If you’re ready to embark on your own adventures in fermentation, you’re in luck – the process couldn’t be easier. All you need are glass or plastic jars to ferment in.
- 5 lbs. green cabbage, core removed and shredded very thinly
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries, optional
1. In a large, non-reactive bowl, toss the shredded cabbage with the salt. Use your hands to knead and squeeze the cabbage well, to release as much liquid as possible. If you are using juniper berries, mix them in now.
2. When you have squeezed all the life from the cabbage, place it in a cylindrical plastic bucket or glass jar. (Don’t use a metal vessel - the salt will react with the metal over time.) Find a smaller jar or bucket that fits inside the first one. it will be used to keep the cabbage weighed down while allowing the liquid to rise. Use a jar of water or a clean brick to weigh down the inner jar. Cover the combined jars with a clean kitchen towel and move them to a cool, dark place.
3. After 24 hours, check on the brine level. if the cabbage is completely submerged, then there is nothing to do but wait. If there isn’t enough liquid, mix more brine, adding 1 1⁄2 tablespoons of kosher salt to one quart of water. Add as much liquid as is needed to fully submerge the cabbage. Replace the weighted inner container on top of the cabbage and re-cover with the towel.
4. Check on the kraut every few days and start tasting it after one week. Full fermentation usually takes about two weeks, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
NOTE: The #1 rule for home fermented products is “when in doubt, throw it out.” The cabbage should remain crisp and taste tangy. If the cabbage has gotten mushy or fizzy, smells funky or has any signs of mold, throw it out. Don’t be discouraged; it happens to everyone sometimes.
Recipe published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Magazine Purim 2013 SUBSCRIBE NOW