In German, sauerkraut means “sour cabbage.” It’s an easy introduction to lacto-fermentation.


  • Difficulty: medium
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adapted from Sandor Katz

Be sure to note that this process can take up to a week, so plan ahead!




Shred the cabbage finely into a large bowl and add about 1/4 teaspoon salt for every cup of cabbage. Massage this in with your hands, then put the cabbage and resulting liquid in a glass jar. If the liquid doesn’t cover the cabbage, add enough drinking water to cover it. Err on the side of more liquid. Place a tight lid on the jar, and store it on the counter out of direct sunlight. “Burp” your sauerkraut once or twice a day. This just means opening and closing the lid to let the air out as the fermentation progresses. If your jar is very full, burp it with a cloth underneath in case some liquid spills out. If you notice the liquid getting low, add more water or a little white vinegar. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, and how you like your sauerkraut, it could be done anywhere from the next day to in one week. Smell* and taste it daily (with a clean fork!) to see what you think, and when it’s done, move it to the fridge to stop the fermentation process. It should remain in that state for several months in the fridge.

*If it smells like something you don’t want to eat, throw it out! The cabbage will darken a bit, and this is normal.

Once you’re comfortable with cabbage, you can try this with other veggies too, like carrots and radishes!