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
- 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
- ¼ 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.