A simple cabbage can become a lovely sauerkraut when fermented. The aim is to shred and crush the cabbage, and let the lactobacillus bacteria naturally present in the vegetable turn it into something far more complex, (and purportedly health giving) than the raw ingredient. Ideally you’ll have a container such as a crock with an air lock to make the best sauerkraut, as too much air getting in can make things go bad.
"Sauerkraut in German is 'sour cabbage' and I love it for the taste and it's a great source of vitamins and probiotics." Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
- 500 g cabbage
- 2 tbsp coarse salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Fermenting time 30 days
Finely slice the cabbage, then roll it roughly with a rolling pin to crush the leaves a bit. Place in a crock, earthenware jar or similar, and add a little coarse salt to each layer. Use a flat based clean log or rolling pin to pound the cabbage until it sounds wet and well crushed. There should be enough moisture coming out of the cabbage that when pressed down, the liquid comes over the top of the shredded cabbage leaves. Place a weight on top, then wipe the sides down so they’re clean of cabbage leaves. If using a crock, fill the water lock, then cover. Leave in a cool dark place for 1 month or until it starts to smell interesting. During standing you will need to remove any mould from the top and if using a jar, you will also need to remove the lid once daily to release the pressure.
Once fermented, store in the fridge to keep it as fresh tasting as possible. Use in braises, on sandwiches, stirred into mash to have with bangers, or on a lovely knackwurst or bratwurst hotdog.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.