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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Quick and Easy, Unfermented Sauerkraut

Over the weekend, I found a killer deal on heads of cabbage. Each head was $1, and these were enormous heads. I chose four 5.5 to 6 pound heads, making my price per pound about 18 cents. I had planned on making cole slaw to go with our cook-out but then thought again about that and decided to try making sauerkraut. We were roasting hot dogs,and sauerkraut sounded like an excellent addition.

I have to say, I've never made sauerkraut before and was put off by a long fermentation process. So, I was very pleasantly surprised how easy an unfermented one was. I chose a Martha Stewart recipe, but added my own tweak.

First of all, I only made a small-ish batch, with a finished product of about 3 cups. Here's how I made mine:

about 1 pound of fresh cabbage, cored, then thinly sliced (about 4  1/2 cups sliced)
1/4 cup of white vinegar
1  1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of caraway seeds
5/8 cup of water

In a medium, non-reactive (stainless or enameled) saucepan, combine all of the above ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally. If the liquids appear to have evaporated at any point, add another 2 tablespoons of water. Remove from heat once the cabbage is tender. Cool and store in a glass jar or crockery in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

That's it. Easy peasy.

Everyone raved about this, perhaps because it was fresh (not commercially-made) and perhaps because I'd never made it before so it was new to us (we've had commercial sauerkraut before). We all thought it made a tasty addition to our roasted hot dogs.

This time of year, I find cabbage priced very low at produce stands and ethnic markets in our area, and I thought that you may, too. This type of sauerkraut is so easy to make, and keeps for a couple of weeks, that I thought I'd share. We've enjoyed the leftovers, as is, on salads, and in other types of sandwiches (other than hot dogs). With October (and Oktoberfest) just around the corner, I'll be making more quick and easy sauerkraut. I'm envisioning some bratwurst in a bun, topped with sauerkraut and cheese, then popped under the broiler for a minute or two. Yum. I can taste it in my imagination already.


  1. I have made sauerkraut before with the long fermentation process and it was good. But you're right, it did take a long time. I am curious about trying this quick process. Cabbages don't go on sale here this time of year, but I am going to check the price next time I go shopping and may try it anyway.

  2. Hi live and learn,
    I don't find cabbage on sale in regular grocery stores this time of year, but at produce stands and ethnic markets. You may have better luck finding it on sale at either of those venues. But even if you don't, cabbage is such an inexpensive vegetable. I hope you enjoy this as much s we did if you give it a try.

  3. I had made 7 jars of non-fermented sauerkraut this fall, but after 3 weeks the taste was bland. I took your recipe and modified it slightly by using the brine from my batch instead of water. So much better:) I was worried that I'd just wasted 10 lbs of cabbage that I grew from seed!

    1. Hi friend,
      I'm so glad that you were able to improve your sauerkraut. That would have been awful to lose the cabbage that represented so much of your hard work. Good job!


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