As my first post I thought i’d introduce a really easy lacto-fermentation technique. The book that first got me interested in fermenting was ‘Wild Fermentation – the flavor, nutrition and craft of live-culture foods’ by Sandor Ellix Katz. It’s an empowering, inspiring read. He hosts a website and forum at www.wildfermentation.com
- Salt and squeeze, to break open cells and bring the moisture out.
- Pack it tightly into your container, again to break open cells and make sure the cabbage stays under the brine.
- When it’s full put your jar or bag of water on top to hold the cabbage under the brine.
I like to chop my cabbage quite finely, it pleases me that way but you can do it however you like. A head of white or red cabbage works best. Kale goes stinky. Add it to a mixing bowl and salt as you go. More salt keeps it crunchy, less allows it to go soft, both edible and delicious. A higher level of salt will preserve it for longer, especially if you make it in a heat-wave. Being winter I add 4 or 5 decent pinches of salt per head of cabbage. It’s intuitive and forgiving, which is why I love it! Just keep an eye on it as it develops.
Pack it down tightly in a ceramic, glass, stoneware or wooden container. Avoid metal as the acid will corrode it and contaminate your food. You can use your hands or a stick. You can then place something on top like a glass jar, or zip-lock bag filled with water to keep the cabbage below the level of the brine. As with all ferments pressure can build up if it’s airtight, as it gasses off carbon dioxide. Not as much as alcohol ferments, but some.
Let me know how it turns out if you fancy giving it a go. 🙂