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German Homemade Sauerkraut

This German sauerkraut recipe is probably the easiest, most authentic of sauerkraut recipes you'll see. There are only 3 ingredients, and the steps are easy. Start your German sauerkraut recipe today and you'll have a delicious vegetable dish that's a perfect accompaniment to ham or pork chops. It's great with Polish sausage or hot dogs, too!


  • 2 pounds green cabbages, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons coarse, kosher, or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Toss the cabbage, salt and sugar together in a large bowl.
  2. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, or until the cabbage has released a lot of water. If there is not enough brine, the sauerkraut will go bad before it ferments.
  3. Place the cabbage in a large glass or glazed earthenware jar or canister, first squeezing the liquid from each handful back into the bowl.
  4. After you've added all the sauerkraut, push it down with your fist to make it more compact. Then pour in enough brine to cover the cabbage by at least 1 inch.
  5. Insert a small plate, large enough to cover all the cabbage, inside the jar to keep the cabbage submerged.
  6. Drape the canister with a cloth and let sit at room temperature for 2-4 weeks.
  7. Check the plate after a couple of days. If it's floating on the brine, place another plate on top of the first to create more weight. It's ready when it tastes like sauerkraut. Makes 5 cups.

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I took a German course some years ago and that's where I first heard of sauerkraut but I never tasted it. This recipe seems simple enough to follow. I was under the impression that there would be more ingredients. Mostly, I use cabbage for cole slaw and stir-fries, especially with noodles or black-eyed peas.

It's been absolutely years since I've made sauerkraut from scratch. Seeing this recipe makes me long to make it again. It's so easy and with the large fall cabbages just hitting the markets, this is such an economical way to make something so healthy and delicious! Thanks for the reminder! Off to the market I go ...

Finally, a recipe that doesn't list a can of sauerkraut as an ingredient for making sauerkraut. Going to try this one today. Thanks

I have always had/used caraway in German sauerkraut. It's good either with or without - but the caraway is was makes it German -- according to my German ancestors.


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