Fermented Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger Sauerkraut
1 Savoy cabbage (2-3lb), finely shredded*
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger**
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3 teaspoons fine-ground sea salt
Caraway seeds (optional)
1 cup brine (1 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in 1 cup of filtered water)
1. Finely chop up the cabbage. As your chopping board fills up with cabbage, toss it into a large bowl (or pot). Add the grated carrots and ginger. Sprinkle over the salt, garlic and optional caraway seeds.
2. Wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and start scrunching that cabbage with your hands! Alternatively you could pound the cabbage with a wooden utensil instead of your hands, but I prefer to use my hands. The purpose of this step is to release the juices and to make sure that the cabbage, salt, carrots and ginger are mixed together really well. Do this for about 5-10 minutes. If you tilt the bowl and move the cabbage out of the way, you should start to see juice collecting in the bottom of the bowl.
3. When everything has been mixed and scrunched really well, and you have juice collecting in the bottom of your bowl, you’re ready to transfer the contents to the jar that it will ferment in.
Note: It’s important to use a glass jar as opposed to a plastic or metallic container because the glass is non-reactive and won’t interfere with the fermentation process. Also, make sure you have a way of weighing down the contents while they’re fermenting. I like to use a drinking glass that fits snugly into the mouth of my fermenting jar.
4. Pack the vegetables into the jar tightly to remove as many air pockets as possible. It is important that the vegetables are covered in a good inch of brine so that they are not exposed to the air. Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process, which means it won’t work in the presence of oxygen. If, after packing the vegetables down in the jar, the brine is not completely covering the vegetables by a good inch, then make up some additional brine by dissolving 1 teaspoon of sea salt in 1 cup of filtered water and gently pouring it into the fermenting jar.
5. Place a weight on top of the vegetables to keep them submerged (I use a drinking glass or you could use a glass jar). I always get a few bits of vegetables floating to the surface but that has never caused me any problems.
6. Cover the fermenting jar with a light tea towel and place it on a spare dinner plate or similar because sometimes during the fermentation process the level of brine continues to rise, and may spill out of the fermenting jar. Leave it at room temperature for a week. My favorite fermenting spot is in our coat cupboard because it is cool and has an even temperature! My kitchen frequently gets too hot (above 75F).
7. After a week I removed my jar of sauerkraut from the cupboard. I could tell it was good because it had a nice crisp, tangy smell to it and no signs of mold or discoloration.