Chinese sauerkraut dates back almost 5,000 years! Traditional varieties are made with Chinese (Napa) cabbage or mustard cabbage (gai choy).
I consider this recipe to be a hybrid of sauerkraut and kimchi, mainly because we chop the cabbage or greens into large pieces rather than shred them.
- 2 lbs. (1 kg) Mustard greens (gai choy) or Napa (Chinese) cabbage
- 6-8 fresh or dried chilies, whole
- ½ ounce (10-15g) fresh ginger root
- 3 teaspoons (15 ml) or 10g by weight sea salt
- Lightly wash the cabbage or greens leaves to remove any dirt or debris.
- Sprinkle leaves with salt, lightly massage them and place in a bowl for 30 minutes to an hour, to let the leaves begin to wilt and lose some water.
- Chop the cabbage or greens into 2 inch (5cm) pieces.
- Mince or slice garlic into matchsticks.
- For a hotter dish, chop the chillies. For less spicy, leave them whole.
- Mix all veggies together and any brine that forms, and pack into a jar.
- Add a weight to the mixture. Enough brine to cover the veggies should form on its own over the next day.
- Cover with an airlock device, or a clean breathable cloth, then secure with a rubber band, or the lid ring (if using a mason jar).
- Stash it in a cool, dark place– a cellar, in a kitchen cabinet, or under the stairs or the kitchen sink. It will ferment fine in a brighter environment, too, but do your best to avoid putting the containers in a sunny spot. In fact, I ferment my sauerkraut in a conspicuous spot, only so that I am reminded to check on it every few days.
- During fermentation, the veggies should take on a slight golden color.
- Remove weight and replace lid with regular tight fitting lid.
- Store in refrigerator. Lasts in refrigerator several months