It is official and by now, everyone knows it – I (Gosia) am shamelessly addicted to sauerkraut (in Chinese –酸菜 suān cài) Ever since I remember, I have always preferred sour taste, even over sweet. My mother could never fathom how I was capable of emptying the juice from the jar with pickles without a slightest wince. Well, I always follow my body’s needs without questioning them! Especially that sauerkraut and pickles are loaded with health benefits, such as improving digestion, immune function, reducing inflammation and protecting cognitive health. Sauerkraut is also said to have the power of helping to handle stress and improve mood! The only question remaining is – ok, so where do I get it here in Shanghai? Obviously places like Carrefour, Avocado Lady and other shops with imported products are the fastest solution. But! You can also make it yourself! Here’s an old family recipe, that my mum agreed to share with all pierogi fans!
What you need:
10 kg of white cabbage ( my mum weighs it after removing the outer leaves)
20 decagram of salt ( 2 decagrams of salt per each kilo of cabbage)
2 decagrams of caraway seed
1 decagram of dill
How to make it?
1.Slice the cabbage into tiny pieces. My mom does it with a knife, but you can use food processor as well.
2.Mix the cabbage with salt, caraway seed and dill.
3.Put everything into a plastic bowl and and press with your hands, then cover with a cloth and leave next to a source of heat. According to my mum ,radiator works best!
4. As the bowl with cabbage neighbors with the radiator for a few days, you should press the cabbage with your hands, best twice a day ( so that it is covered with juice it produces)
5. You need to check on the cabbage every day and try if it starts getting sour.
6.After a few days put the cabbage into jars and make sure to press it again, so that it keeps being covered with juice.
7. Remember not to fill the jars to the top, so you have enough space to add the remaining juice from the bowl.
8.Cover the jars and place them in the dark and cold place, upside down, on the foil, as the juice might be leaking( My mum says ‘Put them in the basement‘ but well, while every apartment in Poland has its own basement, we are not that generously blessed here).
The final tip from my mum: The key is to weigh the cabbage and ingredients extremely precisely!
( That’s Bon Appetit in Polish!)