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Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and More

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

How to make fermented foods part of your life without much fuss.


Mary McCabe



The standard proportion for cabbage to salt:

5 lbs. cabbage and other crisp vegetables to 3 Tbsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt

Brine - 1 qt water to 1 ½ Tbsp. Sea salt

Math can be confusing since most of us don’t make 5 lbs. at a time.

I made 2 ½ lbs. Cabbage to keep it simple, with 1 ½ Tbsp. sea salt

It is essential to use a digital scale to weigh the vegetables to know the correct amount of salt.

A salinity ratio of 1.5% to 2.5% ensures a safe and delicious fermentation.


1. Shred the cabbage thinly and evenly. Put in a non-metal, food-grade container.

Add the sea salt and mix lightly with clean hands. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Begin to “massage” cabbage and sea salt with clean, well-rinsed hands, with no soap

residue. Continue to rub the cabbage mixture until a good amount of liquid is released,

about 10 minutes.

3. Place a portion of cabbage in a sterilized jar or crock. Use a tool

such as a kraut pounder, wooden spoon, or smasher to push down the cabbage, so

the brine is ½ inch above the kraut. Repeat in batches, pressing down

until all the kraut is in the container, leaving 2 inches of head space open to the top.

4. Press so the brine is above the kraut. Use a fermentation weight or food-grade plastic

a bag full of brine to set on top of the kraut.

5. Use cheesecloth or clean cotton to cover and a fermenting lid. Do not close the lid tightly.

It needs to allow any gas to be released. Place the kraut container on a shallow dish

to catch any brine overflow.

6. Leave the new kraut in an area for 5 to 8 days, not in direct sunlight, depending on

The temperature. The ideal temperature is 68 to 75 degrees. Check every day, and look for

bubbles. Once the liquid has a chance to settle and the bubbles no longer rise to the surface, it indicates that the fermentation has stopped. As a result, the color has gone from white to golden yellow.

7. Smell it. It should smell and taste like sauerkraut. You can store the kraut in the refrigerator, tightly covered for 2 to 3 months, ensuring the brine covers the kraut.

Sauerkraut Dish, Pickle Jar with Glass Weight, Brine Filled Bag & Lid

Sauerkraut Shown in Jar, as a side,

Glass & Brine Filled Bag Weight

*Mary's Notes

Amazon offers various fermentation products, such as Mason jars and Ball lids.

Sauerkraut needs an anaerobic (without oxygen) environment to ferment successfully.

To achieve this, you must ensure no air gets into the kraut mixture by using the weights or brine bag to keep the air out. Also, keep the kraut submerged under the brine to prevent spoilage.

Lay the outer cabbage leaves on top to keep any floaters from jumping to the top.




One large, heavy napa cabbage washed and well drained

3 or 4 scallions cut into two” lengths

One small carrot cut into two” slivers

¼ onion in half moons

6- 8 cloves of garlic minced

Thumb size piece of peeled ginger, julienne

1 Asian or Bosc pear slice thin strips

2 to 3-inch daikon radish, julienne

3 to 4 Nira cut into two” lengths

⅓ to ½ cup sea salt, kosher, or pure salt

Gochugaru - Korean red pepper flakes or powder

Starch gravy

¼ cup sweet rice flour

One cup of dashi stock (1 ½ cup water to two” piece kombu slow boil to one cup)


  1. Cut napa cabbage in half and quarters. Carefully spread loose cabbage leaves, and sprinkle salt between each layer. Place in a bowl, covered, cut side down for

  2. Four hours up to overnight.

  3. You can tell the cabbage is ready by bending and rolling the thick part back and forth.

  4. Rinse between each leaf at least three times in a bowl and then under running water. Be gentle.

  5. Drain the rinsed cabbage in a strainer for 30 minutes.

  6. Tasting is the best way to see if the cabbage is salted correctly.