About this Recipe
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I must admit: this was my first ever attempt at making Sauerkraut. And it was so good! I couldn’t believe just how simple it is to make. If we weren’t bursting at the seams in our small Prairie Village house, I would make batches and batches of this! Sauerkraut to Germans is like Ranch Dressing to Americans. It’s hard to live without it. A lot of German recipes are served with Sauerkraut on the side (like Oma Sieghilde’s Erbsbrei – pea puree), or even as part of the meal (like aunt Heidrun’s Sauerkraut and potato casserole). It’s hard to eat German food and not run across it. So as stereotypical as it is, today’s post focuses on Sauerkraut, the homemade version, and you won’t believe just how simple it is!
The only ingredients needed to make Sauerkraut at home are cabbage and salt, that’s it! Now you’ll also want to have some larger sized jars handy that you are able to seal tightly, which is needed for the one week long fermentation process. I love these quart-sized Weck jars, which are also German and so vintage looking. Each one of these jars will be big enough to hold an entire recipe of Sauerkraut and would be perfect to gift to all of the German food loving people in your life!
Experiment with different add-ins like different spices (I added fresh ginger and red crushed pepper to one of my batches) and by using different kinds of cabbages and adding other vegetables like carrots or radishes.
Scroll on down for the recipe, now in printable version.
Here me out on this one… it works! If you’re a dirty martini lover especially, this one will be right up your alley. This sauerkraut martini using the juice of the sauerkraut you made is simple, briney, delicious and full of healthy probiotics to aid in digestion. This will make the perfect after dinner drink. I used a German Steinhäger dry gin by Schlichte in this martini, which is made after an old German recipe with lots of juniper berries. It works really well in this sauerkraut cocktail.
The Schlichte bottle is made from clay to help preserve the gin, and makes a great host/-ess gift for your next dinner party. Shake the following ingredients with ice and either serve poured over fresh ice or into a martini glass:
- 3 oz sauerkraut juice
- 1.5 oz Schlichte gin
- lemon twist or slice
German Recipes With Cabbage
Erbsensuppe (German pea soup) is a protein-rich, filling recipe that brings lots of taste for little cost. Make sure to subscribe to my blog now, so you’re not missing out when the new Erbsensuppe post goes live!
- 1 kg cabbage feel free to experiment and white/green cabbage or red cabbage
- 10 g sea salt
- 2 tsp grated ginger as used in my red cabbage, but feel free to leave it plain
- 1/2 tsp red crushed chili flakes as used in my red cabbage, but feel free to leave it plain
- Clean out your jars with hot water. Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, cut into quarters and cut out the core. Now thinly slice the cabbage (I thinkt the thinner, the better) and combine in a bowl with the salt and spices (spices are optional).
- Now it's time to knead the cabbage for about 5 to 6 minutes (now that's some work - I had to take my shirt off for this one :-D). This will really help extract all the natural juices in the cabbage and you should have quite a bit of juice in your bowl once you're done.
- Fill the cabbage into jars (glass is best I think, that way you can better observe what is happening), pressing it down, so it's covered by the juices. Leave about an inch of room to the top of the glass. Now tightly seal your jars with the lid.
- Place the jars on a rimmed tray and wrap in old linen towels. It's possible that some of the juice will bubble up during the fermentation process and find its way out of the jars. The towels will help soak up the juices. Allow to sit at room temperature for one week.
- Once there are no more bubbles, the sauerkraut can be transfered to loosely sealed jars and stored in a cool and dark place for up to a year! After about 3 to 4 days your Sauerkraut will be ready to eat. It will however continue to ferment slowly and the taste will change over time as well. You can enjoy it raw, which will leave all the good probiotics intact, or you can cook it with onion, bacon, apples, sausage... yum!
- Get creative! When kneading the cabbage, add different kinds of spices. You can also use Kohlrabi or any other type of cabbage, add carrots, etc. There are no limits to what you can some up with!
I received compensation from Niche Import Co. in exchange for writing this post. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions, thoughts and recipes are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may be compensated if you click certain links.