8 cups of red cabbage finely grated or chopped
1 ½ - 2 tsp sea salt (it may take more just do it to your taste)
1 small beetroot finely shredded
3 whole carrots finely shredded
3 tbsp fresh ginger shredded or grated
3 tbsp fresh turmeric shredded or grated
4 cloves garlic finely minced
1. Sterilise any equipment you are using for the fermenting process. Especially the jars. It is good to use mason jars. (see right) You can get these in different sizes. About 850mls is a good size. If you use old glass jars make sure you have a few of them.
I sterilise using boiling water. I suggest you heat up the bottles first with hot water out the tap before you put boiling water into your jars. It’s safer that way. Make sure they are dried completely and let them come back to room temperature before you add any ingredients. If you don’t this will cause problems with the fermentation process.
2. Add finely grated cabbage to a large mixing bowl and add 1 ½ teaspoons of sea salt. Wash your hands well and then massage the cabbage for about ten minutes. The cabbage should start softening shrinking in size and it releases water. Continue massaging cabbage until this happens.
3. Add shredded beetroot, carrot, ginger, turmeric and garlic and massage once more with clean hands for about 4 – 5 minutes, until well combined. If you use gloves make sure you put them on and then wash your hands. Using gloves will help reduce the staining on your hands from the beetroot. Then taste for flavour and adjust by adding more salt for saltiness, grated ginger for more zing or garlic for a more garlic flavour.
4. Use clean hands to put sauerkraut mixture into the sterilised jars and press down firmly to pack. There should be sufficient liquid form the massaging and this will rise up and cover the vegetables. If this doesn’t happen then top up with filtered water to make sure the ingredients are covered. It is rare that you would need to add water.
If you top the mixture with a folded cabbage leaf it will assist in keeping the sauerkraut under the liquid.
5. Leave lots of room at the top (about 4cm) between the contents and the lid so it has room to expand. Seal with a lid and set on the counter where there’s little sun exposure as possible or put in a cupboard. The ideal temperature for fermentation is above 18 C so try and keep the environment on the warmer side to encourage good fermentation so a closed cupboard might be ideal.
6. Fermentation can happen as quick as 24 hours if your space is hot or it can take up to 2 weeks if it is cooler. The most common time is about 10 days.
7. During the fermentation process, open your jars once per day to release air. You should feel pressure release and see air bubbles when you open your jars. Sterilise a spoon with boiling water and press down to make sure the are still completely covered in the liquid. Doing this daily helps encourages proper fermentation.
8. The longer it sits and ferments the tangier it will become. So to test the flavour, always sterilise a utensil before putting in the jar. Once it has reached the desired tanginess, seal with lid and put into the fridge. It will keep up to 6 months. Just make sure when you serve, don’t double dip to avoid contamination.
Recipe credit - Minimalist Baker.
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