Spicy Turmeric Homemade Sauerkraut

Making homemade Sauerkraut could not be easier. It takes only 15 minutes to an hour to prepare your jar for fermentation. Then the process is fairly hands off: simply start tasting your kraut on day 3 and move to the refrigerator when you're satisfied with it (leave a week to 10 days total).  This version with red chili and turmeric tastes delicious on hot dogs, grain bowls, and avocado toast. Besides the below ingredients, you’ll need the following for the fermentation process: 1 quart-sized mason jar, 1 small (8 ounce) jelly-sized jar, 1 square of cheesecloth, and a rubber band.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 1 pint

Ingredients

  • 1/2 a medium head cabbage about 1 pound
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

Instructions

  1. Remove the thick outer layers of the cabbage until you reach a smooth light green interior. Save one of the leaves and rinse well. Cut the trimmed cabbage head into quarters lengthwise. Remove the core at the center and thinly slice.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cabbage with the salt. With clean hands massage the shredded cabbage for 2 to 5 minutes, or until it begins to release some of its liquid and soften. You may want to rush this step, but don’t – it’s really important for making sure you have enough liquid later on to submerge the cabbage. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric, and toss to combine.
  3. Transfer the cabbage to a quart-sized mason jar along with any liquid. Using a spoon, push the cabbage down until it compacts into the bottom half of the jar, releasing more juices in the process. Allow to sit for an hour, then “tamp” down the cabbage again with your spoon—muddling the cabbage like this will continue to release more liquid. Once the juices cover the cabbage, insert the cleaned cabbage leaf and top with the smaller jar. You can weight it down with a rock, but just the jar is usually heavy enough to make sure the shredded cabbage stays beneath the brine (see note). Cover the top of the jar with the cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band so no flies or bugs can get in.
  4. Set the jar in a cool, shaded area of your countertop and ferment for 3-10 days. For the first 24 hours, tamp it down every couple hours by placing some pressure on the smaller interior jar. Start tasting it after the first few days and when the cabbage tastes sufficiently fermented, cover and store in the refrigerator. The kraut will keep for a few months.

Recipe Notes

If there isn’t enough to submerge the cabbage after 24 hours, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to cover the cabbage.

For troubleshooting or advice on how to make a larger portion in a crock, this guide is incredibly helpful.

If you make this, tag @phoebelapine and #feedmephoebe - I'd love to see it!