Sauerkraut (fermented)

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Overview
This is the fermented sauerkraut, which I use as a base for my Latvian-styled sauerkraut. Keep in a dark cupboard while it ferments.

I find it easier to work in half-cabbage batches than try to make it in one bulky batch.

Time
Less than an hour to bring together, leave to ferment for 3+ months.

Ingredients
Cabbage, shredded or sliced thinly – keep an outer leaf whole for covering
Salt (23g per kilogram of shredded cabbage)

Additional flavours if desired: shredded carrot, beet, garlic, caraway seeds…

Equipment
Mason jars with ‘burping’ lids – one 800ml jar per half cabbage
Glass weights

Method
1 – Generously sprinkle salt over the cabbage. Mix thorough by hand and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.

2 – Massage well to encourage the liquid to release, 5 – 10 minutes. This is similar to kneading dough; it is to break down the cabbage as much as possible. Rub it together until the volume has decreased dramatically.

3 – Pack tightly into sterilised jars, using a pickle packer (wooden squashing tool) to remove as much air as possible). Top with a cabbage leaf and a glass weight.

4 – Push down. Add in additional liquid as needed to cover the cabbage. Use the ‘burping’ lids or ziplock bags filled with water to ensure the cabbage stays under the liquid level.

5 – Leave for at least 4 weeks, but this will keep for months. Pop into the fridge if you’re worried about it going too far.