried it. Said it was the best EVER.

  9. Hi Ted, I have followed your instructions but I am not getting much liquid after 12 hours of compressing the cabbage and spice mix. My cabbage is home grown red cabbage, the salt I used is coarse Celtic sea salt. Am I doing anything wrong?

    • It’s hard to know for sure if you’re doing something wrong. Since the salt is coarse, it won’t have as much surface area contact. Have you tossed your ingredients around now that it’s been sitting for awhile? This would ensure that the salt would dissolve and then have an ability to impact more of the cabbage as far as how much water is being released.

      Did you use more salt since you used coarse salt. I have a note in my post: https://www.fermentationrecipes.com/using-measuring-salt-fermentations/1014/ which mentions this: “Please note regarding the use of kosher salt – when measurements in Tablespoons are used in this article, that the salt used is a normal grained sea salt or table salt. For courser grained salts such as kosher salt, there is less salt by volume since there is more room for air between the grains. This of course depends on the size of the grain, but a good rule of thumb is that if you are using kosher salt, use 25% more by volume.” Perhaps you need a little more salt?

      It’s also possible that your cabbage simply isn’t as dense and heavy with water as other cabbages are. If you salt quantity is good and it’s been sitting awhile, you can always add more water. No need to add salty water as the salt you’ve initially added should dilute and disseminate throughout the ferment.

      Hope that helps! Good luck. Report back if you can.

  10. I read in so many recipes that you were only supposed to use canning/ pickling salt, Kosher salt or sea salt… NEVER table salt because of all the additives.

    • Good point Mike on the salt. I’m sure you can get away with using table salt, but it does have additives which are better avoided. I always use sea salt in my ferments. Some sea salts are an excellent source of trace minerals which are good to ingest as well.

    • It’s hard to say. Is the entire kraut turning brown or just the surface. If it’s the surface, then it may be oxidizing some. Is there Iron in your water? The Iron can oxidize too which might turn things brown. Any other details would be helpful.

  11. Wow, I wasn’t aware there were any nutritional differences between green and red cabbage. That’s really interesting! In my opinion, there’s few foods tastier than naturally fermented sauerkraut; I definitely need to try your recipe.

  12. Can you give the cabbage amount by weight? The red cabbage at my supermarket is huge, but the red cabbage that is locally grown at my co op is pretty small, so two heads of large vs two heads of small would make a big difference.

    • Good point. My suggestion is to use approximately 1 TBSP of salt to every 1 1/2 pounds of veggies. You can weigh your own cabbage and add salt in that ratio. Good luck!

  13. Oh my! This is so good. Fermented for about 3 1/2 weeks in a clear cookie jar. Used a 1 gallon zip lock bag as a weight. It looked very nice sitting on the counter with that deep purple color. It is a big hit with everyone who has tried it. Makes a nice side dish (cold) or even just as a snack. Thank you for this recipe.

    • Thanks Michael. This recipe now has a print option attached to it. I’ve been slowly migrating all of my recipes to a more printer friendly format and now this one has it too!

  14. Pingback: Either ya love it or you don’t… – Dash of Wisdom

  15. It has been two weeks and my kraut is has been fermenting, but it is so salty….I have an idea, can I add more cabbage at this point and allow it to ferment with the first batch and not add as much salt?

    • That should be fine. You’ll need to leave it a couple of weeks more. The other option is to take out half of the cabbage and rinse it off in a colander and then put it back in. You ncan also pour out part of the liquid and replace with unsalted water. Good luck!

  16. Hi Ted, Picked my first home-grown red cabbage today! Anxious to try your recipe but where do I get Juniper berries and can I substitute with another type? Thanks again…

    • Juniper berries may be growing in your neighborhood as they are quite commonly used as hedges for landscaping. You’ll need to do your own research to identify them. Here’s a link to some on Amazon if that’s helpful: http://amzn.to/2h8kBAI. My local small grocery has them in bulk so yours might too. The berries aren’t critical to the fermentation but they do add flavor. In other words, you can do without them if you like and add other spices which might please your palate.

    • Juniper berries may be growing in your neighborhood as they are quite commonly used as hedges for landscaping. You’ll need to do your own research to identify them. Here’s a link to some on Amazon if that’s helpful: http://amzn.to/2h8kBAI. My local small grocery has them in bulk so yours might too. The berries aren’t critical to the fermentation but they do add flavor. In other words, you can do without them if you like and add other spices which might please your palate.

  17. Hi.
    When the kraut is transferred to the fridge, does the brine level need to cover it? Without a weight, mine is exposed to the air in the jar. Is that ok?
    Thanks & BTW I love it. Tastes amazing.

    • Saz, I wouldn’t worry about it too much if you’re going to be using it. The cold of the fridge, the salt, and the acidity that have developed will protect it fine for a few weeks or even months. If you are storing it more long term it’s more important you have have the layer of brine, or alternately a blanket of CO2 which will have developed during fermentation (a fido jar is an easy way to maintain that).

  18. hi ted! with the leftover juice, providing it has the right ingredients to begin with, Is this how you can make fire cider or tonic for fighting cold/flu ailments?

    • It’s not a typo, but I can’t fully vouch for it’s accuracy. I use a service that automatically converts recipes to their nutritional value. It’s definitely not “added” sugar, but likely reflects the natural sugars in Cabbage. My hunch says that the fermentation process consumes those sugars so that 15.98 number you refer to is likely high.

      • Wow I figured cabbage must have sugar but had no idea it was that much. Sure enough I looked it up and a medium sized cabbage has 29g! 1 cup of sauerkraut has 2.5g.

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