I loved food projects, especially projects that don’t take too long. I’m very impatient, so fermenting seemed like a stretch for me, but I actually had everything on hand for this easy project. I wish I could say that I tried this because fermented foods are so good for us, but really, I like the idea of grilled onions and sauerkraut on a good quality grilled bratwurst. But really, what better way to showcase a food product than using it to top tasty encased meats? I decided to try small batch fermenting using a mason jar and an airlock lid, the Ebay version of this. Do you need to buy anything fancy? No, but I would recommend following the directions in the original recipe.
Loosely based on a recipe from The Kitchn
1 small cabbage, sliced very thin
2 tablespoons of sea salt
Place the sliced cabbage into a large bowl, and mix in the salt with your hands. The goal is to remove the liquid from the cabbage using the salt and your fingers to squish. (Yes, that’s the technical term – we are squishing the cabbage.)
You should start seeing liquid in the bottom of the bowl quickly, and I quit squishing after I saw about a quarter cup of liquid.
The next step is to pack the cabbage and juice into a mason jar. I used a quart jar, but I think 2 pint jars would also work. Pack the cabbage into the jar as tight as you can. I used a cocktail muddler to pack it in (no longer a multi-tasking tool! You can use this, Alton Brown!) I fit the entire cabbage into the quart jar, and then topped it with the cabbage juice. I know, it sounds gross. Make sure you put a plate under the jar.
Top with the airlock venting lid, and it looks very scientific.
And now it sits in a cool, dark place for 2 days before checking on it. Mine was smelly, but not funky enough yet for my tastes. Check each day after that to make sure that it is fermented enough for you. You might find some liquid on the plate during that time, bubbling up from the jar.If you see mold, scrape it off. And yes, I realize that sounds gross. But I didn’t see any mold, just fizz. Very cool, but not visible on in pictures. I was very happy after 4 days, but you may want to wait longer. My kitchen stays warm, so I think it fermented a little faster than in a cooler kitchen.
And now for the finished product!