I have been looking for new ways to work fermented foods into my diet. I've heard they are good for you, but more importantly, they taste super yummy. I came across this recipe in the Masontops Fermenting Guide and Recipe Book. I followed the steps as closely as possible, and the results were fantastic.
- 1 small cabbage
- 1 large carrot
- 1 tbsp fine grind salt
- 2 tsps curry powder (I used keema curry)
Step 1: Prepare Cabbage
Rinse cabbage.Remove bad and spotted leaves. Peel off one whole leaf and set it aside (I always peel two in case I mess up the first one).
Cut the cabbage from top to bottom, through the core (I use a granton slicer). Cut the two halves in half again. Cut out and discard the cores from the cabbage quarters.
Take one wedge of cabbage cut-side down, and slice as thinly as you can. Place the cabbage, as you cut each quarter, to a large bowl and sprinkle with some of the salt.
Keep slicing and adding cabbage and salt until you’re out of both.
Step 2: Prep Carrots and Curry
Peel and grate carrot on the large holes of a box grater. Add it, along with the curry powder, to the salted cabbage. Mix with your hands until the carrots and curry are incorporated into the cabbage and salt.
Step 3: Pound
Squeeze and massage the cabbage. Using the Pickle Packer, pound the cabbage in order to break down the cell walls and release juice. Pound everything down flat, then toss it all together and pound it again.
Pound and mix until the cabbage is wilted and juicy. This can take several minutes.*
*If you get tired of pounding you can put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down. Cover it with a towel and let sit for a couple hours to macerate.
Step 4: Pack
Now that the cabbage pounded and juicy, it’s time to pack. Add a couple handfuls of the cabbage to a 1 quart mason jar and use the Pickle Packer to pack it down. Use the pictures as a guide. I find the gradient lines on the jar helpful.
As the cabbage is pushed down, the brine will rise up. Keep adding and packing until the jar is filled to the shoulder. Do not overfill. Two pounds of cabbage should into a 1 quart mason jar.
The guide recommends that If you find that the jar is full you still have cabbage left, you can toss the leftover cabbage with a little olive oil for a tasty salad.
Step 5: Cover and Pipe
Take the cabbage leaf you set aside and set the jar on the leaf. The leaf will be more pliable towards the top. Using a sharp knife, cut a circular piece of cabbage the same size as the jar. Place this leaf directly on top of the sauerkraut to help keep pieces from floating up. Place a Pickle Pebble on top of the leaf. It should keep the kraut below the surface of the brine. Wipe the rim of the jar. Add a Pickle Pipe and screw on the lid. Set in a dark place to ferment. Be sure to label your jar with the date!
Wait a day or two to see if the cabbage releases enough juice to submerge the cabbage and the Pickle Pebble. If it doesn't, make a brine with 1 / 2 teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 / 2 cup water. Add enough so that the Pickle Pebble is completely submerged.
Step 6: Wait...then Enjoy!
Check the kraut after a few weeks. You may need to wait a month or more. Taste it. The kraut should have the salty flavor replaced with tangy acidity. The cabbage should have changed color from white to nearly translucent. Replace the Pickle Pipe with a lid and refrigerate. Enjoy!
NOTE: According to the guide, the following things are signs of healthy fermentation:
- The cabbage swells up so that the brine is almost touching the lid
- Pockets of gas appear in the cabbage.
- The color changes from bright to drab green.
- Bubbles or foam appear on the surface of the brine
- A sulfurous aroma emits from the jar.
- White sediment in the bottom of the jar.