Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bacteria can be good: Sauerkraut

For Sauerkraut the ingredients are simpler: Cabbage, Salt, Water, and any flavorings you want. I like a bit of Fennel and Mesquite.

Slice the cabbage into nice thin sections, the thinner the better for fermentation. Fill the bucket. Add water to cover the cabbage. Add any seasonings. Then salt the water to the point that you would just be able to drink it, and not more.

Regular cabbage takes a bit longer to ferment than Napa Cabbage or Bokchoi because it is more fibrous.

I put it in a food-grade 5 gallon bucket with fennel and a few cloves of garlic. I put a plate on top of it to keep it underwater; weigh down the plate. And then I cover it and let it sit for a week or two.

The big bucket in the back is sauerkraut. I also have a gallon jar of whole cabbage leaves fermenting in the same way. You can see this in front of the plastic bucket. We'll use the fermented cabbage leaves later for stuffed cabbage leaf recipes.

I saved the cabbage hearts from the Napa, Bokchoi, and regular cabbage. I have also brined these in saltwater and whey.

We started this in the late afternoon when I was back from shut-in visits. Already the cabbage is starting to ferment and smell really good.

Now I'm hungry. Where did that come from?

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