What you will need to make sauerkraut

Making sauerkraut is really easy. All you need is a white cabbage, salt, water, a jar, a few kitchen implements and 20 minutes of free time.

Ingredients:

  • A white cabbage
  • Salt
  • Water (I use tap water. I put it in jug a few hours before so any chlorine in it has time to evaporate)

Method

The halved and cored cabbage ready to be chopped

  1. Cut the cabbage in half, cut the core out and remove the outer leaves.
  2. Put aside the outer leaves, don't throw them away, you will be using them later.
  3. The amount of salt you will need depends on the weight of your cabbage.

    I use one tablespoon of salt for each kilogram of cabbage.

    So weigh the cabbage and work out the proportion of salt you will need.
  4. Chop the cabbage roughly.
  5. Put the chopped cabbage in to a large mixing bowl and then add the salt.
  6. You then need to mix the salt and cabbage together, work the salt into the cabbage by squeezing and mixing it with your hands.
  7. After about 10 minutes of mixing the cabbage will become moist and it will feel wet.
  8. Find an appropriately sized jar and stuff the cabbage into the jar, making sure to press it down tightly.

    You might find a rolling pin or something similar useful for ramming the cabbage down.
  9. Add any liquid that was left in the bowl into the jar.
  10. A newly bottled jar of sauerkraut

  11. Don't fill the jar too full because it will expand while it's fermenting, just fill it to about below the shoulder.
  12. Use the outer leaves and the core to put on top of your sauerkraut.

    This is to keep the sauerkraut under water.

    The good bacteria is anaerobic, it doesn't need oxygen, bad bacteria does. So we create a barrier on top to keep the sauerkraut away from the air.
  13. Use a shot glass or something similar to keep the cabbage pressed down so it remains under water. Jam it between the outerleaves and core and the lid.
  14. All done! Put the jar on a shelf somewhere at room temperature and leave it for a few days to ferment.

    Gas will build up so you will need to 'burp' the jar every now and then so the jar doesn't explode.

    Do this by loosening the lid and letting the pressure out. (Or you could just leave the lid slightly loose.)
  15. After about 7 days, or when the fermentation stops bubbling the sauekraut will be ready.

    At this point you can put it in the fridge.

    Top Tip: Top the jar up with a bit of bottled/un-chlorinated water as the liquid will shrink in the fridge, this will stop the top of the sauerkraut drying out.