Home-made sauerkraut


I know this will be another recipe out of thousands describing the preparation of sauerkraut, however I need to write it down, because only this one is the best for me. I have tried many variations, and believe me, there have been a few sauerkraut portions just uneatable. Never give up, explore, analyze and continue, because I truly believe anyone could be successful in sauerkraut preparation, just do it once again:) Now I am happy to find the correct proportion of the ingredients, correct technical steps and correct tips and tricks to make the classic, best-ever sauerkraut!

Home-made sauerkraut is the best! Photo by Dr. A. Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com


Ingredients (for 5 liter gallon):

  • White cabbage, 3 kg
  • Carrot, 1 medium pcs
  • Water, purified
  • Salt (crystalline sea salt, rock salt or pickling salt), 3 Tbsp
  • Sugar (white, cane or demerara), 3 Tbsp
  • Cumin seeds (optional), 1 Tbsp

How to make it:

While preparing an epic sauerkraut. Photos by Dr. A Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com
  • Remove outer, weak or damaged cabbage leaves if necessary
  • Wash and cut a cabbage into pieces; a cabbage head (hard white part) could be used for antidote preparation or just served as a side dish for hummus
  • Shred cabbage into oblong thin strips by using knife or mandaline
  • Portion by portion, knead shredded cabbage slowly, firmly and gently for at least 5, or even 10 minutes – you should see the juice of cabbage starting to exude
  • Peel a carrot and grate it by using a standard 4-side grater on a side with bigger holes (not smallest)
  • Mix together cabbage, carrot and caraway seeds
  • Transfer the mixture into a 5 liter gallon, putting it firmly layer by layer
  • Season the top surface of the mixture with sugar and salt
  • Slowly pour water until it covers the cabbage mixture by 1-2 cm
  • Put an appropriate lid on and let it stay in a warm place (I use a windowsill where heater is installed underneath) for 60 hours, fermentation bubbles should appear in 6 hours after putting a gallon in a warm place
  • Puncture the mixture under fermentation every 12 hours by using wooden stick (I use wooden sushi stick to do so). It is important to puncture well the mixture in few places (5-10 places) till the bottom of a gallon, to let air go out

Appropriate fermentation equipment:

Ceramic gallon, glass bottle with fermentation lid or home-made version (glass bottle with gauze cloth on top. Photos by Dr. A Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com

Important notes:

  • Choose resilient cabbage, that one which was not standing on a counter for days in warm environment. Cabbage corpus (except outer leaves) should be not weak, it should be like crunchy feeling, fresh and strong. Please, make this observation by eyes, do not “massage” all the cabbages at (super)market trying to find out which one is the strongest:)
  • undefined Please save your fingers while cutting a cabbage – all the remains, including a cabbage head could be just a great base for antidote preparation!
  • It is important to pour water very slowly, because all the air between shredded cabbage should be filled with water, and this is possible only if pouring water slowly
  • Use crystalline sea salt, rock salt or pickling salt. Avoid finely milled table salt or iodized salt, because they could contain chemical additives or discolor the fermented (or pickled) food
  • An amount of mixture in a fermentation gallon (5 liter) should not be higher than 3 liters (in other words, it should be not more than 2/3 of a gallon
  • Lactic acid bacteria is involved in a fermentation process
  • Sauerkraut is an important dietary ingredient in Central Europe that results from the lactic acid fermentation of shredded and brined white cabbage
  • Regarding health-promoting properties, fermented cabbage has a high antioxidant potential as it is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and ascorbigen, has anti-inflammatory properties and is effective in the attenuation of oxidative stress
  • Metal dishes and spoons need to be avoided for cabbage fermentation. Ceramic or glass equipment is a right choice
  • Do not eat on empty stomach, it is a proper daily side dish (in small amount, like 50-100 g) for lunch or dinner. However, on some winter days I could eat just a ½ liter gallon of it with a great satisfaction


White cabbage fermentation improves ascorbigen content, antioxidant and nitric oxide production inhibitory activity in LPS-induced macrophages by C.Martinez-Villaluenga et al, 2012

Quality improvement and fermentation control in vegetables by H.J. Buckenhueskes, 2015

Microbial Ecology of Fermented Vegetables and Non-Alcoholic Drinks and Current Knowledge on Their Impact on Human Health by Laura Lavefve, Daya Marasini and Franck Carbonero, 2019

All photos by Dr. A Palatronis on www.z-antenna.com

P.S. Warm thanks to a special friend for editing

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