Garlic Ginger Sauerkraut
This homemade garlic ginger sauerkraut is a delicious variation on the traditional dish. Sauerkraut is an excellent way to preserve cabbage through the winter and eating it improves your health. The bacteria that ferment the cabbage are also excellent for the microbiome in your intestines. If you’ve never tried it I highly recommend it, just don’t buy it from the store!
Store-bought sauerkraut does not taste as good as homemade sauerkraut. Also, it is not a live culture food, which means any health benefits are lost. Instead, make it yourself. This is one of our favorite recipes:
Homemade Garlic Ginger Sauerkraut
- 2 medium sized heads of cabbage (the fresher the better)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 1 peice of ginger root
- 2 quart mason jar (or 2 quart crock)
Prepare the Cabbage:
Step 1: First remove any wilting leaves from the outside of the cabbages, then peel off 2 crips leaves and set aside for later.
Step 2: Weigh your cabbage. The cabbage’s weight determines how much salt to add later.
Step 3: Using a mandoline or large knife slice the cabbage so that it is in thin strips ~1/8″-1/4″ thick.
Step 4: Add 1 tsp. of salt for each pound of cabbage. (You can start with less if you want and gradually add it in later. Before starting to ferment the cabbage should taste slightly salty).
Step 5: Pound, squeeze, and or crush the cabbage. As you bruise the leaves the salt will draw water out of the cabbage making the brine that the fermentation will happen in. You should keep working your cabbage until it is soggy like a wet sponge. Taste it along the way to make sure you have enough salt and add more if necessary.
Add Garlic and Ginger:
Step 6: Cut a piece of ginger about the same size as your 4 cloves of garlic. Then peel and grate it, we do this with a garlic grater. Peel and grate garlic. Then mix the garlic and ginger into the cabbage.
Step 8: Now transfer the cabbage, ginger, garlic mixture into a 2-quart mason jar. You want to pack it in tight so that there is little to no air left in the jar and don’t forget to pour the brine in with the rest. Leave a little space at the top.
Step 9: Now get the leaves you set aside and cut them in half across the leaf rib. Layer the leaf halves on top of the shredded cabbage mix and push them down so that they are fully submerged. Any cabbage on the surface can start growing mold. These leaves are to help keep all the smaller cabbage pieces from floating to the top (if mold does form just remove any mold from the jar, everything will still be fine).
Start the Fermentation:
Step 10: Put a weight on the leaves to hold them down.
Step 11: Next seal the jars and place in a warm spot out of direct sunlight (ideally 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit but if it gets warmer or colder don’t worry. We’ve made sauerkraut well outside those ranges).
Step 12: Now let sit for 2-3 weeks burping daily. Once the 2-3 week fermentation is over you can eat it fresh or pop it in the fridge for later. We love to eat ours on a bed of brown rice and lentils. Yum!
If you want to get fancier then you can invest in a mason jar to crock conversion kit. These devices save you from having to burp the sauerkraut every day.