Okay, kraut time. My first batch, the kind I made in the same way I make kimchi, turned out splendidly (my toddler practically wresteled me for it whenever I dished some up and it's all gone now!), but I thought I'd try an easier way.
I've read you can make sauerkraut just by shredding cabbage, coating it in salt, and packing it into a jar. In my experience, the cabbage doesn't make enough of it's own brine, so I top it up after letting it sit overnight. And that's it.
Here it is in a little more detail:
- Finely shred cabbage and its stem and coat in non-iodised salt. (I trim the bottom of the stem and take off any gnarly-looking bits first.)
- Pack everything into a jar (toss in some caraway seeds or juniper berries or fresh dill if you are feeling fiesty), leaving about a half-inch gap at the top and let it sit (salt-wilt) overnight.
- Top up the jar with brine (1 tbsp of non-iodised salt per cup of water) the next morning, leaving about a half-inch gap at the top. (You will notice some water has leached out of the cabbage. If you taste the water, you will notice it is nice and salty. (You don't actually have to taste it, you can just take my word for it.))
- Let it ferment in your refrigerator (or your kitchen if your kitchen is just as cold as your refrigerator -- mine is at the moment!!).
Recently, I've made 3 jars of sauerkraut with purple cabbage. One of the jars has already started to ferment and it is delicious (as well as being very pretty). I added caraway seeds and a few juniper berries to the 2 other jars, which haven't fermented as much yet (this has nothing to do with the spices, I made them a few days after I made the first jar). I'll let you know how they turn out!!
Next time, I'm going to try adding shredded carrot to my kraut. I heard it ferments easily and tastes nice with the cabbage, so I'll let you know about that, too.
ETA: The Scarecrow brought home some fresh dill yesterday. I think I'll start another a batch with that and the half-cabbage I have hanging out on the cutting board. :D