Sauerkraut (Pickled Cabbage) | News and current affairs from Germany and around the world | DW | 05.10.2008
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Sauerkraut (Pickled Cabbage)

Sauerkraut served with German sausages and beer

"Sauerkraut" is a staple in typical German meals


1½ kg (3 lb, 4.9 oz, or about 4 1/2 cups when shredded) white cabbage

2 large whole cabbage leaves
50g (1/4 cup) sea salt
1 spoon juniper berries
1 spoon barley

1 large wide-mouth jar
1 small jar

1 pestle
1 porous cloth


Wash and dry the jars well. Place the barley in the bottom of the large jar. Crush one of the whole cabbage leaves on a chopping board without tearing it. Then place it on top of the barley in the jar and press it down by hand.

Chop the cabbage into long strips and put it in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and add the junipers. Press the cabbage down with your hand and crush it with the pestle. When the cabbage starts to produce liquid, put it into the jar on top of the crushed leaf.

Let it stand for one hour, then go back and put pressure on it. If the volume of the cabbage decreases, repeat the process of finely chopping more cabbage, add salt and juniper and compress it into a bowl. Leave it until it releases liquid and then add it into the jar. Let it stand for another hour and continue the same way until the jar is full. To finish, add the remaining leaf, which should also be crushed, but still whole.

Place a cloth on top of the second leaf. Fill the small jar with water and put it on top of the large jar so that it is pressing down on the contents of the large jar. It should be kept at a cool temperature. After four days take off the small jar and the cloth, wash the cloth and the outside of the small jar. Remove the mold that should have formed, then cover it again with the cloth and put the small jar full of water back on top. Press down so that the juice that has formed covers the top layer of the contents. Repeat this operation every two days until no more mold forms. Press down the small jar from time to time.

After around ten days (or up to 15 days at a very cold temperature), when the cabbage is of a soft consistency and has a distinct taste, you can finalize the process. Take away the small jar, remove the cloth and the large leaf. Pack the cabbage into smaller jars and put them in the fridge. If mold still forms, remove the mold and press down the cabbage.

Guten Appetit!