Timeframe: 1 Week or Longer

Sauerkraut is an easy vegetable ferment that lends itself to improvisation with ingredients.


  • 1 head of red or green cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons of kosher or sea salt (non-iodized)
  • optional: carrots, beets, radishes, onion, garlic, apples, pears, spices like caraway or dill


  • mixing bowl
  • mason jars
  • canning funnel (optional)


  1. Chop cabbage finely. The finer the pieces, the more surface area will release water.
  2. Mix in salt with cabbage gradually. Stop adding salt once cabbage becomes saturated with its own water (squeezing a handful should release water).
    Have a scale? The salt will be about 2% of the combined weight of the vegetables.

  3. Blend in other finely chopped ingredients and pack tightly in mason jars. Water must rise over the surface of the food for anaerobic fermentation to begin.
  4. Cover with a loose lid, and write the date on the lid with a dry erase marker. Set each jar in a bowl on the countertop away from direct sunlight.

    Within a few days, the vegetables will begin bubbling and brine might overflow from the jar.

  5. Check daily to ensure the cabbage stays submerged, and pack down if necessary.
  6. Taste after one week, and ferment till it reaches the desired level of sourness. Cap tightly and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


Keep your ferments submerged. A white bloom on the surface is safe — scrape it off and eat sauerkraut below. If the sauerkraut turns any other color, oxygen has stopped fermentation and enabled unknown microorganisms to colonize. Compost the entire batch.