Note: I have a Mortier
Pilon fermenting jar but you do NOT need one to
make this. DOES need a food processor with a slicing
blade (see picture above) though, or a sharp knife, lots of muscle
one large white cabbage
3 tbsp coarse salt (e.g. Maldon sea salt)
some [e.g. pickling, 'cos it's cheap] vinegar (not actually
an ingredient, used for sterilizing)
Sterilize your food processing bowl/blade, your fermenting
jar (or your other jar-like container if you don't have a
fermenting jar) and the largest mixing bowl you have by
washing them and then swilling them with vinegar; you only
need to pour the vinegar out afterwards, it is not a problem
if vinegar residue remains.
Reserve one large cabbage leaf, chop the rest of the
cabbage into quarters and cut out the more solid core part.
Put these batches of cabbage through the food
processor to slice the cabbage; you may need to further
sub-divide the cabbage to get it into the mouth of your food
Empty the sliced cabbage into a large mixing bowl and
sprinkle on the salt.
Wash your hands and mix the salt well into the cabbage
then, and this is the important part, spend at least five
minutes squeezing the juice out of the cabbage with your
fist; when done you should be able to hear the cabbage
"crackling" in the bowl and the volume of the cabbage will
have reduced as the volume of juice increases.
Place the cabbage and juice into your fermenting jar or,
if you don't have one, some other jar-like container,
pressing the cabbage down between handfuls.
Trim the reserved cabbage leaf to fit on top, place it
there upside-down (i.e. like a dome) and then push it down
like the rest of the cabbage; it doesn't matter if it
breaks, you want it to end up as submerged as possible - it
is only there to stop the rest of the cabbage floating but
any part of the leaf which remains above the juice level
could go mouldy.
Place a weight on top; your aim is to submerge all of
the cabbage in its own juices.
Store out of direct sunlight at room temperature for 24
If, after 24 hours, the juices are not covering the
cabbage, add 1 tsp of salt into 250 ml of water and pour into
the jar, repeating until the juices are definitely covering
Leave, out of direct sunlight at room temperature, for
another 6 days.
Lift the leaf and taste the sauerkraut; don't worry about
any mould that might have developed on top of the leaf, you
are discarding the leaf anyway. The cabbage should be
just mildly pickled; if not leave for longer.
Remove from the jar and store in the refrigerator, discarding
the leaf on top.