Kraut Recipes


Flavored Sauerkraut Recipes
sk02I’ll be adding to this list as I find (or create) new recipes. If you have any you’d like to recommend, please email me.

More detailed instructions for the basic sauerkraut recipe can be found on my Making Sauerkraut page.

Please use the links to jump to these notes if you’re new to culturing vegetables and have questions. If your question is not answered below, email me and I’ll answer if I can and add your question to this list.

What’s so special about sauerkraut?
Why use whey or other starters?
Why use an airlock?
Why would I need extra brine?
How much salt should I use?
How long does fermentation take? How do I know when it’s ready?
What affects culturing vegetables?
Why are recipes written by cabbage weight?
How long will my fermented vegetables last?
Where can I find more details about the fermentation process?

Jump to Recipes – All of these make about 1/2 gallon unless noted otherwise.

Golden Kraut
Garlic Lemon Dill Kraut
Japanese Kraut
Japanese Kraut #2: Sushi Kraut
Chlorophyll Kraut
Latin American Kraut (Cortido)
Southwestern Kraut
Simple Kimchi
Basic Kimchi

Basic Sauerkraut Recipe (adapted from Nourishing Traditions, page 92)
Makes about 1/2 gallon

Step-by-step instructions with photos are here: http://herbanfarmer.blogspot.com/2014/10/how-to-make-sauerkraut-basics.html

Ingredients
3-1/2 to 4 lbs of cabbage, cored & shredded (save leaves and core)
1-2 TB sea salt
1 TB caraway seeds [optional]
[4 TB whey, optional. If using whey, use 1 tsp less sea salt–I will not repeat this for the other recipes, just know it’s an option] See Why use whey for more info
Extra brine if necessary (1 tsp salt to 1 cup water, again I won’t repeat this)

Basic Instructions
1. In a large bowl, mix shredded cabbage and salt.

2. Massage (crunch) with hands and/or wooden pounder until cabbage begins to soften and release juice.

3. [Mix in whey & caraway, optional].

4. Put all ingredients in a clean half gallon jar and press down until all air is squeezed out and ingredients are below juice level. Use 3-4 folded cabbage leaves and the core to pressure cabbage below juice level. You may need to add brine. Put lid and air lock on jar. Place jar in a bowl or other container in case it overflows, store in cool, dark place. You can write the date in Sharpie on the jar.

5. Check in 3 days to make sure it’s bubbling. [If you used whey, the kraut may be ready.] It should smell like sauerkraut. Without whey, fermentation will take a little longer. You can continue to ferment for 7-10 days, checking every few days until it has the tart flavor you like.

6. Once you’re happy with the flavor, you can transfer the kraut to pint containers and refrigerate to keep for longer periods. Some say it will last for 6 months in the fridge, but in the old days they’d keep it in barrels on ships for years.

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Golden Kraut
(adapted from Cultures for Health, http://www.culturesforhealth.com/golden-kraut-recipe/)

Garlic, ginger, and turmeric are used in many health tonics. Tumeric is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory and is good for people with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Ingredients
About 3-1/2 to 4 pounds cabbage, cored & shredded
1-2 tablespoons sea salt, or to taste
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1.5 tablespoons ground turmeric

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Instructions #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to cold storage in a root cellar, cool basement or room, or refrigerator.

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Garlic Lemon Dill Kraut
(adapted from Autoimmune Disease… Cause & Cure, pg. 212)

Ingredients
About 3-1/2 to 4 pounds cabbage, cored & shredded
1-2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
1 pkg fresh dill, chopped
2-3 TB fresh lemon juice (to taste)
3-4 cloves of garlic (to taste), minced or pressed

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Instructions #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to cold storage in a root cellar, cool basement or room, or refrigerator. Makes about 1/2 gallon

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Japanese Sauerkraut
(from Nourishing Traditions, page 94)

Ingredients
3-1/2 to 4 pounds Napa (or regular) cabbage, cored & shredded
2 Tsp Sea Salt (less salt because the soy is salty)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 TB naturally fermented soy sauce
2 TB fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Instructions #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to cold storage in a root cellar, cool basement or room, or refrigerator. Makes about 1/2 gallon

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Japanese Sauerkraut #2 – Sushi Kraut

This was inspired by my love of the flavors I associate with sushi: soy, ginger, wasabi (or in this case, horseradish), seaweed and lemon.

Ingredients
3-1/2 to 4 pounds Napa (or regular) cabbage, cored & shredded
2 Tsp Sea Salt (less salt because the soy is salty)
6 green onions, chopped
about 3/4 cup reconstituted seaweed* ( sliced into pieces about 1/4″ x 3/4″ )
1 TB grated fresh ginger
1 TB horseradish, grated (you could use wasabi instead)
2 TB naturally fermented soy sauce
2 TB fresh lemon juice

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Instructions #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to cold storage in a root cellar, cool basement or room, or refrigerator. Makes about 1/2 gallon

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Chlorophyll Kraut
(adapted from Cultures for Health, http://www.culturesforhealth.com/chlorophyll-kraut-recipe)

Chlorophyll is the pigment that makes green vegetables and leaves convert the sun’s energy into food. It’s also why grass fed animals have high Omega 3s. It’s a strong antioxidant and has a lot of other healthy benefits. http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-amazing-benefits-of-chlorophyll/ The greens in this kraut give it a nice healthy boost of chlorophyll. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Ingredients
About 3-1/2 lbs cabbage, shredded
1-3 tablespoons sea salt or to taste
2 bunches fresh parsley, chopped
2 small, or 1 very large, bunch of fresh collard greens, stems removed and leaves chopped
2-4 garlic cloves to taste, minced
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Sauerkraut Recipe #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to a refrigerator.

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Cortido (Latin American Sauerkraut)
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/cortido-latin-american-sauerkraut-recipe

Cortido is similar to sauerkraut in that it is a lacto-fermented cabbage but it is spiced up with flavors from Latin America. How you make this really depends on what you have on hand. You could omit the carrots and up the cabbage, or cut back on the onions, and you might want to throw some garlic in the mix, as noted below in the ingredients. Whichever way you make it be sure it includes cabbage, oregano, onion, and red pepper flakes for that Latin American flavor. Excellent served alongside grilled meat or as part of a spread of taco fixings. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Ingredients
About 3-1/2 lbs cabbage, cored and shredded
1-3 tablespoons sea salt or to taste
1 cup grated carrots
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise and very finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Sauerkraut Recipe #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to a refrigerator.

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Southwestern Kraut from
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/southwestern-kraut-recipe

This ferment has all the crunch and tang of sauerkraut, with the added flavors of the southwest. This kraut lends delicious flavor, crunch, and probiotics to tacos, Mexican-flavored salads, beans, and any other south-of-the-border dish. Makes about 1/2 gallon.

Ingredients
About 3-1/2 lbs cabbage, cored and shredded
1-3 tablespoons sea salt
2 bunches of green onions
1 large bunch of cilantro
4 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeded if less heat is desired
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Sauerkraut Recipe #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to a refrigerator.

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Savory Sauerkraut

Ingredients
About 3 lbs cabbage, cored and shredded
About 1/2 lb savoy or napa cabbage
1-3 tablespoons sea salt
About 1 cup each of chopped: beet tops, mustard greens, squash blossoms, kale or any combination of them
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

Instructions
Crunch cabbages with salt as done in the Basic Sauerkraut Recipe #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 7 to 10 days. Once the kraut is cultured to your taste preference, transfer to a refrigerator. Makes about 1/2 gallon

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Kimchi Two Ways

Simple Kimchi (no daikon radish or fish sauce)
http://www.culturesforhealth.com/simple-kimchi-recipe

Many kimchi recipes call for things like fish sauce or daikon radish or chili paste – all ingredients that can be hard to come by unless you’re working in a traditional Korean kitchen or have easy access to an Asian market.

This recipe for kimchi is simple and can be made with ingredients you can find at the farmer’s market, or maybe even your own garden. Adjust the heat to your preference. Makes ? Maybe more than 1/2 gallon.

Ingredients
2 large heads of Napa cabbage, chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons sea salt or to taste
2 large bunches of green onions, sliced thin
garlic to taste, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (to taste)
1 to 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes or 1/4 lb fresh chilies minced (to taste)

Instructions
Crunch cabbage with salt as done in the Basic Sauerkraut Recipe #1 & #2, then mix in the other ingredients. Jar ingredients per #3. Add extra brine as needed. Proceed with fermentation for 3 to 5 days then transfer to a refrigerator.

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Not As Simple Napa Cabbage Kimchi from
http://www.chow.com/recipes/29505-basic-napa-cabbage-kimchi-kimchee
Makes about a 1.5 quarts

Ingredients
1 (2-pound) napa cabbage (or bok choi), chopped in about 2″ pieces
1/2 cup kosher salt
About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed
8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)
1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder (or to taste!)
1/4 cup fish sauce (can be found in grocery store ethnic foods aisle)
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 2-ounce piece)
1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves (from 6 to 8 medium cloves)
2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions
1. Place chopped vegetables in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss. Add cold water to cover and let sit 12-24 hours

2. Drain and rinse cabbage in colander. Press out extra liquid and transfer to a bowl.

3. Mix in remaining ingredients

4. Put mixed ingredients in a half gallon jar, seal and place in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (it may bubble). Burp jar then transfer to a refrigerator. Edible after 48 hours but even better after 1 week and will keep for a month.

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NOTES:

What’s so special about sauerkraut? It’s probiotic with many beneficial bacteria to help cure gut issues (most of our immune system is tied to gut health). It also aids digestion (enzymes), prevents cancer, treats ulcers, canker sores, helps with autoimmune disease, is high in C, K and B vitamins (and more), is good for the skin, cures acid reflux, scurvy, high in anti-oxidents (ocular health).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauerkraut

Why use a starter or whey? When you start out making kraut and other fermented veggies, whey is insurance that your fermentation will be successful. It’s introducing lactobacillus directly into your cabbage rather than relying on the bacteria already living on it. My experience is that my kraut was not as flavorful or crunchy using whey, so after a couple of batches I felt more confident and decided to ferment without a starter. Do what makes you comfortable. You can also buy a powder starter. My favorite online source is http://culturesforhealth.com Also, here’s a post written by someone who does not like using whey: http://kitchenlib.com/basics/why-i-dont-use-whey-as-a-vegetable-fermentation-starter/

Why use an airlock? Lactic-acid bacteria, responsible for creating a healthy, stable fermented food, thrive in a low or no-oxygen environment. Air-loving bacteria can get into your fermenting vegetables, causing an off color, odors and even spoilage. That’s why you need to make sure your veggies are below the liquid when fermenting. The airlock creates an anaerobic condition. Fermentation gas (carbon dioxide) pushes oxygen out of the jar and escapes through perforations in the cap. Dust, bugs, mold, bacteria and oxygen are kept out of the jar, due to both the cap and the seal created by the water barrier. The airlock also eliminates possible odors associated with fermentation.

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The importance of brine is to keep the vegetables under liquid to prevent mold and spoilage. Some people just just water, without the salt, but I like salt and it’s also extra insurance against spoilage. It retards the growth of bad bacterias and keeps vegetables crunchier. Some people use celery juice in the place of salt if they’re watching their salt consumption or don’t like salty foods.

This is a quote from the Wild Fermentation web site. The link to the full article is below it:

“The simple key to successful vegetable fermentation is to make sure your vegetables are submerged in liquid. That’s it, the big secret. Usually the liquid is salty water, also known as brine, but fermentation can be done without salt, or with other liquids, such as wine or whey. Typically, when fresh vegetables are chopped or grated in preparation for fermentation—which creates greater surface area—salting pulls out the vegetable juices via osmosis, and pounding or tamping the vegetables breaks down cell walls to further release juices, so no additional water is required. However, if the vegetables have lost moisture during long storage, occasionally some water is needed; if brine hasn’t risen to submerge the weighted vegetables by the following day, add a little water. In the case of vegetables left whole (cabbage heads, cucumbers, green tomatoes, string beans, okra, zucchini, eggplant, peppers—try anything), the vegetables should be submerged in brine.”
http://www.wildfermentation.com/category/sauerkrautrecipes/

Ratio of salt to cabbage:

2.5-3 tablespoons of non-iodized salt per 5 pounds of cabbage or roughly 1.5 tsp per pound. http://wellpreserved.ca/whats-the-salt-ratio-for-making-sauerkraut/

Brine recipe: 1 tsp salt to 1 cup of water

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How long does fermentation take? How do I know when it’s ready? That’s also not a complete science. If you are using a starter, it can take only 3-5 days. If you are making sauerkraut in a cool environment with just cabbage and no starter, it can take 7-10 days or even longer. Some people let their kraut continue to ferment without refrigeration but kept in a cool environment. If you have other vegetables in with the cabbage, they may start to get soft if you let it ferment too long. Unless it’s cauliflower, garlic, broccoli, carrots or other firm and sold vegetables. Soft does not mean spoiled, it’s just a matter of texture. It’s ready when you say it’s ready– if you like the taste, then it’s done. If you like it more sour, keep it in a cool place and let it develop.

What has the biggest effect on culturing is temperature. The warmer the temperature, the faster the ferment. I’ve heard ideal temperatures are between 68-75° F. In the summer I need to keep my jars in the basement in a cool dark closet. In the winter I can get away with keeping them in my office on the north side of the house (I’ve turned off the heat vent and keep the door closed). Also, if you’re using whey or other starters, they will ferment faster than if you’re just using brine. Putting your fermented veggies in the refrigerator will slow down the fermentation process to a snail’s pace.

Why weigh the cabbage? I’ve found that cabbages can be different with regards to weight and moisture content. Some cabbages have more air pockets in their leaves and are loosely packed, where others are dense and tight. That’s why weighing your cabbage for a recipe is more accurate than just saying to use a medium or large cabbage. Some cabbage may be drier either due to growing circumstances or sitting around in storage for a while, which is why sometimes you may need to add brine to your jar.

How long do they last? That’s a good question, I’ve not found anything “written in stone” specific. Most kraut recipes say it will last “for months” in cold storage (below 55° F). One site I found said two years, although the kraut will go soft, another said a year or more. I guess there are so many answers because storage temperature is such a big factor. In the 1760s sailing captains (such as Captain Cook) kept sauerkraut on their sailing ships, in barrels below deck, to prevent scurvy. http://modernfarmer.com/2014/04/magical-sour-cabbage-sauerkraut-helped-save-age-sail/

More detailed information about the fermentation process can be found on the Wild Fermentation web site. This is Sandor Katz’s web site. Affectionately called Sandor Kraut by his readers, Sandor is THE expert on fermentation. His detailed information on making kraut is here.

Loads of recipes can be found here: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/cultured-vegetable-fruit-condiment-recipes#cabbage

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