- 2kg firm, organic cabbage (remove any leathery outer leaves), cored and thinly shredded
- 3 tbsp coarse crystal sea salt (or 6 tbsp flaky sea salt)
- 1 tsp caraway seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
Thoroughly wash a large tub or bowl, then rinse with boiling water from the kettle (if you have a dishwasher pop it in there on a hot cycle). Make sure your hands (and anything coming into contact with the cabbage) are super clean. It’s wise to use a container that will comfortably fit the softened cabbage, allowing several inches of room at the top to avoid overflow.
Put the cabbage and salt in your bowl. Massage the salt into the cabbage for about 5 mins, wait 5 mins, then repeat. You should end up with a much-reduced volume of cabbage sitting in its own brine. Mix in the caraway seeds and peppercorns. Cover the bowl with cling wrap.
Cover the surface of the cabbage with cling film, pressing down to squeeze out all the air bubbles. Whilst keeping covered weigh down with plates or weights (aim to cover the cabbage as much as possible). Cover with a tea-towel and leave in a dark place at a cool room temperature for at least five days. It will be ready to eat after five days, but for maximum flavour leave the cabbage to ferment for anywhere between 2-6 weeks (or until the bubbling subsides).
Check the cabbage every day or so, releasing any gases that have built up as it ferments, giving it a stir to release the bubbles. If any scum forms, remove it, rinse the weights in boiling water and replace the cling film. You should see bubbles appearing within the cabbage, and possibly some foam on the top of the brine. It’s important to keep it at an even, cool room temperature – too cool and the ferment will take longer than you’d like, too warm and the sauerkraut may become mouldy or ferment too quickly, leading to a less than perfect result.
The cabbage will become increasingly sour the longer it’s fermented, so taste regularly. When you like the flavour, it’s ready.