More Fermenting Adventures: Cabbage

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Gena just posted an awesome tutorial on how to ferment vegetables, which is something I’ve been wanting to try.  I’ve got the kombucha fermenting down, but it’s time to try my hand at some solid food fermentation.  I decided to try making a tiny jar, in case something went wrong.  This jar had green cabbage, two garlic cloves and a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes.  I packed all of this very tightly into a pint jar and filled with a salt water solution.  1/2 a tablespoon of salt to 2 cups of water is the ratio I used.  The rest is easy, just put it a warm place and leave it alone for a few days.

Fermentation station.

Fermentation station.

I fondly refer to this cabinet in our apartment as the “Fermentation Station.”  I’ve been fermenting all of my kombucha in here and now the cabbage.  That’s my giant kombucha mother on the bottom shelf.  My cabbage fermented for about 3 and half days before I liked the way it tasted.  It started bubbling and hissing about 12 hours in, which I found fascinating.  It’s like a science experiment!  Fermenting is pretty cool stuff.

This cabbage is pretty close to sauerkraut, but it probably tastes a little different than what you’re used to with store bought cabbage.  The cabbage stays a little crisper when it ferments this way and it’s also got a stronger taste.  I find the salty, sour and slightly spicy cabbage to be just delightful.  The addition of garlic was also a good choice.  It’s flavor mellows significantly when it’s fermented for a few days and adds some complexity to the flavor of the cabbage.

IMG_1378A few things I noticed while I was fermenting this:

  • I will add less water next time.  The cabbage started to rise as it fermented more and pushed the water level up.  When the fermentation started happening, the bubbling got a little out of control and started leaking out of the jar.
  • Just know that during the fermentation process it may smell slightly strange in your house, especially if it’s small like ours.  My cabbage put off a very strong odor while it was fermenting, which didn’t bother me too much, until the last night it was going.  It was the strongest then.  I’m not sure how you could correct that, maybe wrapping it in a towel to hold the smell in.  Or, if you live in a larger space, it may not be such a problem.

We’re running  a little low on groceries, but after I go shopping today, I’ll have more stuff to eat my cabbage with.  I think my next experiment is going to involve carrots and cumin seeds.  Thanks for the fermenting tutorial, Gena!

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