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How to make sauerkraut

Home fermenting is easier than you might think and this easy-to-follow sauerkraut recipe means you’ll always have a jar of tangy, pickled cabbage in the fridge to add to your dishes. Don’t forget to screenshot the ingredients list at the bottom so you can pick up what you need.

  1. Prepare the equipment

    Fermenting the cabbage with salt means that you don’t need to sterilise jars or equipment beforehand, but you should ensure everything that comes in contact with the cabbage (including your hands) is very clean. Wash a large mixing bowl, chopping board, sharp knife and 2 x 1 ltr preserving jars (or equivalent volume) with hot soapy water and rinse well with boiling water. 

    Prepare the equipment
  2. Shred the cabbage

    Discard any wilted or tough outer leaves from 1½-2 cabbages, then cut into quarters and remove the tough core. Shred as finely as possible, either slicing finely with a sharp knife or using a mandolin or food processor with a slicing attachment. Weigh out 1.6kg and put in a large bowl. Stir 2 tbsp natural sea (or rock) salt into the cabbage and leave to rest for 15 mins.

    Shred the cabbage
  3. Massage the cabbage

    With clean hands, scrunch and massage the cabbage to help it release liquid. After about 10 mins the cabbage should have reduced in size by about a half and have a pool of brine at the bottom of the bowl. 

    Massage the cabbage
  4. Add the spices

    Add 1 tsp caraway seeds and 1 tsp black peppercorns and mix into the cabbage.

    Add the spices
  5. Fill the jars

    Spoon the cabbage into 2 x 1 ltr preserving jars (or equivalent volume), pushing it down tightly into the jars and making sure there are no air bubbles and leaving a 2cm gap at the top of the jar. Pour over the brine from the bowl to cover the cabbage completely – if there isn’t quite enough liquid for the cabbage to be fully submerged, mix together 1 tsp natural sea (or rock) salt with 250ml water and use this to top up the jars.

    Fill the jars
  6. Press and seal

    Cover the top of the cabbage with a circle of baking paper and add a small weight to the jar, such as a clean egg cup or shot glass, pressing it down tightly to keep the cabbage and brine below the paper. Loosely screw the lids on the jar so that gases can escape during the fermentation. Label and date the jar, put on a plate to catch any escaping liquid and store at room temperature away from direct sunlight for 1 week. 

    Press and seal
  7. Ferment and serve

    Keep an eye on the sauerkraut through the first week. The brine may bubble up from under the lid, so make sure that the cabbage stays well submerged. After 7 days you can eat the sauerkraut as it or allow to ferment further for up to 4 weeks for a deeper flavour. Once ready, remove the weight, seal the jar tightly and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. It will continue to ferment while in the fridge but at a much slower rate. Serve with sausages or grilled meats, add to stews or layer into sandwiches and salads.

    Step By Step 2018 Sauerkraut 7.5

  8. Ingredients

    We've made a handy shopping list so you can get everything you need to make your own homemade sauerkraut. Don't forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    1½-2 white cabbages (depending on size)
    2 tbsp natural sea salt or rock salt, plus extra to make a brine
    1 tsp caraway seeds
    1 tsp black peppercorns

    Makes 40 servings

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      0g 0%
    • Saturates

      0g 0%
    • Sugars

      2g 2%
    • Salt

      0.8g 13%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 2g Protein 0.5g Fibre 1.3g