1 teaspoon finely grated turmeric- or sub ½ teaspoon ground
Optional additions- grated carrots, whole spices like caraway seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fresh herbs- use your imagination!
Chop cabbage into thin strips ( you can also shred in a food processor) and place in a bowl. Add salt. Massage cabbage well, which will open up its pores and allow for better fermentation.
Add onion, garlic, ginger and toss well using hands or tongs. Add turmeric and toss again with tongs ( turmeric will stain your hands). Let stand 15-60 minutes while you clean up.
Mix again will once more and place into jar, packing down hard. If the liquid does not come up over the cabbage while pressing down, add a little water until it does. Cover with a cabbage leaf, pressing down ( to prevent oxidation).
To keep kraut pressed down under the surface of the liquid while it ferments you could weight it down with a small zip lock bag filled with plain water. Tuck it in the jar and cover loosely with the lid.
Cover loosely with a lid and place in a bowl or pan on the counter for 4-5 days, covering with a kitchen towel, burping every day or so. ( If your lid is lose, you won’t need to burp).
Fermentation will occur faster in the warmer months and slower during the cold months. It likes to be around 60-72F. In summer, find a cooler spot like in the basement. Longer cooler ferments do offer up the best flavor.
When you see a little activity,usually after about 4-5 days- gas and or bubbling when you give it a stir -feel free to taste, letting it ferment and sour longer if you prefer, or keeping it fresh and crunchy by placing it in the fridge to stop or slow the process down.
For different sized batches….the general salt to cabbage ratio is 2 ½ -3 tablespoons salt to 5 lbs cabbage. Or for every one pound of cabbage 1.5-1.75 teaspoons salt. (One large cabbage weighs about 2 pounds). Or if using a salt water brine, 1 ¼ teaspoons salt to 1 cup water.
Using organic or farmers market cabbage often has the BEST results- that’s because the bacteria that ferments the cabbage actually comes from the surface of the cabbage to begin with. Garden grown or farmer’s market cabbage has more of this live bacteria still on it compared to grocery store varieties.