Basic homemade sauerkraut is incredibly easy to make, and needs only cabbage, salt, a good crock and plenty of time. But sometimes you want to take game up a notch and flavor your sauerkraut which is where this recipe comes into play: Hot Pink Jalapeño Sauerkraut made with red cabbage and plenty of garlic.
It’s a brilliant color that ranges from hot pink to purple, owing to the use of red cabbage instead of white, and it packs a wonderful heat and rich garlicky flavor. You can even add smoked sea salt to give the sauerkraut a smoky aroma.
How to Make Jalapeño Sauerkraut with Red Cabbage
After you get your equipment together, you’ll want to glove your hands or take extra care since the jalapeños in this recipe can irritate the skin. You’ll sprinkle the red cabbage, jalapeños and garlic with salt, kneading them together to break up the cellular structure of the vegetables and then allow them to sit and wilt in the salt, before kneading them and packing them into your jar. Drop the weight into the jar and press down the cabbage and chilies so that the vegetables’ brine completely submerges the jar’s contents. Then ferment until the sauerkraut tastes pleasantly sour to you, about 3 weeks on the early side and 12 weeks on the longer side.
Store your sauerkraut in the fridge up to nine months.
Hot Pink Jalapeño Garlic Kraut
- 3½ pounds red cabbage shredded
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 4 medium jalapeños stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon finely ground real salt
- Wearing gloves to protect your hands from the volatile oils of the peppers, toss the cabbage, garlic, jalapeños and sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Knead the vegetables together by hand for 5 minutes until they begin to release their juices. Allow the shredded vegetables to rest a further 20 minutes, then return for 5 more minutes of kneading.
- Layer the salted vegetables into a quart-sized fermentation jar or crock (find a crock online), and pack them tightly until the brine created by the vegetable juice and salt completely submerges the shredded cabbage and peppers. Weigh down the vegetables with a glass weight, close the crock tightly and allow your cabbage to ferment at room temperature and away from direct sunlight until done to your liking.
- Taste after about 3 weeks and continue to ferment if the sauerkraut hasn’t achieved the level of tartness you prefer. Transfer to cold storage when sour enough for your liking and use within 9 months.
Use the Right Equipment
To keep mold and stray microbes away from your hot pink jalapeño garlic sauerkraut, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the right equipment.
A mason jar fitted with an airlock is perfect for allowing the carbon dioxide that builds up during fermentation to escape while keeping the oxygen that feeds mold out.
Similarly, a glass weight helps to keep your cabbage fully submerged during fermentation which keeps it safe and in optimal conditions.