This is one of many similar fermentation experiments I make that I think of as “Salad Kraut.” The idea here is a moderately fermented condiment that you can enjoy as a ready-to-go vegetable side dish. It’s somewhere between a salad and a sauerkraut…so, Salad Kraut.
This particular variation was so good I had to share. Miso, sesame, and lemon flavor this kraut, while carrots and green onions boost the salad value. The whole thing tastes a bit like a really good Japanese/macrobiotic fusion side dish. I’ve been enjoying bowls of this kraut as-is, and alongside roasted salmon and chicken. For a simple and frugal meal, add this Salad Kraut to a bowl of brown rice and top with a poached egg.
Miso Sesame Kale Salad Kraut
You can adjust the proportions of the vegetables in this ferment as you see fit. I made this with a base of 2 parts cabbage to 1 part kale. Unless you already know you like fermented kale, I wouldn’t increase the ratio of kale. Kale and collards both ferment “strong” – you know that kale pungence? Fermenting tends to brings it out.
Now, I happen to like that brassica funkiness, but I’m weird. If you aren’t sure, err on the side of less kale and more cabbage.
Shredding all these vegetables is very easy – if you have a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, why are you reading this blog when you should be out buying a food processor? Seriously, my food processor is probably the most-used small appliance in my kitchen.
This recipe will make about two finished quarts of Salad Kraut. I recommend fermenting in a single batch in 2 liter or half-gallon crock or jar, but if you pack the living daylights out of the ferment as you put it into jars, you should be able to get it into 2 quart jars. If there’s some Salad Kraut that won’t fit into the quart jars, just eat a bowlful fresh, as a slaw.
I like this lightly fermented and still crunchy, so I let it culture for 2 or 3 days before moving to the fridge. If you like a stronger, tangier, or softer ferment, you can let it go longer.
Printable Recipe For Miso Sesame Kale Salad Kraut
Miso Sesame Kale Salad Kraut
A kale-enhanced sauerkraut salad with a great nutritional profile. Try this alongside steamed fish and brown rice.
- 2 pounds shredded green cabbage
- 1 pound shredded kale or collards
- 1 tablespoon white miso paste
- 4 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 40 grams salt (about 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons fine sea salt)
- Add all the ingredients into a large metal bowl. Massage everything together until the vegetables give off moisture and the miso is fully dissolved around the vegetables.
- Transfer the Salad Kraut to a scrupulously clean 2-liter/half-gallon crock or jar, pressing down firmly with clean hands as you go, to eliminate any air pockets in the ferment. Maintain at least a 1-inch headspace at the top of the crock or jar.
- Weight down the ferment. There should be enough juice from the vegetables to rise up and fully cover the solids. If there isn't, add 1 tsp of fine sea salt to a cup of water, and add enough of this brine so that the liquids fully cover the solids.
- Seal the crock or jar, and leave the Kale Salad Kraut at room temperature out of direct sun, for 2 to 4 days to culture.
- Check the ferment daily. Look for bubbles and other signs of fermentation, burp the lid to release any pent-up carbon dioxide in the jar and taste the development of the Salad Kraut with a perfectly clean spoon.
- When the Salad Kraut is cultured to your taste, transfer the ferment smaller jars for cold storage in the refrigerator, where it will keep for at least 6 months.
do you include the carrot tops?
I don’t, but if you like the flavor, you could.
I’m very excited about your book release tomorrow! According to Amazon, I will have it in hand by 8pm 🙂
Anyway, I’m wondering if this recipe is a good beginner recipe for fermenters? I’ll admit I haven’t tried fermenting anything yet, but this sounds pretty good. Can you take it out after a really light ferment? What would be the minimum time? (one day? or is two really the minimum?)
Thanks Melinda. I actually do think this is a great recipe for beginners – most of the “kraut” style ferments are. I think after 24 hours you aren’t going to notice a whole lot of fermented flavor and definitely the beneficial bacteria count is going to be lower. It’s ok to taste with a perfectly clean spoon after 24 hours and see what you think – in fact it’s something I advise, especially when you are new to fermenting, so you can learn how the flavor matures. To my taste, 2-3 days is about right, but the rule with ferments is that they are done when they taste right to you.
Thanks! I’m going to give it a try –
Awesome! I’ve never tried fermenting with kale, but I’m excited to see what you mean by the brassica smell, maybe it smells like thiols?
Question for you – I don’t have miso paste and was wondering if you’ve ever tried this without? I’m tempted to try with Better than Bouillon or soy sauce, and buy miso paste down the road to try again?
Thanks for the inspiration! Can’t wait to go ferment some veggies…
I had to look that word up. 🙂 Sulfury funky – yeah, that’s about right. But not unpleasant, it’s just not going to be everyone’s cup-o-tea.
If you don’t have miso, honestly, just leave it out. It’ll lack that flavor but still be good. I’d maybe up the ginger a bit just to boost the “Asian” flavor profile.
>Weight down the ferment. There should be enough juice from the vegetables to rise up and fully cover the solids.
Hello. How do you achieve this?
I’m partial to this DIY Fermentation Weight but there are many ways to weight down your ferment, including a smaller jar or ziplock baggie filled with brine, a cabbage leaf with a clean rock on top, or a commercially-made neight. Here’s more info on some of your options.
I’m going to give this a try this week. I do want to just use a couple of my quart jars. You know I’m a second-guessing, scared little newbie, so help me out here.
The directions say to seal the lid and check every couple of days and burp….can I just get away with using the ReCAP set I just got?
P.S. Slowly paging through your beautiful book….not because its hard to understand, but because I LOVE and I am savoring each and every word! Thank you for sharing so much with us.
> juice of one lemon… Check the ferment daily… taste the development of the Salad Kraut with a perfectly clean spoon.
I suspect that it will be acidic taste, but it will not be the taste of really fermented vegetables. What is the reason you add lemon juice?
This recipe looked so irresistible that my husband, the fermentation master in our household, promptly whipped up a batch. Yesterday it was ready, so I asked my kids (who are big sauerkraut fans) if they wanted to have some with their otherwise unexciting rice-and-beans lunch.
My daughter asked to try it before she committed.”Wow!” she exclaimed, then called her brother over. “Come try this!”
He ran into the kitchen and took a bite. “Mmm. It’s delicious!”
I have to say that I agree completely. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s bound to become one of our family staples.
I had about 2/3 of a head of leftover purple cabbage from making my mom-in-law’s cole slaw recipe earlier this week. (Her recipe is the ONLY cole slaw I have ever liked in my 50 years of living! I can’t stand mayonnaise and it’s very light on dressing…but enough of that!) I can’t wait to taste it because I love both miso and saur kraut! I am going to have it with brown rice and natto, another fermented superfood that people love or hate. I’m in the latter category.
I couldn’t fit anything in the jar to weigh it down, but I came up with, what I think was, a great idea. I filled a sandwich baggie with water and squished it into the jar. I’m not too keen on the plastic, but have to wait until the Pickle Pipes are ready to ship in December to use the glass wonders.
>I am going to have it with brown rice and natto, another fermented superfood that people love or hate. I’m in the latter category.
If so, why are you going to eat it?
Oops, I used the wrong word…I was in a bit of pain yesterday and not thinking straight I guess. Or it’s just my 50 year old brain! I am in the former category and L O V E the natto!
O.k. It can happen to anyone.
I made some cabbage/diacon radish and celery/carrot sauerkraut and put it in a sterilized mason jar. I had lots of brine and put a small jar on top of the cabbage to hold it down but i have a few little pockets of air in the kraut. Is that ok? Should I open it and press it down? I’m afraid of botulism.
Also, how would i know if it goes bad?
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