I made too much sauerkraut for us last year. It’s not something we eat a lot of during the spring and summer, so I still have some in the refrigerator. It still tastes great and we will eat it this fall, but for now the cabbage ferments I am going to make are Cordito, Kimchee and Cordimchee. What are those probiotic krauts you say? Cordito is a traditional probiotic Mexican sauerkraut and Kimchee is the Korean version. I make Cordimchee, in other words pretty much anything I like, have in the garden or and see at the Farmers Market to use, within reason.
This Cordito was made with a red cabbage, sliced very thin, shredded carrots, lots of chopped cilantro with stems, two large onions cut in half and sliced very thin and two hot poblano peppers which I processed fine in the food processor. I never know how much I am actually going to make and some of the ingredients are specific to volume, so I now mix all these ingredients together very well in a large pan. To this I added six limes which I removed the rinds and white pith from and processed in the food processor. Cumin seeds, Hatch green chili powder, some raw honey went in and all mixed well.
Now I pack everything into quart wide mouth jars or these straight sided pint and a half jars which I like because I can better press down the vegetables. Use a funnel and pack well.
At this stage you are going to add the volume specific ingredients and since I never know how many jars this will be, I do not add them until I have the jars packed. Salt and living whey are what will cause the probiotics to multiply in your ferment. Whey needs to be alive, such as from kefir or yoghurt or raw cheese making, but not whey from cheese made under high temperatures, nor any powdered whey. The proportions for these types of ferments in Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions are 1 and 1/2 teaspoons sea salt per quart and two tablespoons whey per quart. Since these jars are pint and a half, I used one teaspoon grey mineral sea salt and kept the two tablespoons of whey per jar. I also want to make sure each jar has lots of garlic, so I add garlic to each jar after they have been filled.
Sally Fallon’s instructions for ferments like this always say to leave at least an inch of headroom in each jar, and I usually ignore her because I can always fit in “just a bit more” and it seems like a pity to waste all that space. Finally getting sick of cleaning up my refrigerator and other areas from the ferments overflowing the jar has made me keep to her rule and even a little under. I hate to lose any of the liquid. Keep pressing down on the vegetables which will mix in the salt and whey and cause some of the vegetable juices themselves to be expressed and make a brine. You want the liquid to cover the vegetables. After a day there will be much more liquid and you can further press down the vegetables under the liquid. Leave out in room temperature for at least three days or a little longer until you can see the bubbles and proof of fermentation before you then store in a cool cellar or in the refrigerator.
Beulah the Belgian watching me make cordito.