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I recently finished my first batch of sauerkraut and tasted it only to find that it's way too salty. In referencing the original recipe, I realized that I used the amount of salt recommended for 5lbs of cabbage but I only had 2.5lbs.

What, if anything, can I do to salvage the sauerkraut? Because of the way it's made, I wasn't sure that just adding the missing cabbage is a viable solution and part of me wonders if the salt is just part of the food now.

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2 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Rinsing the sauerkraut absolutely does work - we do it all the time, both with store-bought and homemade sauerkraut. Every batch of sauerkraut is different, so rinsing & tasting is the only way to ensure that your dishes turn out appropriately salted. Yes, some of the salt has entered the cabbage itself, but most of it will be in the brine/on the surface.

If rinsing in a colander isn't enough (and if you used twice the recommended amount of salt it's likely not to be), then you can drain the liquid as best you can, then add clean water to cover, and let it soak. Rinse and repeat until the salt level tastes more acceptable.

Adding more cabbage and letting it ferment some more is also an option, although the twice-fermented parts can end up rather mushy.

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I rinsed, soaked, and then rinsed again. Now it tastes good. –  Jonathan Campbell Jan 22 '11 at 0:16
    
@Jonathan Campbell: glad it worked! Homemade sauerkraut is good stuff. :) –  Marti Jan 22 '11 at 20:09
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Adding the missing cabbage is a viable solution. You could also just remove some of the brine and replace it with water, until it's salty to your taste. Finally, you could just rinse some of the brine off of it before eating it.

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I don't think rinsing the cabbage will work well since the salt will have entered the cabbage itself. Replacing some of the brine with water should work though. –  yacomink Jan 21 '11 at 17:44
    
@yacomink Rinsing the cabbage doesn't completely remove the salt, but it does remove a good deal of the salt. Sadly, it also removes some of the other flavours and some of the beneficial microörganisms. It's easy, though, and I think it's worth a shot. –  Nick Jan 21 '11 at 19:06
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