If you’re keen to add fermented food to your diet, this simple red cabbage sauerkraut is the perfect place to start. All you need is a head of red cabbage, salt, and some patience. Sauerkraut is traditionally served as a side for rich meat dishes but this vibrant red cabbage also adds extra flavor and color to salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Is sauerkraut good for you?
Fermentation has been a preservation method for many years but its health benefits have recently turned this ancient skill into a food trend. As with any trends, these heavily marketed health foods, unfortunately come with a steep price tag and at times additional ingredients to increase their shelf-life. This super simple recipe helps you to save money while adding delicious and nutritious food to your diet.
A quick note of caution, you certainly want to encourage the growth of the right kind of bacteria in your ferment to prevent botulism. Make sure you thoroughly clean all equipment (including your hands) and surfaces. If mold starts to grow on your ferment, which can happen if the cabbage isn’t fully submerged or the equipment wasn’t sterile to start with, I suggest you throw it out and start fresh.
Wide mouth mason jars work well but any kind of lidded glass jar is suitable. A fermentation crock is a great option too.
I use rubber fermentation lids to allow airflow during fermentation. You can also use a cheesecloth with a rubber band.
I use glass fermentation weights to ensure the cabbage remains submerged in the brine at all times. You can also use a sterilized stone or small dessert dishes that fit into the jars.
Does red cabbage make good sauerkraut? Oh, yes it does! I love the vibrant color red cabbage gives this sauerkraut but you can also make it with green cabbage or a mix of the two. Do not wash the cabbage unless there is obvious dirt on it as the fermentation relies on bacteria that naturally occur on the cabbage. For this reason, I suggest opting for an organically grown cabbage.
Make sure to use sea salt. You will need 2-3% salt by weight, e.g. 20-30g of salt for 1kg of destemmed cabbage.
I love to add a minced garlic clove to the sauerkraut for a subtle garlic flavor but you can also add juniper berries, caraway, or fennel seeds.
How to eat red cabbage sauerkraut
Traditionally sauerkraut is served alongside rich meat dishes such as pork knuckle and sausages to aid digestion. The fermented superfood is also a great addition to salads, wraps, sushi, and sandwiches as well as burgers and hot dogs.
How to store sauerkraut
Sauerkraut keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 months, keeping in mind that it continues to slowly ferment and the sour taste intensifies over time.
Sign-up for my newsletter for more from-scratch recipes.
If you like this sauerkraut recipe make sure to check out my simple spelt bread recipe as well.