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Sauerkraut or Kimchi

What you need: 

1 head green or red cabbage, shredded
1 bunch radishes, sliced, optional
2 (1") cubes fresh ginger, sliced finely, optional
4 cloves garlic, sliced finely, optional
2-4 tablespoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne, optional

What you do: 

1. Don't wash your cabbage or radishes unless they have visible soil on them. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and salt thoroughly. Add cayenne now if desired.
2. Cover and let sit until the cabbage looks wilted and some liquid has pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Press firmly into a large, clean glass jar or several smaller ones.
3. Push the shreds down until enough liquid seeps out to cover everything well. If you feel you cannot get anymore liquid out but need more, add some clean, salted water. Don't fill the jars too tightly because gasses will form, the mass will expand and the liquid might be pressured out of the jar and end up on your counter!
4. Check for mold every once in a while and skim it off if any forms. Also taste-test every once in a while to see how sour you like it. I start to like mine once it hits the 1 week mark, but I keep it at around 71 degrees Fahrenheit. The hotter, the faster it will ferment.
The cayenne, ginger, garlic version more resembles Kimchi. The plain cabbage resembles sauerkraut. If you are going for traditional, you can add juniper berries, caraway seeds, and apple shreds to the cabbage.
I like to make mine with cayenne, ginger, and garlic because it inhibits mold forming at the surface. The mold shouldn't be harmful, but watch out for large amounts or brightly colored mold, those could be bad signs. In those cases, toss the affected jar.
If you have a good batch, you can use leftover juices to "inoculate" a new batch. This also causes the new batch to ferment faster.
Once you have this technique down, I challenge you to try this with different veggies. Cabbage and radishes are exceptionally easy to ferment, but almost any veggie will work. Try it!

Preparation Time: 
1 week (45 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Servings: 
1

SO HOW'D IT GO?

I LOVE fermented foods..

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I know many people just strap a cheesecloth (or any piece of fabric) over the top of the jar with a rubber band, but I close mine up with a lid. Either way works.

About the saltiness, it gets a bit better when the sourness increases over time, but I would try it with less salt next time.

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I have a question: once we put it in the jar, do we put a lid on it or keep it open? Thanks!

Since the author talks about gasses/pressure then I'd assume that means you have to put the lids back on the jars, ues. Plus it'd get pretty stinky in your kitchen after a while if you didn't close the jars.

Thank you! That's what I figured also, but I didn't want any exploding glass jars, haha.

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I have a question: once we put it in the jar, do we put a lid on it or keep it open? Thanks!

Since the author talks about gasses/pressure then I'd assume that means you have to put the lids back on the jars, ues. Plus it'd get pretty stinky in your kitchen after a while if you didn't close the jars.

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I have a question: once we put it in the jar, do we put a lid on it or keep it open? Thanks!

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Hey,    I made some and I think I over salted it.  I've already put it in the refrigerator, because it is as "tangy" as I'd like it, but way too salty.  But it seems to be getting better each time I taste it.  Also, it never got to the "soggy" looking shreds stage and didn't give a great deal of juice (just barely to the top of the cabbage).  I added (other than too much salt) a few minced garlic bulbs and a bunch of fresh basil.  It sat on the counter for 10 days.

I wonder if the salt thing will dissipate over time into the brine or if I should make another batch w/o salt then mix the two (not my ideal option).

Any ideas?

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I would have cut it back anyway, I retain water like mad. Good catch, though!

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Speaking of quanitty. I thought about it and I think you might need less salt than that. Maybe one tablespoon or two at the most. I don't know what I was thinking...

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Thank you for some reasonable quantities! I'm the only one who likes kimchi and the recipe I have is for a large, freestanding stoneware crock full! I can cut this down to something that won't be too much for one person to handle.

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