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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Caraway Saurkraut

For the ultimate Reuben sandwich I'm planning I not only need cheese, but I also need saurkraut. Well, I was reading 'The Joy of Pickling'--yes, there is seriously a book called 'The Joy of Pickling'--and one of the first kraut recipes is for caraway kraut. Since the rye bread is also going to have caraway, I thought it would be a nice flavor bridge to make this style of kraut for the sandwich.

Many fermented vegetables are pretty easy to make, requiring nothing more than fresh ingredients, salt, and patience. This recipe is quite basic and uses the ratio of 3 tablespoons of pickling salt to five pounds of cabbage. Mix together the thinly sliced cabbage with the salt and about a tablespoon of caraway seeds, pack into your fermentation vessel, then place in a cool spot for four to eight weeks.

The key to good fermentation is cool and consistent temperatures, and that applied to cheese, beer, wine, and pickles. In this case the ideal temperature is closer to 65F, so fermenting in a cheese cave isn't practical, but this time of year if you can find a cool part of your house it would probably be perfect.


  • 5lbs thinly shredded cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
Mix all the ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl, then load the salted cabbage in your fermentation vessel. A 1 gallon jar, small kraut crock, or other non-reactive vessel can work for this (i.e., not metal). Press the cabbage down very tight, a potato masher works well for this.

Press some plastic wrap down on to the cabbage itself and place a weight of some kind on top of it. The purpose of this step is to prevent the cabbage from touching air. If this happens it can mold, and that is just kinda nasty.

Let the cabbage ferment for four to eight weeks, then store in the fridge and enjoy!


  1. Caraway kraut is really very good. I made my first ever batch of saurkraut back in Dec and added the seeds about midway through fermentation when I decided to add a bit more brine. It was so good, when I started my second monster batch (15 lbs of cabbage - I must be crazy) my friends who tried the first batch begged me to duplicate it.

  2. Thanks for the kind comments! :)

    15 lbs is more that I could get through, though I did inherit a ten gallon pickling crock in perfect condition. I am planning on dill pickles, beets, and kimchi this year from the garden :)


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