Being a culinary student at George Brown College, I have always felt I am behind fellow students.
Before coming here and cooking in my home, I thought I was pretty good with the cuts and cooking, man I was dumb.
Each and every week ever since I came to Toronto, I have been buying a cabbage when I go grocery shopping to practice cuts. After the practice, leftover cuts becomes a problem for me and usually I make a jar of coleslaw.
As I get tired of making and eating coleslaw, this assignment came up.
I turned on the internet right away to search what can I do with the cabbage fermentation and the sauerkraut came up.
Personally, I do not like the hot dog bun and have not eaten much of it. However, I did remember the pickled cabbage on the bins next to the hot dog carts.
Right now for me, anything made with the cabbage except the coleslaw is good thus I researched the recipe for the sauerkraut and tried making it.
Wash and drain the water from the cabbage. Make sure the jar is washed as well.
Cut off the core of the cabbage and discard the outer leaves and wilted leaves out of the way.
Slice the whole cabbage into quarters and slice into thin julienne.
Transfer the cabbage to a big stainless bowl and sprinkle the kosher salt over the top.
Massage the salt into the cabbage. I did it twice just to cover all the cabbage.
Transfer the salted cabbage into the jar and tamp down the cabbage in the jar with fist or heavy jar often. Also, pour any liquid released while cabbage was massaged with the kosher salt.
Cover the jar and tamp down the cabbage every few hours. (I did it around each 6 hours)
Ferment the cabbage at a cool room temperature and check it daily for about 5 ~ 10 days.
As the cabbage begins its fermentation, I checked daily to tamp down the cabbage and tried eating one piece of the cabbage. The recipe also said to add fluid if it was needed but mine released quite a lot of fluid so I did not.
On the fourth day, when I tried the piece of cabbage, it still had hard texture so I moved the jars near the window. However, the recipe stated it should not see the sunlight which I forgot and I believe that is the reason why my result ended terrible.
After the tenth day of the fermentation, I opened up the jar and tasted few pieces of the cabbage.
It was really salty; I did the salt massage twice and I believe that is the reason why it was too salty.
Not as sweet as I thought; I thought the sweet taste of cabbage itself would elevate after the fermentation but did not change much.
A bit sour however did not taste bitterness nor umami.
In my opinion, my sauerkraut did not taste similar to the market-sold products as it was too salty and some pieces were still hard parts.
Maybe it was not preserved long enough although I tried to not open more than once per day to tamp down the cabbage.
The smell from the jar was like the mixture of vinegar and grass smell when you step over the mowed lawn.
My finished product looked too yellow rather than white like it was sold in the market.
After eating my fermented cabbage, thick cut pieces tasted like a rubber glove with vinegar poured over. The thin cut pieces were too salty and I had to spit out.
However, I thought if the sauerkraut was finished right, the relatable flavor would be the white-kimchi which is a Korean dish that looks like kimchi but without the red chili flakes.
I tasted few more times however there were too much difference in taste and texture between the thick cut and thin cut. I would not eat it again however, i would try next time with more time to ferment and without showing it the sunlight.
Some of the recipe suggested try the sauerkraut with the mixture of cabbage and apple, also some added herbs and seasonings which sounded interesting.