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Fermenting 101: How to make spicy sauerkraut

spicy sauerkraut

I have been making my own sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) for the past 2 years and it has been a great journey. The first time I came across sauerkraut was via a youtube video. I was quite amazed about how a simple recipe can be packed with so much vitamin and goodness. I remember trying out my first saurkraut and being real antsy about it not turning out great.Well, long story short, I have been making my own sauerkraut and I’m loving every batch of it. What I love most about sauerkraut is how versatile it is. You can have it with rice, pasta, in a sandwich, salad or on its own. Now, lets talk about making spicy fermented cabbage.


1 head of napa/chinese cabbage or any kind of cabbage

Sea salt 2 tsp

2 teaspoon of whole Cumin seeds

1/2 cup of scliced scallion

5 birds eye chilli

1/2 cup of sliced onions

spicy fermented cabbage

Spicy sauerkraut with cumin

Preparation time

7-10 minutes


Wash your glass jar (with metal lid ) in warm water in order to avoid a mouldy Sauerkraut.

Cut off loose and dead leaves on cabbage and cut diagonally into two halves.

Begin slicing both halves horizontally into thin strips.

Put cabagge in a bowl and rinse with water to remove soil particles and debris.

Pour cabbage in a strainer to drain off excess water.

Pour strained cabbage into a bowl, add salt, massage salt into the cabbage and set aside for 3-4 minutes. By the now, the cabbage leaves would have reduced to half with water content from the cabbage secreted into the bowl.

Mix sliced onion, scallion, cumin seeds and whole chilli with napa cabbage and transfer into a jar.

As you transfer the mix into your jar, make sure to compress the cabbage mix to let go of unwanted air bubbles.

Leave a little airspace and not fill the jar to the brim because it will foam over when fermentation begins

Cover your jar with cabbage leaf to keep the cabbage from floating about in the jar.

Cover with  lid,  wrap it in a paperbag and store in a dark place for 5-10 days depending on how warm your environment is.

When it’s ready, store it in a refrigerator and enjoy

Additional tips

The smell of Sauerkraut can be quite strong. So, if  your dinning area smells a bit funky after opening a jar of sauerkraut do not be alarmed.

Place your jar of cabbage in a catch tray while in storage because there is a high chance that the salt water will seep through the jar once fermentation begins.

Wash your hands thoroughly before you begin making your sauerkraut.

To avoid contamination, always use clean utensils when scooping out your sauerkraut from its jar.



Comments (2)

  1. Naive question perhaps but is there any substitute for the salt?

    1. No worries. I don’t think there is a substitute for salt because salt plays a very important role in the fermentation process. Thank you so much for reading this post.

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