At the Good Food Awards blind tastings on September 15, my favorite sauerkraut was flecked with bits of green seaweed, whose tangy flavor and as well as strong color complemented the pale, sour cabbage.* So when I made my last batch of kohlrabi kraut this fall, I decided to incorporate sea palm, Postelsia palmaeformis, sent to me by a friend in California. The small, mild-flavored species of kelp, which stands erect in ever-pounding surf with its palm-like fronds exposed to the air, grows on rocky shores from Vancouver Island to south-central California. Its harvest is illegal, however, in British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, and even in California some fear the species may be threatened. My friend swore, however, that her sea palm was harvested sustainably, and I was happy for the opportunity to experiment with it.
I used just an ounce of dried sea palm for 10 pounds of kohlrabi, and I cut the long seaweed fronds into short lengths with scissors before mixing them with the kohlrabi. Next time I’ll cut much shorter pieces, because the dried seaweed swells immensely as the kraut ferments. But the moist, mild kraut looks and tastes lovely with the chewy, minerally green bits. Here’s the recipe:
Kohlrabi Kraut with Sea Palm
Peel the kohlrabi with a sturdy knife, and cut any woody parts out of the flesh.
10 pounds peeled and coarsely grated kohlrabi
6 tablespoons pickling salt
1 ounce dried sea palm fronds, cut into short pieces
Thoroughly mix 5 pounds of the kohlrabi with 3 tablespoons of the salt and half of the sea palm pieces, and pack the mixture into a crock or other suitable container with a volume of at least 1.5 gallons. Mix the remaining ingredients in the same way, and pack this batch on top of the first. Weight the mixture, cover the container, and let the kohlrabi ferment at room temperature for two weeks or longer, until the kraut is as sour as you like.
Have you tried seaweed in your sauerkraut? I’d love to know what kinds you have used and how you liked the results.
*This must have been OlyKraut’s Sea Vegetable Gourmet Sauerkraut, which has just been announced as a finalist for the Good Food Awards 2014.
5 thoughts on “Kohlrabi Kraut Again, with Sea Vegetable”
I haven’t made kraut yet but I made kimchi with sea vegetables and it was scrumptious. As a vegan I wanted that extra tang that the sea veggies gave to the kimchi (to replace the dried shrimp and small fish) and I really loved the results. I used wakame.
Thank you for that report, Narf.
I really enjoyed the kimchi with the sea vegetables. I just threw them in on a whim (they weren’t in the recipe) and it really livened up my brew. I haven’t actually tried making kraut yet but it’s next on my list 🙂
Love the idea of adding sea vegetables to ferments!
Hi It’s OlyKraut (Sash Sunday actually) and I’m so glad you enjoyed our kraut! Thanks for the nod and yours looks amazing too. Kohlrabi kraut is one of my favorites and I’ve been meaning to get a recipe dialed in at OlyKraut that stars the ‘Rab.
I’m always looking for recipe ideas for folks to use the kraut so if you have any winners that feature sea vegetable kraut, let me know!
Thanks and happy fermenting!