Quick Fermented Sauerkraut Recipe, No Cooking Required
This quick fermented sauerkraut recipe is easy, trendy and probiotic, because it is naturally fermented. Get those happy bugs in your gut with a quick sauerkraut that you can mix up in minutes and then let ferment for two weeks in any corner of the house.
The trick to sauerkraut is to break down the fibrous cabbage with salt until it releases enough liquid to cover it while it ferments. You can pound it with your fists or with the butt end of a wooden mallet. Or you can massage and squeeze it with your hands.
Once you have the basics of sauerkraut fermentation mastered, feel free to add your own flavorful touches. I like to add caraway seeds for authentic German flavor. Chef Iggy prefers mixing in some hot sauce after the fermentation is done to turn the pickled cabbage into more of a Korean kimchi.
Quick Fermented Sauerkraut
This recipe makes two pints, which will keep for several months in the refrigerator.
1 medium sized head of green cabbage
2 tablespoons kosher salt
Quarter and core the cabbage. Shred or slice cabbage thinly. In a large nonreactive bowl, sprinkle the shredded cabbage with the salt.
Either wearing gloves or with bare hands, mix up by squeezing the shredded cabbage hard and working in the salt. Keep squeezing and crunching the cabbage as it wilts and starts to release water, rotating the bowl to reach all the cabbage.
Get in there and manhandle that cabbage! Squeeze and mix until the cabbage is covered with its own liquid - this can take a while, at least 10 minutes.
Pack the cabbage and liquid into a very clean, small-mouthed jar (no lid). Make sure the liquid is completely covering all of the shredded cabbage. Place the jar in a cool, dark corner for two weeks.
During the two weeks, check sauerkraut daily to make sure it is fermenting properly. Sauerkraut picks up the natural yeasts in the environment, which help it ferment. The mixture should start bubbling gently within a week.
If you don't see any bubbling after a week, the sauerkraut probably didn't pick up enough yeast. If this happens, or if you see mold forming, toss it out and try again.
Sauerkraut adds zing to hot dogs and deli sandwiches, of course. It's also the perfect side dish for roast pork and other German-inspired specialties.