Nat­u­rally fer­mented cab­bage (sauer­kraut)

go! Platteland - - COOK WITH CABBAGE -

Lacto-fer­mented cab­bage is full of nat­u­ral bac­te­ria that are good for you. The Korean ver­sion is called kim­chi, but this ba­sic recipe can be given more zing with spring onion, chilli, gin­ger, gar­lic and fish sauce.

Makes a 2ℓ jar Prepa­ra­tion time 1 hour plus fer­ment­ing time

You need

• a 1,3kg head of cab­bage • 1½ ta­ble­spoons (22,5ml) coarse sea salt • 1 ta­ble­spoon (15ml) car­away seeds

This is how

Ster­ilise two 1ℓ jars (or a 2ℓ jar). Also ster­ilise two much smaller jars (50ml each) that fit in­side the open­ings of the large jars. The smaller jars will go in­side the large jars on top of the cab­bage to keep it sub­merged.

Re­move the outer leaves of the cab­bage and cut out the hard core. Finely shred the rest of the cab­bage. Place all the cab­bage in a large mix­ing bowl with the salt and, us­ing clean hands, mas­sage the salt into the cab­bage for 10 min­utes un­til it starts to soften and cre­ate its own liq­uid. Mix the car­away seeds through the cab­bage.

Layer the cab­bage in lay­ers in the larger jars and press each layer down with a wooden spoon to re­move any air bub­bles. Don’t over­fill the jars – leave at least 3cm at the top. ( Take care to add all the liq­uid in the mix­ing bowl.)

Fill the smaller jars with water and re­place their lids, then place them on top of the cab­bage in­side the larger jars. Stretch a piece of cheese­cloth over the open­ing of each large jar and se­cure the cheese­cloth in place with a rub­ber band. Stand the jars away from di­rect sun­light in a spot where the tem­per­a­ture will re­main fairly con­stant. Af­ter 24 hours, press the cab­bage down into the jars again to make sure it’s cov­ered by the liq­uid. If suf­fi­cient nat­u­ral liq­uid hasn’t been re­leased to cover the cab­bage en­tirely, add just enough clean water.

When the cab­bage starts to fer­ment, you’ll no­tice bub­bles form­ing. Taste it af­ter 3 days. It will take 3-6 days and is ready once the sour­ness is to your lik­ing. Scoop off any foam that forms on top, cover the jars with lids and place in the fridge where they can be stored for at least 2 months.

This recipe for lacto-fer­mented cab­bage re­sults in a ba­sic sauer­kraut. To make kim­chi, add car­rot and chilli to the veg mix­ture.

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