Skip to content

How to make turmeric sauerkraut

Add a salty, sour kick to hot dogs and salads with homemade fermented sauerkraut. Adding turmeric gives a potent zing to this super German topping. High in probiotics, sauerkraut is great for gut health, so get the mason jar out and start pickling this super food.

  1. Coring the cabbage

    First clean the equipment – including a chopping board, knife, large mixing bowl, mixing spoon, 1ltr preserving jar and teaspoon – with hot soapy water and rinse with boiling water to remove any unwanted bacteria.

    With clean hands, remove any damaged or wilted leaves from the cabbage, then cut into quarters and remove the tough core. Reserve a flexible quarter leaf, then slice the rest as thinly as possible.

    With a sharp knife, cut the cabbage in half lengthwise through the base, then halve again. Locate the hard core and cut into it at an angle where it meets the leaves to remove from each quarter.

    Coring the cabbage
  2. Adding the salt

    Transfer 800g shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl, add the salt and mix with clean hands to thoroughly combine. If you have more or less than 800g cabbage, tweak the amount of salt accordingly so you have 2g salt per 100g cabbage. Set the bowl aside, uncovered, at room temperature for 15 mins.

    The ratio of salt to cabbage is key. Too little and the cabbage will ferment too quickly, too much and it will be too slow. It’s important to use natural salt, as additives like iodine can inhibit good bacteria and lead to over-salty sauerkraut.

    Adding the salt
  3. Squeezing the cabbage

    With clean hands, start to squeeze and scrunch the cabbage. This will take 5-10 mins. When the cabbage is ready, it will have reduced by half and there will be about 200ml brine in the bottom of the bowl. Add the spices and mix thoroughly with the mixing spoon.

    Squeezing the cabbage helps break down the structure and draw out the moisture needed to preserve the sauerkraut. You need enough brine to completely cover the cabbage so oxygen doesn’t cause it to spoil as it ferments.

    Squeezing the cabbage
  4. Packing the jar

    Using the same spoon, scoop everything into the jar, packing tightly and pressing down to remove any air bubbles. Scrape the inside of the jar with the teaspoon so every shred of cabbage is below the brine.

    It is important to really pack the jar as pockets of oxygen left in the sauerkraut can cause it to spoil as it ferments. Leave at least 5-6cm between the cabbage and the lid, for the weight and to allow for expansion during fermentation.

    Packing the jar
  5. Sealing the jar

    Cover the top of the shredded cabbage with the reserved cabbage leaf, making sure it covers all the shreds. Press down until fully submerged with 1cm brine above the cabbage, then fill the sandwich bag with water and put it on top to weigh down the cabbage and keep it in place. If you need extra brine to submerge the cabbage, mix 2g salt with 100ml water and use enough to cover the cabbage.

    The weight helps to keep the cabbage under the brine, as cabbage exposed to oxygen will rot rather than ferment. You could use a clean shot glass or mini ramekin as a weight instead.

    Sealing the jar
  6. Leaving to ferment

    Screw on the lid but do not seal completely (if using a clip top jar, don’t fully fasten the clip), as gas still needs to escape during the fermentation process. Place the jar on a plate or bowl to catch any overflow juices during fermentation. Store in a dark place (18°C-22°C) for at least 7 days. After 2-3 days, the mixture should start to bubble. If the temperature is below 18°C, this may take longer.

    After 7 days (at 18°C-22°C) you can open the jar to taste. If the brine level has dropped, add more 2% salt-water solution to top it up to a 1cm depth. At this point the sauerkraut is ready to eat, but leaving it (with the lid loose to allow gas to escape) for up to 4 weeks will enhance the flavour. When ready, seal the jar fully and transfer to the fridge, where it will keep for up to 6 months*.

    The time you leave the sauerkraut depends on how salty, sour and crunchy you like it. Taste after 7 days to check flavour and texture. Remember, the more you open the jar, the more likely it is to spoil.

    *If the sauerkraut starts to smell, becomes discoloured or slimy, it is contaminated and will need to be discarded.

    Leaving to ferment
  7. Ingredients list

    We've made a handy shopping list to help you make this delicious homemade turmeric sauerkraut recipe. Don't forget to screenshot before you go shopping!

    1kg white cabbage
    16g (2 tsp) Saxa fine sea salt or Tidman’s natural sea salt**
    ½ tsp caraway seeds
    1 tsp black peppercorns
    1 tsp turmeric
    You will need
    1ltr glass jar with lid
    1 small plastic sandwich bag

    **Different salts will vary in volume compared to their weight. We have given the volume of these two salt brands (2 tsp) as 16g may be difficult to measure on home scales.

    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      0g 0%
    • Saturates

      0g 0%
    • Sugars

      3g 3%
    • Salt

      1g 17%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 3g Protein 0.8g Fibre 1.9g