By Slippery Salmon Bar & Grill
4 heads of cabbage (roughly 2 pounds each will make 4-to 5-quarts of kraut to preserve)
¼ cup of red Hawaiian sea salt infused with Korean pepper powder (Gochugaru)
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 sixteen-ounce bottles of water, as needed
Alaskan Sausage links with Reindeer meat added from Alaska Sausage and Seafood
Hot Dog Bun
Additional toppings prepped
Remove two outer leaves from each head and set aside for use as a cover for the kraut mixture.
Quarter each head of cabbage and remove the core. Thinly slice into as fine a thread as you can. Place the equivalent of a quarter to half of a cabbage into a heavy-duty bowl or pan and sprinkle a small amount of each type of salt over it. Using a tamper, such as a plunger from a Vitamix blender or solid rolling pin, pound the cabbage and salt mixture until it is thoroughly bruised, broken into small pieces and releasing its water content. (Releasing the water from the cabbage is the key to this process).
Move the cabbage to a heavy bowl and continue the process with another batch of cabbage threads. When complete let the cabbage sit for about an hour so you can monitor how much water is being released. At this point you can add more salt to taste; don’t be bashful with the red sea salt. Making kraut is a brining process that relies on the water being released. If necessary, repeat the tamping process with any larger pieces.
Add the Caraway Seeds to the kraut and begin packing it into a 1- to 1.5-gallon container, pressing it down constantly to force the air out. When complete, check the water level. If the natural kraut juice does not cover the mixture then add enough bottled water to ensure mixture is covered. Place the outer leaves carefully over the mixture, add a plate to the container to hold them down and put a one-gallon storage bag of water on top of the plate to ensure the mixture stays completely submerged.
Let stand at room temperature for 2- to 3 days, checking the water level daily. Move to a cool room for 1- to 3 weeks to continue the curing process. Do a taste test after one week and then decide if it is ready for your household. If you want a stronger flavor let it cure longer. It will be ready when you like the taste. You can jar and refrigerate it at this point.
Split down the middle and grill until hot. Crisp bun on the grill top or toaster.
Place bun open-faced on plate. Add link and cover with a generous serving of kraut. Serve with favorite condiments and toppings like mustard, relish, onions, grated cheddar cheese, olives, and pickles. Add a side-salad and bowl of soup, or french fries, and you’ve got a mouth-watering meal.
Note: At the Slippery Salmon we make the base sauerkraut described here but we also make our amped up version that includes shaved fennel, white onion and finely shredded house-cured and smoked pork-shoulder bacon. Yum! Come in and try it.
Slippery Salmon Bar & Grill
115 E 3rd Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501