Simple Fermented Nappa Cabbage

Real fermented pickles have almost evaporated from the modern diet. What was once a common home practice has become a something of a lost art. That’s a shame, because fermented pickles aren’t really hard to make, they are not dangerous, they taste great, last a long time, and are believed to be really good for your body ( see this and this ).

Some kind of crock/jar and a weight or pickle machine as pictured
Digital Kitchen Scale

Nappa Cabbage, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces
Coarse Kosher Salt .. regular table salt will not work for this recipe

1. Weigh the cabbage, I prefer to use grams, on the scale. Also, be sure to reset the zero point on the scale using the empty bowl that will hold the cabbage.
2. Take the total weight of the cabbage and multiply it by 3.5%, For example, 1000 grams of cabbage will give you a value of: 1000 * .035 = 35 . This is the amount of salt required.
3. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the cabbage, and place a heavy plate/weight over the top. You want the vegetables to be submerged under the brine or the top parts exposed to air may start to go bad.
4. If you have cool basement you can ferment there, or place it in your refrigerators for about 3 weeks. By then it will start to get nice and tangy. Enjoy!

This is unlikely, but if your cabbage starts to get slimy, smells like a garbage can or anything like that , just throw it away. Something didn’t go right. A container with an airlock device is a good idea for fermenting larger quantities. You don’t have to be so concerned about keeping the vegetables submerged and nothing else can get inside of the container ( like fruit flies ). You can get a 2 gallon plastic fermentation bucket ( for beer and wine ) with an airlock from a home brew supply store like Midwest Supplies:

Air Lock:

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2 Responses to Simple Fermented Nappa Cabbage

  1. monte says:

    Is the liquid used for the brine just water, and if so, how much?

  2. benjamin says:

    This batch I just sprinkle with dry salt and the water from the cabbage becomes the brine. You can also make this with a brine instead using about 5% salt per weight of the water. However, you’ll have to adjust the amount of brine to keep things from getting too salty. Not sure on the exact amount of brine for certain amount of cabbage. Benjamin

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