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Sour Cabbage

Supplies you will need:
Crock pot/ corning ware/ or other non-reactive barrel shaped pot large enough to fit one head of cabbage
Non-Reactive Plate just slightly smaller than the opening of the crock pot
2 Wooden salad spoons or equivalent pounding apparatus
8  450 ml glass jars
1 L Glass jar with lid filled with water

Ingredients you will need:  (exact quantity is important)
5 lb Fresh Cabbage
1/4 Cup Coarse Sea/ Kosher Salt

Wash hands and clean all pots, jars, and tools.  Weigh cabbage to ensure proper weight.  Too much cabbage and not enough salt will cause the cabbage to rot.  Wash cabbage and get rid of as much excess water as possible.

Peel the top 2 leaves of cabbage and save for later.  Cut the remaining cabbage into quarters and remove the central stem.  Slice the quartered cabbage thinly, approximately 1 X 3 cm.

Place a layer of sliced cabbage into the crock pot, sprinkle on some salt.  Thoroughly pound the cabbage with 2 wooden salad spoons or rolling pins.  Pounding helps to break up the cellulose in the cabbage so salt can be absorbed faster.  Repeat with layer of cabbage and sprinkled salt until all the cabbage and salt are gone.

Cover this shredded cabbage with the two leaves you saved earlier.  Cover this with a cleaned plate.  Do not use foil plate, because the acid and salt may leach aluminum into your cabbage.  Place the full glass jar on top of the plate.  You should have liquid flowing to the surface.  Cover with clean dish towel and place the crock pot where there is good air circulation and steady room temperature (68 F to 72 F).

If there isn’t liquid flowing to the surface after you place the glass jar on top of the plate, add 1-2 dictionary size book on top and check on it in 12 hours.  If your cabbage is very fresh, you should have plenty of liquid.  If there is too much liquid and your pot is at risk of over flowing, remove some of the liquid and save it in the fridge.  Check the cabbage every 24 hours.  You will observe foaming (fermentation) in the liquid.  Remove any grime on the top with a clean spoon.  If the liquid starts to dry out, add the liquid you saved in the fridge.  Never add fresh water, only brine.  Your cabbage is ready when foaming stops.  A 5 lb cabbage at 68 F should be ready in 10-12 days.  If the room is warmer (72 F), make sure you check frequently to prevent spoilage.  If you are making a larger batch, add an extraday per extra 5 lb cabbage.

If you refrigerate your sour cabbage, you will not need to go through canning procedures.  Cabbages can keep 6 months to 1 year in the fridge.  If you think your cabbage is spoiled, ask someone who is familiar with sour cabbage preparation to check for you.

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