Slice the cabbage very thinly using a sharp knife. Add to a mixing bowl. Then add the caraway seeds and sea salt and gently massage into the cabbage. Over time, the cabbage will begin to soften and release liquid. This liquid will become the brine liquid that the sauerkraut will ferment in. You will need to massage it for a good few minutes – around 8 to 10.
Once done, transfer the cabbage and the liquid to a glass jar. If needed, add a bit more brine solution (see recipe below) so that once weighted down, the cabbage will be submerged in brine completely.
By “weighting”, I mean that it is important that the cabbage remains submerged in its liquid during fermentation. Where the cabbage is near the surface, you will need to place a large outer leaf of cabbage over the surface of the shredded cabbage to hold it down so that the shredded cabbage remains submerged. It will be packed down slightly, but this is fine.
Cover the weighted container with a clean cloth to allow fermentation to begin. Leave the sauerkraut at room temperature for 4-7 days or until it begins to produce carbon dioxide bubbles. This indicates that the fermentation process has begun.
It should be a bit sour or tangy to the taste. Skim off any scum off the top and seal the container. Then label and date it and refrigerate. Most sauerkrauts can keep 6 months or more if well refrigerated.
Andy’s Sugar Safe® Tips
Don’t be fooled by unhealthy supermarket pickled versions of homemade fermented foods. They are the product of high heat and pressure, which destroys nutrients and does not enhance health. Home fermentation allows the beneficial bacteria to proliferate creating lactic acid, which promotes health.
30g salt per litre water
Heat water in a pan, add salt and stir until dissolved. Cool thoroughly before using. This solution is used when a bit of extra liquid is needed to keep the ferment submerged.