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Simple Sauerkraut Recipe


So I was very pleasantly surprised with the response to my previous post on fermenting vegetables.

It made me super happy to hear that so many of you are interested in fermentation and put in a request for my sauerkraut recipe.

So today that’s exactly what I have for you.



Simple Sauerkraut

I was never a huge fan of sauerkraut until I started making my own. Being able to control how fermented or ‘funky’ your kraut gets makes a huge difference. If you’re new to fermenting vegetables though I’d really recommend starting with fermented carrots which are much much easier!

This method is called dry brining and when you read through the method it’s hard to imagine it working. I know I always thought that when looking at kraut recipes. It wasn’t until I actually saw Sandor Katz make kraut that I ‘got it’. So I recommend checking out the video as it’s much easier to show you rather than write.

makes 1 medium jar
1/2 head cabbage

1. Day 1. Cut cabbage in half lengthwise and trim the surfaces that were already cut. Remove outer leaves and discard. Finely slice the cabbage as well as you can. I use a knife because I like it rustic. But you could use a mandoline if you want really fine kraut.

2. Place sliced cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few generous pinches of fine salt as you go. You want at least 0.5% salt. I just add and mix and taste as I go. When the cabbage tastes slightly salty but still really fresh I leave it at that. (See notes below for more detailed quantities).

3. Massage cabbage with your clean hands. Sandor recommends 10 minutes but I usually do it for a few minutes and then leave it to stand so the salt can work its magic. You want the moisture from the cabbage to come out.

4. Pack the cabbage into a clean glass or ceramic jar. Press down firmly as you go to really release the moisture and pack it as tightly as possible. I like to use the back of a spoon. You want enough liquid to just cover the cabbage. If it looks too dry add a little filtered or boiled and cooled water. But be sparing as water will dilute the final flavour.

5. Seal with the lid and leave on the kitchen bench.

6. Day 2. Open the jar to release any gas buildup. Push the cabbage down to re-submerge. Taste.

7. Day 3+. Repeat as per day 2 and taste again. If the cabbage tastes tangy enough for you, pop it in the fridge and start eating. If not leave it out of the fridge and continue to taste every day until you’re happy. Depending on the temperature and how funky you like your kraut it can take from 3 days to months.

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Notes / Variations

Different Veg – I like savoy cabbage but recently made a mix of savoy and red cabbage that was really pretty. Turnips, carrots, apple and cooked spuds can all be added.

Flavourings – I haven’t tried any but celery seeds, curry spices, caraway seeds, or chilli can all be used.

Quantity rule of thumb – 1kg veg will fill a 1L vessel and will need about 0.5% – 1% salt so about 5-10 grams.

If in doubt when tasting – pop it in the fridge because this will slow the fermentation down and you can always pull it back out if you decide later that it’s not strong enough for you.

Different containers – Don’t ferment in metal due to corrosion. Plastics can be OK but I prefer glass or ceramics so you can be certain there are no plastics leaching into the ferment.

Floating veg – you can put a weight to hold down the veg as they tend to float. I usually don’t bother.

Fill levels – Don’t fill to the top due to expansion

Light degrades some nutrients but generally light is OK. It doesn’t need to be in a dark cellar and is better in the kitchen where you won’t forget about them. Plus UV rays from the sun act as a mould inhibitor.

White Mold – just skim and discard they’re not toxic.

Bright Coloured Molds – are toxic – discard the project. But don’t stress about this too much. No one has died from eating fermented vegetables.

Video Recipe

Or view video recipe over here.

With love,
Jules x
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ps. I’ve also recently uploaded a video for making fermented carrots (much easier than kraut!). It’s available over here.


{ 20 comments… add one }

  • Ingrida 27 August, 2014, 3:49 pm

    Hi, Jules,

    This time I couldn’t hold on sharing a recipe of sauerkraut that we make in Lithuania :)
    Process is basically the same (but traditionally we make bigger amount at once for bigger family or relatives, ferment it in one large container and put everything into separate jars later on), but besides the salt we add equal amount of white sugar and then the magic – a bit of cranberries and grated carrots and caraway seeds. After around 4 days the result is crunchy and savory sauerkraut which is divine when stewed.

    P.S.: thank you for the love for food you share, it is very inspiring :)

    Best wishes and good look with your new cookbook

    • jules 2 September, 2014, 7:50 am

      Thanks for sharing your Lithuanian kraut Ingrida.
      I bet it looks beautiful with the cranberries

  • Yolette M. Saintiny 27 August, 2014, 10:14 pm

    I am so looking forward to trying my first batch…
    You have simplified this process into concise instructions that I can follow to start fermenting my own veggies. Thank you for sharing.
    I am so glad, I signed up to your feed. Best regards, Yolette

    • jules 2 September, 2014, 7:47 am

      Wonderful Yolette!
      Enjoy :)

  • Catherine 28 August, 2014, 1:12 am

    Yum! I started some green beans and carrots this past weekend, and have been enjoying them as a snack. I never liked pickles, so I was leery of fermenting other vegetables for a long time, but I’m definitely on the bandwagon now!

    • jules 2 September, 2014, 7:46 am

      Wonderful Catherine!

      Yes the best bit about doing it yourself is that you can control how intense and funky they get


  • mish 28 August, 2014, 11:14 am

    That was one of the best videos Jules! It sounded like Fergal was cheering you on in the background, so sweet!
    Thank you for the recipe, I have been looking forward to this one!

    • jules 2 September, 2014, 7:45 am

      Glad you liked it Mish!
      I’m a bit out of practice with video as it’s hard to get the house quite enough…

  • Jade 29 August, 2014, 8:25 pm

    Love this video. So lovely to hear little Fergal in the background!

    • jules 2 September, 2014, 7:42 am

      Glad you liked it Jade!
      He’s getting more and more vocal all the time :)

  • Ed LaFleur 14 June, 2015, 10:45 pm

    I’ve been making Jalapeno Pepper hot sauce using the fermentation method for a few yrs. now & it’s really good. Here is the recipe from the site I got it from. https://lightlycrunchy.wordpress.com/2012/09/06/easy-fermented-jalapeno-hot-sauce/ I also have made Dill pickles in a 5 gal crock before. My Grandparents recipe. They turned out fantastic, but if I pass on this recipe, I’ll have to wack ya…lol…maybe another time.

  • Bob Johnson 8 October, 2015, 10:31 am

    I suffer terribly at night from leg cramps. Some herbal medicine sites suggest that the magnesium in sauerkraut may help. I will try it and see. I might even get some sleep!
    I make beer from fermented stinging nettles . That works too!
    A combination of the two with a meal should definitely put me to sleep. LOL.

    • jules 19 October, 2015, 2:21 pm

      Dark chocolate is also great for magnesium (and avoiding cramps) Bob!

  • Anneke, Polokwane, South Africa 8 October, 2015, 11:31 pm

    My mother taught me to make sauerkraut with vinegar. I love it.

    • jules 19 October, 2015, 2:20 pm

      The problem with using vinegar Anneke it you don’t allow the bacteria to grow so miss out on the probiotic benefits…
      But if you’re enjoying it and eating more cabbage… that’s still helpful

  • Bob Johnson 9 October, 2015, 2:00 pm

    Can’t leave a recipe alone so I came up with this one that serves two purposes!

    One cabbage, around 1 kG Slice coarsely or finely as you wish.
    Steep in almost boiling water with 1kG sugar. IE 50/50. You could add some spices of your choice but not too many or too much yet.

    Let stand until the mixture cools to around 20 degrees C .Once cooled add 3 to 5 gm wine yeast . Wine yeast (available on the internet at around Au$2.50) works over a greater temperature range than brewers yeast and there is less affected by weather changes . Cover in a stainless steel or inert plastic drum as used for home brewing. Leave for several days, again depending on weather until the mix does not taste overly sweet, or you get a
    hygrometer and follow the instructions. I don’t bother.

    Now the interesting part. Separate the liquid from the cabbage. You can simply put this in a container for flat stuff or ,with the addition of 5gm sugar to a standard 750 ml bottle, decant into bottles, cap and leave for a secondary fermentation which will give you fizzy cabbage beer!

    Now the cabbage . This is when you add the spices of your choice add salt to taste and pack into glass or inert plastic containers with just enough fluid to cover the leaves. Do not use metal containers as the salt will corrode the metal.
    Make sure that you release any gas that forms each day so yo don’t get your house covered in fermented cabbage!!

    Now after a suitable time, depending on how anxious you are. This can be served up at your next Suarez and while the Husbands are out on the veranda swilling cabbage beer, the ladies are inside complaining about their men getting drunk, while they slowly get tipsy on alcoholic sauerkraut. Just make sure you take everyones car keys!!

    • jules 19 October, 2015, 2:19 pm

      Thanks for sharing Bob :)

  • Emily 11 November, 2015, 7:31 am

    This was such a great video, and easy to follow. I have become inspired to drive to the store and make this recipe right now! My family loves the stuff and it’s a ferment I have yet to tackle. Thanks for sharing!

    • jules 16 November, 2015, 2:20 pm

      Wonderful Emily!
      Enjoy your kraut :)

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