Pink Sauerkraut

Hello, there.  I’m working from home today because I have this thing about going outside when it’s -11 F outside, with a windchill of -40 F.

Just sayin’.

Anyhoo, this was part of our (new) traditional New Year’s dinner.  When I moved from Texas to Ohio in 2005, I was a bit perplexed my first New Year to find no displays of bags of black eyed peas alongside heaps of collard greens in the produce section of the grocery stores.  Instead, there were bags and bags of commercial sauerkraut alongside all of the pork in the meat case – it seems that up here, sauerkraut and pork are the traditional foods for the New Years.

Repulsed by commercial sauerkraut, I defiantly sought out the pitiful 1-pound bags of black eyed peas hidden next to the bags and boxes of rice.  I was by golly gonna have my black eye peas and cornbread anyway, thank you very much.

And so it’s gone every year I’ve been here.  Until this year, when I decided, you know, pork and sauerkraut just might be nice with some Hoppin’ John.  And that’s what we had.

(A note about the Hoppin’ John:  if you read the post I’ve linked to, you’ll see that I state black eyed peas do not need to be soaked.  I have completely reversed my stance about this, but we’ll go into this some more later this week.)

At any rate, around Christmas I decided if I wanted sauerkraut with my New Year’s dinner, I better get started and make some.  But rather than a traditional kraut, I thought I’d shake things up a bit and see what would happen if I used a red cabbage, a sweet yellow onion, an apple and whole allspice berries.

What happened was a vibrantly hot Pink Sauerkraut that is just delicious – crunchy and earthy, with a slight bite from the onion and just the faintest hint of sweetness from the apple and allspice.  It’s a news favorite here at the Sushi Bar.

Pink Sauerkraut. Add a beautiful splash of color to any dish with this vibrant and deliciously different ferment.

Click the image to enlarge

Pink Sauerkraut
Serves: 16
[i]Makes one quart[/i]
  • 1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon kosher sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • filtered water
  1. Have ready a clean, dry, 1 quart glass jar.
  2. Toss the cabbage, onion and apple together in a large bowl until well mixed.
  3. Layer the cabbage mixture into the jar until it is about 1/3 full. Sprinkle some of the salt on top of the cabbage and pound it down with a wooden spoon or pestle until the cabbage begins to give off liquid. Sprinkle in a few of the whole allspice berries.
  4. Repeat layering the cabbage, salt and allspice, pounding in between each layer, until all of the ingredients are in the jar. Add filtered water to cover the cabbage if necessary. There should be about 1 inch between the top of the kraut and the top of the jar.
  5. Top off the sauerkraut with about 1/4 cup of olive or coconut oil to keep the cabbage submerged beneath the liquid, or use a glass weight. Cap loosely and store at room temperature (on a counter out of direct sunlight is fine) for 3 days, or until the kraut begins to bubble. Transfer to the refrigerator.
  6. Nutrition (per serving): 22 calories, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 364mg sodium, 121.9mg potassium, 5.5g carbohydrates, 1.1g fiber, 3.2g sugar, <1g protein

13 thoughts on “Pink Sauerkraut”

  1. This recipe looks delicious. Couple of questions as I’ve never made sauerkraut :is it ready to eat after 3 days or does it need to spend longer in the refrigerator to finish up? When the kraut is ready do you pour off the oil or mix it in? Thank you so much.

    1. Well, depending on how warm your house is, the earliest it will be ready is 3 days – if it’s really cold in your kitchen, it could take longer (although some people ferment on the counter for weeks before refrigeration). But yes, once it starts to bubble and fizz it’s ready to eat, and it will only get better the longer it goes, even after refrigeration.

      The oil on the top is to keep the sauerkraut submerged beneath the brine if you don’t have a glass weight (you can buy them here). The beneficial bacteria that ferment the kraut are anaerobic, plus it keeps mold from growing on the top of the sauerkraut. If you use coconut oil, it will become hard and can be taken off in one or two pieces (although crumbs will often remain). Olive oil is often easier and can be stirred into ferment if need be – it won’t have any adverse affects. Personally, I prefer the glass weights; it’s a small investment.

      1. Dear Jan,
        Thank you so much for your detailed reply, it will greatly help a newbie like me! I recently found your site and am having such fun going through it. Keep on posting 😀

  2. That whole pork and sauerkraut New Year traditional dinner threw me for a loop when I moved to PA, too. I never actually embraced it (except when we’d visit friends and they were serving it) since I’ve never really been a sauerkraut fan. But this? This I can get on board with. 🙂

Comments are closed.