It’s very evident from the changes in food on these pages that I am susceptible to food fads and trends. Just this weekend, we put our juicer out for the council collection as green smoothies have faded out of our diets. Our kitchen now has evidence of embracing (perhaps a bit after the fact) fermentation and slow pickling processes. My other half is into brewing his own kombucha and I now ensure I have a jar of this red cabbage sauerkraut on hand.
I call this a “quick” sauerkraut as by using vinegar – and not just relying on the release of natural moisture from the pickle as some recipes call for – the sauerkraut develops a good flavour within a week and then can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks.
The only fiddly part is making sure you sterilise the jars. I do this by topping jars with boiling water, then carefully draining and drying in a an oven on low heat for about 10 minutes.
- 1 head red cabbage
- 1 heaped tablespoon of salt
- 200 ml apple cider vinegar
- 200 ml water
- 75g sugar
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds*
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries*
- Cracked black pepper
*The mustard seeds and juniper berries are just to add some flavour. If you can’t source these ingredients, you could try cloves, cinnamon or other spices.
Shred the red cabbage very fine. I use my trusty mandolin I bought on the cheap in Japan. But if you don’t have one, slice the cabbage into long fine strips using a knife.
Place in a bowl and sprinkle the salt and then toss through with a fork. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Once the cabbage has rested, lightly rinse the salt off the cabbage with water. I just give it a light rinse to keep some, but not all, of the salt for flavour.
Sprinkle over the mustard seeds, juniper berries, add a good few turns of cracked black pepper. Top with the vinegar, sugar and water and stir to combine.
Pack the red cabbage tightly into a large sterilised jar. You want the cabbage to be nice and firmly packed in so the liquid is equally distributed. Leave a centimetre or so at the top to allow for some rise while the cabbage ferments.
Store in a cool place in the kitchen. Remove the lid each day for a week to release any air building up. After a week, enjoy and store in the fridge.
My favourite way to serve sauerkraut is as a side at brunch, with creamy slow cooked scrambled eggs and avocado. I must give credit here to one of my favourite cafes in Bondi for this flavour combination – The Shop. The Shop does an awesome breakfast bowl with quinoa, a poached egg, haloumi, avocado and piercingly purple sauerkraut.