Use a very fresh cabbage and nice fine, local salt. For best results and to keep things simple, use a jar that is airtight but will allow gases to escape, like an airlock lid or one with a moat. A good kraut relies on a low salt of between 1.5 - 2.5% salt to cabbage ratio, so it’s a good idea to have a set of scales at hand. Half a regular cabbage will fit into a 1 litre jar.
- Scales, chopping board, knife or mandolin, bowl, hands and time.
- Slice cabbage finely and as evenly as possible (a mandolin is perfect). Weigh shredded cabbage to work out 2% salt ratio (eg. 500g of cabbage would be 10g salt)
- Sprinkle salt over cabbage and massage vigorously until the juices from the cabbage are dripping and foaming. At this stage add your spices - starting with a simple Juniper Berry and Caraway is good and always popular - but also garlic and dill for example.
- Pack tightly into your jar, leaving some space up the top for movement. Cover the top layer with a leaf from the cabbage, and weigh it all under the juices. (If you don't have weights, a bag of salt or water, rock or using a length of a carrot as a lever against the lid works well too).
- Seal your jar and put in a cool spot, out of direct sunlight and leave to ferment for a couple of weeks. Try it then and if the taste is sour enough - pop it into the fridge. Cool temperatures slow the fermentation process down so you'll need to store this in the fridge.
This is an edited extract from Ferment For Good by Sharon Flynn, published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $39.99. Now available to purchase in-store at Harris Farm Markets.
Photography: ©Tara Pearce