This homemade classic sauerkraut with caraway seeds goes well with just about anything. No matter what healing diet you are currently on, the caraway fermented sauerkraut is probiotic while suitable for GAPS, Paleo, Whole 30, Keto and vegan.
As always, I don’t use whey as a starter in my vegetable ferments, for it’s not necessary – I talked about why in great details in my wild fermented salsa recipe. I also talked about what kinds of salt are best for fermentation in my fermented cucumber pickles recipe if you are interested.
You may have heard or read in many places that the recommended salt ratio for sauerkraut is 3 table spoon of salt to every 5 pounds of cabbage. With years of tries and errors and successes, I can confidently say that this 3-to-5 salt ratio is too salty for my taste. I have found that 1 table spoon of salt to every 2 pounds of vegetable yields the most delicious fermented sauerkraut.
Year after year, I have consistently received positive reviews from my friends who had my home-made sauerkrauts. I believe the 3 key reasons why my fermented sauerkraut turns out super delicious are:
- Lower salt ratio of 1 table spoon to 2 pounds of cabbage.
- Longer fermentation time of 6 to 8 weeks.
- Use of pickling cabbage instead of regular green cabbage. If not available, use flat cabbage.
Try these tips above, they make a big difference!
Although I said in my pineapple-turmeric-ginger sauerkraut recipe that sauerkraut is a self-brining vegetable ferment, meaning there is no need to add extra water. I do understand, some days we just don’t have the time to pound, massage, or wait for the salted cabbage to release enough juice. In this classic fermented sauerkraut recipe with caraway seeds, I am also including an optional salt brine if you need it to top up your sauerkraut.
Classic Sauerkraut /w Caraway Seeds
Self-brining Caraway Sauerkraut
- 6 lb cabbage (pickling cabbage or flat cabbage preferred)
- 3 tbsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp caraway seeds
Salt Brine (Optional)
- 1 1/3 cup filtered water
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Thinly slice the cabbage. Add the sea salt and caraway seeds, massage, let it stand for 4 to 6 hours until the cabbage juice is released.
- Pack the cabbage with juice into a crock or glass jar(s) tightly, until the cabbage is submerged in its own juice.
- (Optional) If the cabbage didn't release enough juice, make a salt brine to top up the sauerkraut until all cabbage is submerged under the brine.
- Make sure there is at least an inch to 2 inches of space from the brine to the rim of the jar for expansion. Close the jar lightly to prevent oxygen from entering but allow air to escape. You may use weight and air lock if you wish.
- Let the cabbage ferment in a cool dark spot in the house. Within a couple days, you should see bubbles released by the fermentation process. If you aren't using weight and air lock, you may need to press down the cabbage to keep it submerged under the brine, and release the gas from the jar by opening the jar daily.
- For best result, let the sauerkraut ferment for 6 to 8 weeks in room temperature. Then move the sauerkraut to cold storage.
- 6 lb cabbage makes roughly 3 quarts of sauerkraut. To make more or less sauerkraut, be sure to maintain the same ratio of ingredients.
- This recipe includes a 2% salt brine that's optional. To make more or less salt brine, be sure to maintain the same water to salt ratio for salt brine.