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Secrets of making delicious and crispy sauerkraut
Secrets of making delicious and crispy sauerkraut

Souring cabbage is as easy as spoiling it. These tips will help you choose the right ingredients and utensils and organize your fermentation and storage for the perfect result.

Secrets of making delicious and crispy sauerkraut
Secrets of making delicious and crispy sauerkraut

Which cabbage is suitable for pickling

It is best to choose medium and late varieties of cabbage. They contain more sugar, which is necessary for fermentation. The heads of cabbage should be firm, with strong leaves. All coarse top and affected leaves are not used for pickling.

Future sauerkraut
Future sauerkraut

What to ferment cabbage with

Required ingredients:

  1. Salt. Usually 1 tablespoon is added to 1 kg of cabbage. But you can increase or decrease the amount of salt to taste.
  2. Carrot. For 1 kg of cabbage, about 100 g.

You can also add to cabbage:

  1. Sugar. It will speed up the fermentation process. For 1 kg of cabbage, ½ teaspoon is enough.
  2. Beets or pumpkin combined with or instead of carrots.
  3. Apples. Coarsely cored apples are best placed between the layers of cabbage.
  4. Cranberries, lingonberries.
  5. Bay leaf, allspice, sprigs of dill with seeds, caraway seeds, horseradish, currant leaves or other spices of your choice.

How to chop cabbage

Cabbage is often fermented in chopped form, although quarters, halves, and whole heads of cabbage can be used. If you decide to chop, then it is better not to grind too much: very thinly sliced cabbage can turn out to be soft, not crispy. The pieces should be about 5 mm thick.

How to ferment cabbage
How to ferment cabbage

How to chop cabbage with a knife is shown in this article. However, if you want to get the job done faster, you can use a vegetable cutter or food processor. But in this case, most likely, the cabbage will be sliced thinly.


Which container to choose

Cabbage is traditionally fermented in wooden casks or barrels. Glass jars and enameled containers without chips or damage are also suitable for this purpose.

The main thing is not to use aluminum dishes for fermentation. In it, the cabbage takes on a gray color and an unpleasant aftertaste.

How to ferment cabbage

Put the shredded cabbage and grated carrots (or other vegetables you use) in a clean bowl and stir.

If you plan to ferment a lot of cabbage, do not cut all at once: it will be difficult to mix it. Better to cook in batches.

Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and rub them with your hands. This is necessary in order for the cabbage juice to stand out.

Start putting the cabbage in a well-washed and boiled water container for sourdough. Spread the cabbage in batches and tamp it down with your hands or a wooden crush.

If you are fermenting cabbage in a jar, cover it with a regular lid or a lid with holes. It is impossible to completely close the jar, since the gas released during fermentation must come out.

If you ferment cabbage in a bowl or saucepan, cover it with clean (preferably boiled) gauze or washed cabbage leaves, put a clean plate and load on top: a jar of water or a clean stone will do.

If you are using a small container, be sure to put it in a container to collect the juice that stands out.

How to ferment cabbage
How to ferment cabbage

You need to ferment cabbage at room temperature (19-22 ° C). You can put it in a warmer place. This will speed up the fermentation process, the appetizer will cook faster.

A few hours after laying, check if the juice has covered all the cabbage. If not, add cold boiled water.

Cabbage is fermented for two to seven days. Every day, you need to pierce it to the very bottom with a clean wooden stick to release the gas. Otherwise, the cabbage will taste bitter. If you ferment white cabbage in a jar, pierce it carefully: the glass may break. It is also necessary to remove the foam that appears on the surface daily.

By the end of fermentation, gas evolution stops, foam disappears from the surface, the brine becomes light, and the cabbage itself acquires a pleasant sour-salty taste. In order not to miss this moment, check and try it every day.

Cabbage can be fermented without salt. To do this, just pour it with cold boiled water and leave it under pressure.

But in this case, the shelf life is significantly reduced, since the salt is a preservative.

How to store sauerkraut

Cabbage should be stored in a cool place in the same container in which the pickling took place. At 2-5 ° C, it can be stored for about two weeks or more.

For long-term storage, it is sometimes recommended to pasteurize or preserve cabbage, but in this case it may lose its beneficial properties.

Another important condition: during storage, the brine should completely cover the cabbage so that it does not dry out and does not change its taste. Therefore, it is better to keep it under pressure.

And of course, you need to trust your feelings: if the taste, smell, color have changed or mold has appeared, the dish is definitely not worth eating.

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