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Homemade sauerkraut/kimchi

March 18, 2012

A 24oz jar of organic sauerkraut at my local Whole Foods costs $8.99. Wtf?

So I made my own. 64 oz of it. Total cost: $2.50 for the organic cabbage and 3 weeks for time.

I packed all 4 pounds of napa cabbage into two old jars of marinara sauce from Costco. The seal is pretty tight, and since it’s winter, the cool, dark space was not difficult to search for in my kitchen. I was surprised I could fit all the cabbage in, since I was expecting to have half leftover to stir fry up with my meat.

Every time I chopped up another 6 huge leaves, making a huge pile in my stainless steel bowl, I smushed it into the jars only to realize that I had another 1/4 of the way to go. This happened about 5 times, until I pretty much chopped up all of my cabbage. And there was still space in each of the jars.

After the initial preparation, I waited about 1 week to open one jar, and 3 to open the next. Both were equally sour, but the 3-week old one had a more complex flavor, lending less of a pungent flavor, and more of a “cooked” texture.

Since I used napa cabbage, I like to think of my sauerkraut as more of a kimchi, as napa is usually used in kimchi, and savoy is typically used in sauerkraut. However, I elected to mix my kraut/kimchi with some French white wine dijon mustard because it’s just more delicious that way. And because I didn’t have to buy a $5 jar of Korean chili paste for which I wouldn’t find any use afterward.

Ingredients
4 lbs cabbage, any type
64oz of jars (4 16 oz jars, 2 32 oz jars, what have you)
4 tsp salt

Directions
(1) Chop the cabbage up very thinly. It’s easier to pull off 5-8 leaves onto the chopping block at a time and slicing with the leaves spread horizontally.
(2) Add salt proportionally to each of the jars and add a little bit of water. Begin stuffing the sliced cabbage into the jars. Pack in as tightly as possible.
(3) When the cabbage is all packed into the jars, add water to the jar until just above the cabbage. Seal jars tightly and store in a cool, dark place until ready to consume.

Genießen!

Dai Dai

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