Home Fermentation RecipesFermented Vegetables Fermented Radish and Leek Sauerkraut, One Gallon Recipe

Fermented Radish and Leek Sauerkraut, One Gallon Recipe

by Kaitlynn Fenley

Enjoy the earth, umami flavors of this fermented radish and leek sauerkraut. This sauerkraut with fermented radishes is long fermented for 21 days, giving it the best flavor and making it perfect for gut health.

Making Fermented Radish and Leek Sauerkraut

I love adding fun ingredients to sauerkraut, especially seasonal vegetables. The only way I like to ferment radishes is to add them to sauerkraut.

I honestly think fermented radishes, on their own, smell entirely too terrible to justify making them. So the only way I ferment radishes is to add them to delicious sauerkraut. The sauerkraut smells a bit in the beginning, but then it starts to smell great.

In my little patio garden, I always have radishes and leeks growing in early spring, so this is the perfect sauerkraut for spring!

Fermented Radish and Leek Sauerkraut Ingredients

Now, I never suggest trying to lacto-ferment Radishes by themselves. Simply because fermented radishes smell so gnarly when fermented. However, when you incorporate a bit of radish into sauerkraut, it works beautifully and smells much better!

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this fermented radish sauerkraut recipe:

  • cabbage
  • sea salt
  • water
  • radishes
  • leeks

Supplies You Need to Make Sauerkraut with Radishes and Leeks

For the best sauerkraut flavor and texture, you should use weight measurements for your fermentation ingredients. That means you need a kitchen scale. Weighing your ingredients gives you consistent and superior fermentation results. This is the scale we use in our home kitchen.  

Here is the equipment you will need to make it:

  • 32-ounce Wide Mouth Mason Jar
  • Fermentation Weight
  • Standard Metal Mason Jar Lid (this can rust in the presence of salt)
  • OR Rust-Free Plastic Lid
  • or you can use a Weck Jar (without the gasket; only use the clips to secure the lid)
  • Sea Salt
  • Scale
  • Mixing Bowl 

If you would like to read more about the best jars and lids for fermenting vegetables, click here.

Fermented Radish Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut naturally takes time. I recommend fermenting your sauerkraut for at least 14 days before eating, with 21-28 days being the best fermentation time for optimal flavor and health benefits.

By checking the progress of microbial stages under the microscope, we have provided you with a handy timeline below! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline of sauerkraut fermentation should approximately match ours!

Note that temperature will influence how fast or slow sauerkraut ferments. This timeline is applicable between 70-80° F. If you keep your home colder, the process is slower. If your home is warmer, it will be faster.

My Leek and Radish Sauerkraut Recipe Fermentation Timeline

24 – 48 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time, there are still Gram-negative bacteria and possible pathogens present.

48 hours – 5 days: After 48 hours, you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive, and Gram-negative organisms die off.

5 – 10 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The ferment will become cloudy, the color will change, and a pleasant sour smell will develop. You should also recognize some delightfully funky onion smells from the radishes and leeks. Lactobacillus species begin to thrive at this time.

10 – 21 days: Next, Lactobacillus make up most or all of the microbial population. They produce copious amounts of lactic acid, making the fermented cabbage smell even more pleasantly sour. This is when the vegetable mixture becomes sauerkraut and is preserved.

21 – 28 days: This is when you want to smell and taste test. Wait for the kraut to smell and taste as you like, and refrigerate when you find the smell and taste most pleasant! We like ours best when we refrigerate at about 25 days.

Fermented Radish Sauerkraut Care Instructions

During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes mason jars will become very full of liquid, and this liquid can seep out. You will need to burp the jar. I suggest securing the lid to the jar, but leaving it ever so slightly loose so the carbonation does not build.

  • When burping the jar, remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a clean tamper or spoon. Make sure everything, including the weight, is still submerged below the brine. You can also rinse off the lid daily to keep things clean.

Always Trust your sense of smell: In the beginning fermenting cabbage smells funky. When fermentation is finished, fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour and like strong cabbage.  Never eat anything that smells repulsive or yeasty. 

Never eat anything that has mold growing on it: By following directions, you should not encounter this problem. 

After 3-4 weeks, remove the fermentation weight, smell, and taste test. Your fermented cabbage should smell pleasantly sour. It should taste tart, salty, and cabbage. Store it in the fridge.

More Sauerkraut Recipes to Try


Fermented Radish and Leek Sauerkraut, One Gallon Recipe

Save Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

Enjoy the earth, umami flavors of this fermented radish and leek sauerkraut. This sauerkraut with fermented radishes is long fermented for 21 days, giving it the best flavor and making it perfect for gut health.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • fermentation time: 21 days
  • Total Time: 504 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 gallon
  • Category: sauerkraut
  • Method: fermentation


  • 1200 grams cabbage
  • 72 grams sea salt
  • 800 grams filtered water
  • 450 grams radishes, sliced
  • 450 grams leeks, sliced


  1. This is a one-gallon recipe. If you want to make less, divide everything by 4 to make one quart.
  2. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight, and lid)
  3. Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage and lightly rinse with cool water. Using a knife, chop the cabbage to your desired thickness.
  4. Wash and chop the radishes.
  5. Wash and chop the leeks, then rinse the chopped leeks again, making sure to rinse any dirt from the folds.
  6. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  7. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.
  8. Add the designated amounts of chopped cabbage, radishes and leeks.
  9. Remove the bowl from the scale and set it aside.
  10. Place a small, empty bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. Weigh out the salt.
  11. Add the salt into the bowl with the cabbage, and mix with your hands until the cabbage becomes wet.
  12. Place your empty, clean jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams, and add the filtered water to your jar.
  13. Add the water into the bowl with the cabbage and salt. Mix everything well.
  14. Starting with the liquid, add the entire contents of the bowl into your jar, and pack everything down.
  15. Place your glass fermentation weight in the jar, submerging the cabbage pieces and weight fully into the liquid. If your weight is smaller than the diameter of your jar, you can tuck everything in with a large cabbage leaf and place the weight on top. If you don’t have enough liquid, place your glass fermentation weight in the jar and submerge as much as possible. Over the next 12 hours, the cabbage should release more liquid, and you can press down your fermentation weight below the brine.
  16. Secure the solid lid to the jar. You do not need to tighten it all the way. Just secure the lid but leave it ever so slightly loose, so the gas doesn’t build up too much.
  17. Ferment for 21-28 days, then remove the weight and refrigerate. Don’t forget to burp the jar daily during the bubbly phase, making sure everything is staying submerged.
  18. If you try this recipe and love it, please leave a five-star review below!

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a 5-star review below if you loved it! Tag @cultured.guru on Instagram


Nutrition information is auto-calculated and estimated as close as possible. We are not responsible for any errors. We have tested the recipe for accuracy, but your results may vary.

author avatar
Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


Cassie snyder April 16, 2024 - 11:26 am

Hi! Do I burp it every day?

Kaitlynn Fenley April 16, 2024 - 11:38 am

yep! every day that its bubbly, you should burp the jar and check to make sure everything is staying submerged. If you need to, you can open up the jar and tamper everything back down, then replace the lid.