• Fermented foods - like Holly's red kraut - can be used as garnishes, salsas and sides. (Murdoch Books / Ben Dearnley)Source: Murdoch Books / Ben Dearnley

A variation on traditional sauerkraut, this vibrant ferment is perfect paired with rich foods, helping to cut through the fat and balancing strong flavours.

Makes
1.5 litre

Preparation

20min

Skill level

Easy
By
Average: 3.3 (36 votes)
Yum

It's my go-to with an eggy breakfast. Adding mineral-rich sea vegetables such as arame to ferments boosts the nutrient profile, while the ginger provides a lively kick. 

Ingredients

  • 5 g (1/8 oz/¼ cup) arame threads
  • 2 kg (4 lb 8 oz) head red cabbage
  • 1 large knob ginger, chopped finely or grated
  • 40 g (1½ oz) fine sea salt

Cook's notes

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.

Instructions

Fermentation time: 7-30 days

Soak the arame threads in a bowl with plenty of warm water for 15 minutes. Trim and quarter the cabbage, removing the fibrous core. Chop the cabbage into 3 mm (1⁄8 in) thick slices and put in a large bowl. Add the ginger and sea salt. Rub the salt into the cabbage, scrunching the mix firmly, until the cabbage has released plenty of liquid.

Strain the arame and discard the soaking water. Mix the arame into the cabbage very well.

Take your clean jar and lid and fill it completely with the cabbage mixture. Push the cabbage down very firmly (see Note).

Top up with more cabbage, pressing down some more to ensure that it is submerged in the liquid. Make sure to leave at least 2 cm (¾ in) of space between the liquid and the rim of the jar. Use a vegetable stopper (a means of keeping the ingredients submerged in their pickling liquid) or an airlock lid, or simply press the vegetables under their liquid and close the lid tightly. Label the jar and stand it on a plate or tray.

Leave in a cool place to ferment for 7–30 days. Gradually, you will notice bubbles, a few at first and then masses. The bubbles will begin to subside and this is the point at which you can start tasting the kraut. I like this best after a month or so, when the cabbage is really quite sour, but keep tasting until you are happy with the flavours, then put the jar in the fridge to keep for up to 12 months.

Note

You can do as I do and stand the jar on the floor then use your clean fist and body weight to lean on the vegetables in order to compress and submerge them.

 

Recipe from Ferment by Holly Davis (Murdoch Books, hb, $45.00). Photography by Ben Dearnley. Read more from Holly about the joy of fermenting here.