Slow Sauerkraut
Recipe type: Fermented vegetable
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: About 3 quarts/liters
  • 5-6 lbs./2.5 kg red or green cabbage (about 2 medium heads)
  • 2 medium tart apples (like Granny Smith) or 2 medium fennel bulbs
  • 2" to 3" (5 to 8cm) or (20-30g by weight) fresh ginger root
  • 3 Tablespoons/45 mL sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL dried caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL dried juniper berries
Prep & Season Veg
  1. Slice cabbage in half lengthwise, so that stem keeps each half together. Shred each half into ¼” ribbons using v-slicer, mandoline, or chef’s knife into large mixing bowl.
  2. After shredding half of the cabbage, add half of the salt (about 1.5 tablespoons). It will start to work while you are shredding the remainder. Brine will form as salt draws water from cabbage. Repeat until all cabbage has been shredded.
  3. If adding fennel bulb, slice the lower (white) part thinly (using a chef's knife or on mandoline) and add to bowl. Pluck the fronds and add them, too. Discard the fibrous green stems and tough root.
  4. If adding apple, remove core, then slice thinly (using a chef's knife or on mandoline) and add to bowl.
  5. If using organic ginger, no need to peel, but if you choose, peel skin using a spoon, then chop finely and add to bowl.
  6. Add spices to cabbage. Mix thoroughly with tongs or clean hands, squeezing or pounding cabbage to release more water and create brine.
  7. Add mixture to glass jar(s) or ceramic crock. Make sure to add every last drop of brine that formed in bowl into the container(s).
  8. Pack down contents so that surface is even and flat.
  1. Place a lid or plate that fits into the container on top of the surface. Add a weight like a sterilized rock, a jar or glass bottle filled with water. OR, if using a small batch fermentation kit, add the weight(s) to the jar.
  2. There should be enough brine to completely cover the contents when weighed down.
  3. Cover container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep out flies and dust. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties or elastic strap. Stash it in a cool, dark place– a cellar, under the stairs, or under the sink in the kitchen.
  1. Check on it every few days. Mold and/or yeasts may form on the surface. THIS IS NORMAL. Remove weight and lid, and wash them with warm soapy water. Scoop out any surface mold, getting as much as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all. Then stir the contents and re-pack the surface. Any residual mold will quickly be killed in the acidic environment of the brine. The contents are safe under the brine.
  2. Cabbage will start to ferment within a few days. It’s up to you how long you want to keep it fermenting. Fermentation time varies with the seasons and the climate. Four to 8 weeks in the winter and 2 to 4 weeks in warmer months are typical fermentation times.
Recipe by Fermenters Club at