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All RECIPES don’t have to be “FANCY”. . . BASICS such as CONDIMENTS are a “rite of passage”.

Here’s the continuation of the CONDIMENTS series : 1 main ingredient, some salt, some spices, some elbow grease and much patience.

SAUERKRAUT is something everybody is familiar with and it’s just a longer more time-consuming self-fermenting (and thus not cooked here) version of a very simple coleslaw without the extras.

Sometimes it’s more tender and soft, other times it has a little bit of crunch which is why I use white cabbage which is quite dense and tougher with an equal weight (not amount) of green cabbage which is softer and more tender (note :  1 green cabbage weighs as much as ½ of a white cabbage).

The 3 spices make it more interesting and personalized (but feel free to reduce or increase the varieties of seed spices but use caraway seeds at least) and the juniper berries add a sweet-resiny flavor.

*Okay, so now I’m thinking what comes next ? Another condiment or a break with a recipe which uses condiments ?

We’ll see, we’ll see . . . Just hang on !

3-spice sauerkraut


5 cups


  • 750 grams (1 medium) green cabbage
  • 750 grams (1/2 medium) white cabbage
  • 37 grams (3 tbsp) coarse sea salt (or kosher salt)
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) caraway seeds
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) fennel seeds
  • 2 grams (1 tsp) cumin seeds (or a mix of cumin and black nigella seeds)
  • optional : 3 juniper berries, slightly crushed


  • remove the outer leaves and core, finely shred the cabbages (the white cabbage is much denser and heavier than green cabbage which is why you need half as much) and save 1 or 2 whole cabbage leaves
  • in a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded cabbage with the salt and mix well and knead with your hands and mash down using a potato masher for 15 minutes until the cabbage releases some of its water, then add in the 3 spices, mix well and knead again for 15 minutes until more liquid is released, transfer to a large 1,5 or 2 liter jar and press down on the shredded cabbage until the liquid covers all of it, cover with the remaining 1 or 2 cabbage leaves and weigh down with a  heavy object (a rock or a small, closed jar that is filled with water)
  • cover with a kitchen towel secured with an elastic band and let sit at room temperature (18-21°C) for at least 10 days minimum (or longer up to 3 weeks if it’s cooler and for more developed and sour flavors), pushing down the cabbage every day so that the liquid always covers the shredded cabbage as it slowly ferments (if mold develops on the top layer, simply use a spoon and discard it)
  • after 10 days up to 3 weeks of fermentation and according to your taste and preferred texture, transfer everything to several large sterilized jars and reserve in the refrigerator (or in a very cool cellar) up to 1 year.