I just sampled my best fermentation to date. It took 3.5 weeks, but it was worth it. Inspired by Firefly Kitchens, I decided to make my own Cortido Sauerkraut. This is Latin American style sauerkraut. It has some heat, but not as much as kimchi. The Mexican Oregano really brings out the flavor. If you have the patience, I highly recommend making this amazing sauerkraut.
Cortido (also spelled Curtido) Sauerkraut
- 1.5 pounds green cabbage (sliced into thin ribbons)
- 1 jalapeno (cut into tiny pieces)
- 6 oz onions (small pieces)
- 1.5 teaspoons of Mexican Oregano (and no more!)
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1-1.5 tablespoons of sea salt (I use Redmond, but Celtic works too)
- 1 carrot (cut into very small pieces)
If you are sensitive to heat, reduce the red pepper and jalapeno portions.
Preparing the Fermentation
- Slice the cabbage into thin ribbons and place in a bowl.
- Add sea salt and rub it into the cabbage.
- Let it sit for an hour. The cabbage will release water.
- Slice up the carrot, jalapeno, and onion into little pieces.
- Add veggies and the red pepper flakes to the mix.
- Now add in the Mexican Oregano.
- Stir and then pack into jars.
- Use the water released by the cabbage to top off the jars.
When packing into the jar, make sure the veggies are below the liquid line. In order for the fermentation to work, all the veggies must be underwater. If you need more water, make a brine with a teaspoon of sea salt in a cup of water and top off.
The Fermentation will take 2.5 to 4 weeks, depending a lot on ambient temperature and personal preference. A warmer environment will result in a faster ferment. During the fermentation, you will check to make sure the veggies are below the liquid line. You can use a weight or do what I do and just push the veggies down. During the first week, I will push the veggies down twice a day. Then once every 2 or 3 days. You will see bubbles rise to the surface. This is the fermentation at work.
If you use glass jars, cover them with a towel or upside-down paper bag or box to block out light. Also, avoid keeping your ferment in a hot kitchen, as they do much better in cooler areas.
When the fermentation is over, seal the jars and place them into the refrigerator. Enjoy!
UPDATE November 2011: It is OK to increase the red pepper and jalapenos, however, don’t increase the oregano portion. Too much oregano will impart a “soapy” and harsh taste.