Properly prepared pickled cabbage is juicy and crunchy. Make it a salad by adding sliced onions and vegetable oil, or serve as a side dish with potatoes or other foods. Or, most deliciously, eat out of the jar while standing in front of the fridge.
- 1 head white cabbage (about 3½ pounds)
- 2 carrots coarsely grated
- 1½ tbsp kosher salt or to taste
- Wash cabbage thoroughly, remove the outer leaves and core, cut in half, then shred into very thin strips about 2 to 3 inches long.
- Put the cabbage in a bowl large enough for easy mixing. Massage the cabbage for a few minutes. It will shrink a bit.
- Begin putting cabbage and carrot handful by handful into a big enamel bowl (make sure it’s sterile). Add salt in parts. This will make it easier to evenly mix all the ingredients.
- Ram the mix down firmly. It needs to be kept under a weight, so place a plate on it and on the plate put a heavy weight (a several-quart jar with water works well). Keep at room temperature.
- Once or twice a day, pierce the cabbage with a chopstick (or something similar) to the bottom of the pan. This is how the carbon dioxide, resulting from the fermentation of the cabbage, is released. Otherwise, the cabbage might acquire a bitter taste.
- During the pickling process, the cabbage foams slightly and the brine rises about a half inch. When cabbage stops releasing gas and the brine descend back, then the process of pickling is completed. The length depends on the temperature in the room; usually it takes 3 to 4 days.
- After the cabbage is ready, put it in a clean glass jar, ram down tightly, and close with a lid. Keep refrigerated.
When choosing a cabbage, make sure that it is fresh, dense and juicy.