Christmas Kraut

This year I have been making Sauerkraut from green pawpaw with a touch of cabbage and his has been pretty successful. It all started after buying a weekly jar of very yummy Sauerkraut every week all the way from Byron Bay, with a good price tag on. After some research I decided it could not be that hard to make our own and from Tropical produce in the garden.

I experimented in large jars and with green pawpaws, with cabbage, with one and the other and combinations of both. I really wanted to stick with the just local produce, but at this stage have found that green pawpaw kraut was more successful with a little cabbage for texture and fermenting. The pawpaw must not be too ripe as it will have too much sugar and make a type of alcohol- which smells yummy but is the wrong kind of fermenting.  After several experiments and chats with others that ferment in the Tropics I decided to buy a special Sauerkraut making pottery container that has a rimmed lid that you fill with water (to let air out but not in, and not let insects etc in) and 2 pottery weights that keep the solids under the liquid, so mold and other weird unwanted growths to not appear and spoil it all.

I have made now many yummy combinations of different Krauts, adding cumin, ginger, other flavours, but below is my favourite yet, inspired by flavours of Asia, but made as a Sauerkraut.

I made a huge batch of this especially to take to our Festive Feat in Humpty Doo for Christmas day and it went down a treat to accompany all the other wonderful dishes. Although now done I will stick with the recipe and name of this !

kraut (3).jpg

  • I shred a whole green pawpaw with my Mandolin shredding item- which has a chunkier and better texture than grating.
  • I add in half a small red cabbage, finely shredded (with a knife) and half a red onion.
  • I put in a tablespoon of salt, mix round and leave covered for 20 minuted.
  • I come back and with really clean hands I massage and squeeze all the bit, rubbing the salt and squeezing out the liquid.
  • At this point I add a large chunk of grated ginger, chopped garden chilli, also some peeled and grated turmeric from the garden (or powdered if you don’t have fresh). I also add in cumin and a little crushed cloves or star anise- for festive spice!
  • Mix these bits in and then spoon this all into a Sauerkraut “maker” or a large jar with mesh over. Either way push down so covered in liquid, weight down and leave for several days at room temp (I have no air con and all louvers so this is over 30 degrees C most days.
  • Check everyday that it is still covered in liquid- if not, squeeze down and cover in more brine.
  • After about 5- 7 days I spoon it out when it smells vinegary and yummy into large glass jars (as pictured, again pushed down, but put in the fridge.
  • It tastes best after about 4 more days in the fridge. Yum yum!
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