By: Susan Kingston, RHN, NNCP – Montreal, QC
- 1 green cabbage, about 5 lbs. (2.3 kg)
- 2 TBSP sea salt
- Peel off the tough outer leaves of the cabbage.
- Use a large knife to remove the core and julienne the rest (a meat slicer works well).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage and salt.
- Use your fists to push the cabbage down and break it up, kneading it until it is soft (you really have to pound the cabbage to soften it). As you are doing this, the salt will already start to leach water from the cabbage. After 5 to 10 minutes, you’ll have soft cabbage covered in its own liquid.
- Transfer to a tall, narrow container. A juice jug, or something similar, works well.
- Cover with cling wrap and wipe down the sides of the container. Use something heavy to weigh down the cabbage such as a glass jar or a rock, so that it remains below the water level (to prevent it from spoiling in the oxygen).
- Seal cling wrap tightly over the top to prevent bugs from getting in.
- Store at room temperature for 10 to 21 days. It could take up to 3 weeks, but taste it around 10 days and then every few days after that. If it tastes really strange – like gym socks or excessively sulphurous – toss it out! The advantage of this recipe is that a head of cabbage costs about two dollars. So if we make a mistake – like not covering the cabbage in brine, which can create a mould that consumes the lactic acid – it shouldn’t be too great a loss to toss it and start again.
- When it tastes like sauerkraut, it’s done! Transfer to lidded containers and store in fridge. Makes about 3 litres.