At this year’s Maker Faire, I learned how to make sauerkraut. The hands-on workshop was put on by Todd of Happy Girl Kitchen which I’ve enjoyed their fine products many a time. Who knew sauerkraut was so easy to make? Apparently not me.
Basically, it’s just cabbage and salt. That’s it. And time for the microorganisms to do its fermenting thing, given the right conditions, you’ll have crunchy, tangy, homemade sauerkraut. In a nutshell, chop up the cabbage, add sea salt, mix and squeeze the bejesus out of the cabbage to draw out the water to create a brine. The brine allows the cabbage to ferment and not rot or soften.
Add other optional spices such as juniper berries or red pepper chili flakes. Pack into a jar and place a folded cabbage leaf on top to help keep the cabbage submerged in the brine. It’s bright green when it’s freshly packed, see above photo.
Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage to force the water out until the brine rises above the level of the cabbage. After several days, start tasting the kraut, it’s done when it tastes good to you. Store in the fridge. For a handy, more in-depth, how to make sauerkraut in a mason jar (that doesn’t rely on my memory) click over to The Kitchen.
The jar I came home with is now much lighter in color, and has fermented to the point where I’m ready to dig in. I suppose I could have eaten it straight out of the jar, but I already knew exactly what I was going to do with it.
I’ve been scarfing down the Not-A-Reuben Sandwich from the blog Glitter and Glue. Simple and easy to make, it has everything I like – corned tofu on rye bread with kimchi, vegan mayo and avocado.
I’ve always left out the kimchi as I never seem to have any, but now I have sauerkraut to put on my sandwich. It was good without a fermented condiment but it’s nicer with, especially since I made it myself.
Vegan Eats at Maker Faire Bay Area