Hello, giant jar of homemade sauerkraut. How do we cook with you?
November 28, 2014 6:59 AM   Subscribe

Best uses for homemade kraut?

Not too long ago, Shepherd and I made sauerkraut using Sandor Ellix Katz's method out of Wild Fermentation (we're fermentation crazy at the moment). It's delicious (if a little salty but you can rinse it)! But aside from eating it solo and with veggie sausages, what other uses are there? Give me your sauerkraut recipes!

Difficulty level: vegan.
posted by Kitteh to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Curtido!

I use my caraway-free 'kraut to create this lovely sour side dish for use with pupusas.

To a pint of plain 'kraut, add:

3 tablespoons finely diced carrot
3 tablespoons finely diced sweet onion
1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
Pepper and white vinegar to taste (optional -- I use a splash of vinegar and lay on the pepper)

Mix well and let marinate for a while (20 minutes to an hour -- but honestly? I have been known to mix and eat after five minutes or so).

It might also be good on pita bread, as a sort of cabbage taco.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:11 AM on November 28, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: The Reubenesque Salad from Terry Hope Romero's vegan salad cookbook Salad Samurai is amazing and very substantial.
posted by topophilia at 7:48 AM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sauerkraut with Apples

Replace butter with some sort of oil and cut down on the size unless you happen to have about 4 lbs of kraut lying around. Maybe you do, I don't know.
posted by Ferreous at 8:00 AM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Heating it could kill off benefial bacteria/probiotics. I'd just add a spoonful to each meal plate.
posted by Neekee at 8:04 AM on November 28, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I had a boon of homemade kraut once.

I rinsed it and threw it in brothier/vinegary soups, even just out of a can. I also made a good few small batches of hot and sour soup and used it there.

I also rinsed it and threw it in stir fry type vegetable-y dishes.
posted by letahl at 8:12 AM on November 28, 2014

Add flax seed to the sauerkraut and let it soak overnight, then grate apples into it and something to sweeten. I use honey, but you can substitute with vegan alternatives. Voila delicious sauerkraut snack!
posted by meijusa at 8:29 AM on November 28, 2014

Here are a few recipes although I usually use mine for pork and sauerkraut but you said you were a vegan. The other thing I have done with mine is throw the kraut over pierogies and eat them like that, it's a bit vingery but good for a change. I was never a huge fan of the apples in kraut but YMMV.

If there are any decent vegan brats, that's always a good way to use it as well - throw it over some grilled brats and enjoy.
posted by lpcxa0 at 8:37 AM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: Lacking any kim chi I've been adding some to congee / rice porridge.

Tempeh Reuben?

I am a fan of (non vegan) grilled blue cheese sandwiches with sauerkraut on walnut bread.
posted by pipstar at 8:56 AM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: Being Dutch, I can only say: zuurkoolstamppot. Being a vegetarian, I say: replace bacon with cubes of smoked tofu, salted and fried until crisp.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:48 AM on November 28, 2014

You could do a vegan version of Bigos, a type of Polish Hunter's stew that is normally just an excuse to use up a bunch of different types of meat; you could either just leave the meat out or add a protein replacement like tofu. It's reeeeeeally good, and it's tastiness isn't at all linked to the meat in it.
posted by urbanlenny at 10:47 AM on November 28, 2014

Is your cabbage pickled whole, or shredded?

If it has whole leaves:

Cabbage rolls (sarmale) are one of our traditional dishes, made for weddings, Christmas and other festivities (they are good for hangovers). They are usually made with meat, but there are also vegetarian/ vegan options. I’m including the traditional meat-based recipe; the meat can be replaced with non-meat minces (I’ve eaten really nice versions with soy mince).

700 g minced stuff
2 medium onions
Rice: 2 fistfuls
4 spoonfuls tomato puree
1 bundle dill, chopped
1.5 kg sauerkraut
Ground pepper
A few peppercorns
2 bay leaves


Soak the rice in cold water. Dice the onions finely, sauté them with oil (but don’t let them turn brown). Add the rinsed rice and one spoonful of tomato puree. Cook for 2 mins on low heat, stirring all the time, then add one more spoonful of tomato puree and continue stirring for another 2 mins. In a large bowl, mix the fried onions with the minced stuff, ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, and the dill. Don’t add any salt if your cabbage is already salty. If the cabbage is too salty, you can desalt it by soaking it for an hour in lukewarm water.

Prepare the cabbage by removing any stalks and other unbending bits from each individual cabbage leaf (here is a video that shows the process, starting with 2:20. This one at about 3: 15. Warning – meat on view in both!). Take one cabbage leaf and place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture in the center of the leaf. Roll the leaf into a little mixture-filled package (see videos); continue until you have the desired number of rolls. Leave a few leaves for the pot.

When you’re done rolling, prepare the pot (ideally, this will be an earthenware dish, or, if you want to be extra fancy, a carved-out pumpkin): coat the pot with oil, cover the bottom of the pot with 2-3 whole cabbage leaves, then chop up any remaining sauerkraut (such as the stalks you cleaned earlier) and use them to cover the bottom of the pot quite generously (this also prevents the rolls from sticking to the pot). Stack one layer of rolls on top of the chopped cabbage. Crumble the bay leaves on top of the rolls, then mix 1 spoon of tomato puree with a cup of water and pour over the rolls. Continue layering the rolls until you are done. Cover the last layer of rolls with some more chopped cabbage and the remaining tomato puree. Cover the whole lot with water, then place a lid on the pot.

Place the pot on a medium flame and cook for 40 minutes. If you do use an earthenware pot, make sure to not place it directly on the flame, use a metal plate or something to protect the dish. After 40 minutes reduce the flame and continue cooking for 1-2 hour on low heat. Check regularly to see if you need to add water. To see if the sarmale are done, you need to actually taste them (the cabbage will taste cooked).

You can also oven-cook the rolls, they will be even tastier, but in that case you need to leave them in for at least 2-3 hours.

We eat them with polenta (basic recipe made with coarse cornflour, water, salt) and cream on top (I don’t know if there is a vegan substitute for cream).

Alternatives for the mince: 500 g mushrooms, minced, 2 big carrots and one parsnip, grated, one red pepper, finely diced.
posted by miorita at 11:57 AM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Pair with Field Roast vegan sausages, preferably Smoked Apple Sage flavor. Slice sausages, fry in pan. Mix in the sauerkraut so everything can be warm and mixed. Serve with cider or beer or whatever. It's seriously brilliant.
posted by feral_goldfish at 12:48 PM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: PPK Mac & 'Shews -- Isa says the kraut is the secret ingredient, lending a nice fermented tang to the cashew cheese.

Otherwise, try the tempeh reuben from Vegan With a Vengeance or any of these other vegan reubens!
posted by divined by radio at 1:08 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I often use my homemade sauerkraut in this delicious soup, leaving out the meat and using veggie broth. It freezes beautifully, too.
posted by MeadowlarkMaude at 1:09 PM on November 28, 2014

How about chocolate sauerkraut cake? I've never tried it, but I hear it's delicious. The sauerkraut makes it really moist.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:20 PM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: Oh! Here's the vegan version of sauerkraut chocolate cake.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 1:25 PM on November 28, 2014

I like to bake chicken breasts on a bed of sauerkraut with barbecue sauce poured over. Obviously you wouldn't use chicken, but maybe pressed tofu? Or you could make sandwiches with avocado, seitan, sauerkraut and barbecue sauce. The combination of barbecue sauce and sauerkraut is really good!
posted by lunasol at 1:42 PM on November 28, 2014

Response by poster: Pair with Field Roast vegan sausages, preferably Smoked Apple Sage flavor. Slice sausages, fry in pan. Mix in the sauerkraut so everything can be warm and mixed. Serve with cider or beer or whatever. It's seriously brilliant.

We are huge fans of Field Roast but alas they are no longer available in Canada due to an absurd food law (which means any remaining stocks have been wiped out at our local health food stores).

A lot of these look incredible! Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
posted by Kitteh at 1:44 PM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: Lots of sauerkraut recipes where I live, in Austria, -but sadly not that many are vegan.

Where I grew up we don't eat it raw, but cook it first. Drain it, just cover with water, add 2 bay leaves and 5-6 juniper berries and cook unitl tender. Or fry some chopped onion in a little oil, add the drained sauerkraut, add water to cover it and then add bay leaves and juniper berries and cook unitl tender.

One recipe you can easily adapt to vegan is sauerkraut strudel, i think. Using filo pastry, you can make either small packets filled with (well drained) sauerkraut cooked as described above, shaping the packets like spring rolls, and bake them n the oven until they brown nicely.
or a larger shape: lay out the filo dough on a damp dish cloth, brush filo with oil, and spread out the cooked and drained sauerkraut on a third of the pastry, then using the table cloth roll it up. Instead of egg you can easily use water to maket he dough stick together on the seams.
Bake until it is a nice colour, the sauerkraut is already cooked so it just the dough needs to get done.

Another dish, sauerkraut casserole, involes layers of sauerkraut and boiled potatoes - but I think it might taste rather boring and dry without the sourcream and egg mixture poured over the top before baking.
posted by 15L06 at 1:53 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you substitute the honey with something suitable, this might be nice: Caramelized Sauerkraut with Prunes, Herbs and Honey. (Thought I'd found this recommendation here on MeFi, but apparently not.)
posted by Lexica at 4:44 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

due to an absurd food law

That's ... such a travesty. I'm so very sorry.
posted by feral_goldfish at 4:44 PM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: I make a vegetarian borscht with sauerkraut. Boil peeled potatoes, beets, carrots, and an unpeeled yellow onion. Take the vegetables out when they're cooked (don't let them fall apart), let them cool a bit, then chop them up and add them back in. Toss the cooked onion out. Add sauerkraut, some dill in a retrievable mesh container if you have it, some bay leaves, a small jar of tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Borscht is arguably better the next day.

(For those who aren't vegan, serve with sour cream.)
posted by parudox at 5:36 PM on November 28, 2014

Best answer: I add homemade sauerkraut to my scrambled eggs. I know it sounds weird, but it's about to get weirder: adding fennel seeds to the sauerkraut at the start of pickling turns it into a crazy good thing I no longer want to eat scrambled eggs without.

Vegan version would be a tofu scramble. For example, replace the kale with sauerkraut in this recipe.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 4:02 PM on November 29, 2014

So based on this thread, my husband just made his first Sauerkraut Chocolate Cake. It was really, really delicious.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:20 PM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

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