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German sauerkraut in a mason jar
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German Sauerkraut Recipe

Have you ever wondered how to make homemade sauerkraut? Let me tell you, it's super simple and uncomplicated. Also, it's much more delicious than sauerkraut from the grocery store. The best part? You only need two ingredients to make this German Sauerkraut Recipe!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine German
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of (1.3 kg) white cabbage outer leaves removed
  • 1 tbsp (15-20 g) sea salt (read instructions)
  • A few bay leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage, then weigh it on a kitchen scale.
  • Use 1-1.5% of salt. If your cabbage weighs 1 kg, use 10-15 grams of salt. Mine weighed 1.3 kg and I used 20 grams of sea salt.
  • Now cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Using a sharp large knife, slice each quarter down its length into very thin ribbons. The thinner you will cut the cabbage, the better will be the result. You can also use a mandolin, however, please watch your fingers!
  • Transfer the sliced cabbage to a large and clean mixing bowl and add the salt. Wash your hands and then start massaging/kneading the cabbage. Squeeze it and massage it for 5-10 minutes, don't be gentle.
  • The cabbage will release a lot of liquid which is perfect, the more liquid the better. You can now also add the bay leaves, the caraway seeds, and a few juniper berries (if using).
  • Pack the cabbage into a clean (sterilized) large mason jar and pour all the liquid on top. Use your fist or a pestle to push down the cabbage. The liquid should float on top of the cabbage.
  • You can weigh down the cabbage with one or two clean stones, which will ensure that the cabbage is submerged in its liquid. Then cover the jar with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and secure it with a rubber band.
  • Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days in a cool place 65 °F (ca. 18 °C) to 79 °F (ca. 26 °C). Keep the jar away from direct sunlight. Press down the cabbage at least twice a day. It's important that there is enough liquid on top. Taste it after 3 days (it ferments quicker in a warmer climate). If you like the taste, screw on the cap, and refrigerate.
  • I always allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 14-21 days in the refrigerator. The longer you let it ferment the more beneficial bacteria (probiotics) it will form. You can eat sauerkraut raw (most beneficial for the gut) or pan-fry it with some oil! Read the blog post for helpful tips and serving suggestions. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Always sterilize all equipment (especially the mason jar). Simply pour boiling water over it, then let it dry naturally.
  • Make sure the cabbage is covered with its liquid (brine) to avoid that mold starts growing.
  • Do not skip the salt as it's very important and also acts as a preservative. I always use sea salt or Himalayan salt. It's much healthier than refined iodized salt.
  • Make two jars at the same time. Ferment the second one longer than the first one and see which one you like more. Once you finish eating the first batch, start the third one and eat the second batch. This way, you always have fresh homemade sauerkraut on hand.
  • Season the fermented sauerkraut with a little smoked paprika which adds a wonderful flavor.
  • Recipe serves 12. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition Facts
German Sauerkraut Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 27 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Carbohydrates 3.9g1%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 1g2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.