Recipes

Pink Sauerkraut

The perfect pairing with loads of dishes and great for your gut health.

A spoon of this kraut adds a tangy bite and probiotic goodness to a host of dishes. A few early fails led me to do some research and experimentation, which has resulted in this go-to method. Adding red cabbage makes it look like a beautiful pink relish rather than soggy cabbage, which makes you use it more often.

Makes 1.5L jar

1 medium-sized cabbage (about 1.3kg for a 1.5L jar),
sliced finely as possible.

For pink kraut use a ratio of:
⅔ white cabbage to
⅓ red cabbage

Fine sea or Himalayan pink salt (see tip 1)

1 tbsp caraway seeds
(see tip 5)

Sterilise a 1.5L jar (see tip 2) .

Weigh sliced cabbage and allow for 1 tablespoon of salt per 1kg of cabbage. To ensure even salt coverage, place a handful of the cabbage in a bowl, sprinkle a pinch of salt over top, then repeat until all cabbage and salt is in the bowl. Mix briefly and leave for 10 minutes, then start massaging
it until it has released a good amount of juice (see tip 3). Mix through the caraway seeds.

Fill the jar up to within an inch of the top, stuffing it in as tightly as you can to remove any oxygen pockets. The juices should cover the cabbage. It rises during the first stage of the ferment, but you don’t want any more than an inch of oxygen in the jar. In the first couple of weeks the sauerkraut
will fizz and juices may overflow, so place the jar on a tray or in a bowl to avoid a mess.

Leave to ferment for at least a month for probiotic microbes to grow. Don’t open it — oxygen is the enemy! Unopened, it can stay in the cupboard for a long time (I’m currently eating a five-month-old batch). Once you crack it open, put it in the fridge to prevent mould and browning.

Fermenting Tips

1.  Non-iodised salt should make up 2–3% of the kraut; a good rule of thumb is 1 tablespoon
per 1kg of cabbage. It helps prevent the cabbage from spoiling, but too much prevents the lactobacilli from thriving.

2. I use 1.5L Fido jars (which generally fit about 1 medium-sized cabbage per jar, plus it fits perfectly
in the fridge door). This brand of jar lets the CO2 out as the pressure builds during the first fermentation period, but doesn’t let any oxygen in. I’ve bought cheap jars and the batches have
spoilt from oxygen getting in. Buy Fido jars at Mitre 10 Mega, Gourmet Trader in Gate Pa or
online at arthurholmes.co.nz

3. The fresher the cabbage, the more juice the salt will draw out. An older cabbage might need
a gentle pound with a potato masher or something like that. This cabbage brine helps keep the oxygen away during fermentation, so the more the better.

4. If it browns at the top (when oxygen causes spoilage) or if it has any sign of mould, you should discard the batch.

5. Experiment with flavours! We like the traditional flavour and versatility of caraway, but you could include kaffir lime leaves, lemongrass, sliced chillies, grated ginger or turmeric, cumin or coriander seeds. Lots of possibilities!

Recipe and Image by Steve & Jill Kirkby