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Heather Willensky

recipe by @fermentsh

Fermentation is ubiquitous in the foods we eat from bread and cheese to beer and wine. It’s the oldest form of food preservation and every culture around the world has its own techniques and methods for harnessing wild bacteria to create delicious, long-lasting foods to fill their larders.

In recent years thanks to the innovative work at restaurants like Noma, fermentation has become somewhat of a buzzword in the restaurant world. But unlike is predecessors (I’m looking at you molecular gastronomy!) the methods used to create these delicious pickles, sauces and beverages can easily be achieved in a home kitchen.

Sauerkraut is an excellent gateway into the world of fermented foods since it’s easy to prepare, infinitely customizable and delicious with so many foods from plump BBQ hot dogs to your breakfast avocado toast. This recipe puts a spicy spin on the classic recipe and introduces a little winter citrus for good measure. Hang onto your brine and use it to make a killer dirty martini!

Blood Orange Golden Sauerkraut


  • 400g thinly sliced green cabbage (about 4 cups)
  • 1 scant tsp salt (4 grams)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs grated ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 blood orange


  1. Quarter your green cabbage, remove the thick core and thinly slice. 
  2. Place into a large mixing bowl and add your salt, fennel seeds and grated ginger. Make sure your salt is evenly distributed and then begin to squeeze the mixture with your hands. At first your cabbage will sound crunchy between your fingers, but after a few minutes it will soften as the cell walls break down and begin to release water. This process is important to kickstart fermentation.
  3. When your cabbage mixture is soft and has released some water, add your turmeric and mix with a spoon (or your hands if you don’t mind them turning yellow).
  4. Cut the peel off of your blood orange, then remove the segments with a knife and slice each segment into thirds. Add to your cabbage and mix through.
  5. Pack your cabbage mixture – brine and all – into a mason jar and weigh down the top with a fermentation weight or a plastic sandwich bag with a few tablespoons of water. It’s important to keep your vegetables submerged under your brine while they are fermenting to prevent surface molds from forming.
  6. Open your jar once a day – after 1-2 days your sauerkraut will begin to bubble – this is how you know the magic is happening. Open your jar once or twice each day for the rest of a week until the bubbling becomes less energetic. This process of “burping” your jars ensures that excess pressure doesn’t build up causing them to break.
  7. After one week taste your kraut – it should taste sour and salty and just a little funky. You can then move it into your fridge where it will last for months.

Golden Kraut-ini

After you’ve enjoyed your sauerkraut on veg bowls, smashed white beans and straight from the jar with a fork, reserve that beautiful golden elixir at the bottom to mix up a killer twist on a dirty martini.


  • 2 ½ oz vodka
  • ½ oz dry vermouth
  • ½ oz golden sauerkraut brine

Shake all ingredients together with ice, and serve straight up, preferably in the sunshine.

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