Turmeric Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut

by Kaitlynn Fenley

If you ever wondered if you can make sauerkraut with napa cabbage, the answer is yes! This delicious turmeric sauerkraut recipe is a simple napa cabbage sauerkraut, perfect for preserving in-season fall and winter cabbage.

Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut

If you’ve never made sauerkraut with napa cabbage, I highly recommend giving it a try! It’s quite different from green cabbage sauerkraut but just as delicious.

Napa cabbage sauerkraut will be naturally a bit softer but should still have some crunch after fermentation. If you want to make this recipe with green cabbage instead, you can! Just use the exact same amounts and sub for green cabbage.

Turmeric Sauerkraut

Turmeric is one of the best ingredients you can add to sauerkraut! Curcumin is one of the healthiest compounds in turmeric; it’s a yellow pigment and well-known polyphenol that can help reduce inflammation.

When the Lactobacillus bacteria in sauerkraut produce enzymes and acids during fermentation, they enzymatically alter curcumin and convert it into tetrahydrocurcumin and tetrahydro-bisdemethoxycurcumin.

These forms of curcumin are more bioavailable and usable by our bodies. These more bioavailable forms of curcumin are also a different color.

Fresh turmeric root is a dark golden-orange color. After fermentation, the turmeric becomes lighter and a more vibrant yellow. This color change is a great sign and indicates that the curcumin has been changed into more bioavailable forms.

close up view of a few bubbles in a jar of napa cabbage sauerkraut

How to Make Sauerkraut with Napa Cabbage

You can make sauerkraut with Napa cabbage using the same method you would make sauerkraut with green cabbage. As with all of my sauerkraut recipes, we mix all of the ingredients together and add 2.5% salt to create the perfect sauerkraut.

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you know that I add water to all of my sauerkraut recipes. Adding water helps keep the cabbage crisp and submerged during fermentation.

Adding water also gives you more brine to use in other fun recipes, like these fermented cherry tomatoes.

Turmeric sauerkraut made with napa cabbage and carrots in a glass jar. The turmeric has turned the cabbage bright gold.

Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut with Turmeric Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this flavorful superfood sauerkraut:

  • Napa cabbage
  • Water
  • Green onions
  • Carrots
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh turmeric root
  • black pepper
Left over cabbage and carrot bits from the ingredients used to make sauerkraut with napa cabbage in a bowl

Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut Equipment

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.

More Sauerkraut Recipes to Try

Napa cabbage sauerkraut with turmeric and carrots in a glass jar. The turmeric has turned the cabbage bright gold.
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Turmeric Napa Cabbage Sauerkraut

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5 from 3 reviews

If you ever wondered if you can make sauerkraut with napa cabbage, the answer is yes! This delicious turmeric sauerkraut recipe is a simple napa cabbage sauerkraut, perfect for preserving in-season fall and winter cabbage.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fermentation Time: 21 days
  • Total Time: 504 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 32 servings
  • Category: Fermented Vegetables
  • Method: Fermentation

Ingredients

  • 500 grams napa cabbage
  • 20 grams unrefined sea salt
  • 200 grams filtered water
  • 15 grams fresh turmeric root, grated
  • 75 grams carrots, julienned
  • 30 grams green onions, chopped
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Wash your fermentation equipment (jar, weight, and lid)
  2. Remove the outer leaves of your cabbage and lightly rinse with cool water. Using a knife, chop the cabbage to your desired thickness. Chop the carrots and onions. Grate the turmeric root using a cheese grater
  3. Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
  4. Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale.*
  5. Add the designated amounts of chopped cabbage, green onions, carrots, and turmeric.
  6. Remove the bowl from the scale and set it aside. Place a small, empty bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. Weigh out the salt.
  7. Add the salt into the bowl with the cabbage, and mix with your hands until the cabbage becomes wet.*
  8. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams, and add the water to your mason jar.
  9. Add the measured water into the bowl with the cabbage and salt. Mix everything well.
  10. Starting with the liquid, add the entire contents of the bowl into your jar, and pack everything down using a tamper, wooden spoon, or your hand.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 stays submerged.
  14. If you try this recipe and love it, please leave a five-star review below!

Notes

  • You need a 32 ounce jar for this recipe.
  • Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
  • If you are sensitive to pepper and don’t want your hands to turn yellow from the turmeric, wear gloves when mixing.
  • For softer sauerkraut massage the cabbage vigorously in step 7. For crunchier sauerkraut, gently mix the cabbage.

 

Did you make this recipe?

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

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.

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16 comments

Laura January 19, 2023 - 12:42 pm

I’m very interested in making this. However, I can never find fresh turmeric. Can I make it with dried??

Reply
Jennifer July 1, 2023 - 5:20 am

Laura, I too have the same question. I researched some other sauerkraut recipes that use turmeric and yes, you can use dried turmeric. For this recipe sub 5 ml x dried turmeric for the fresh turmeric. I am just about to make this recipe so I can’t tell you how it comes out but crossing my fingers and hoping for the best!

Reply
Mk April 29, 2023 - 5:08 pm

The 2x scale version of the recipe also fits perfectly into my Chinese pickle jar/crock (1.75L). Delicious.

Reply
Billy May 9, 2023 - 9:23 pm

Can I use refined sea salt?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 10, 2023 - 9:31 am

sure, you can use any salt as long as its pure salt, with no anticaking agents.

Reply
Billy May 14, 2023 - 11:11 am

Thank you! Another question: I’m using Pickle Pipe lids and the swell up. How often and how much should I be burping, if I should at all? Also, when I squeeze the top juice comes out. Is that okay?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley May 14, 2023 - 3:46 pm

I do not recommend using those types of lids. They can cause a lot of issues. When using a regular lid, I suggest burping it every day.

Reply
Jane Coverdale July 15, 2023 - 7:04 am

Amazing! I was dubious about this but thought I’d give it a go as I love your red cabbage and beetroot recipe. I added ginger as I love it and the sauerkraut is delicious, the turmeric adds an almost umami flavour, I can’t get enough of it. Also, the napa cabbage slices really easily so it’s quick to make.






Reply
Wilma OBryan August 13, 2023 - 1:39 pm

Loved it. Very flavorful and no garlic






Reply
Tim August 17, 2023 - 11:54 am

Is the 2.5% for just the raw ingredients EXcluding or INcluding the water?`

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley August 17, 2023 - 2:01 pm

If you’re talking about the salt concentration, it’s approximately 2.5% of the total weight of ALL ingredients.

Reply
Christine October 17, 2023 - 5:38 pm

Can I substitute ginger for turmeric?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley October 18, 2023 - 10:20 am

yes!

Reply
Emily December 9, 2023 - 5:42 pm

super easy to make, and so delicious, loved this, will definitley be making this again and again






Reply
Christina Franklin February 27, 2024 - 10:37 am

Hi there! When it comes to fermentation, can I leave it out on the counter? Does it do better in a dark/ cool enviornment? I live in Florida and my house is quite sunny and is around 74-76 degrees during the day. Would that mess with the fermentation time?

Reply
Kaitlynn Fenley February 27, 2024 - 11:15 am

I live in South Louisiana, so very similar weather! You can just leave it on the counter, avoid direct sun, but a little light is fine.

Reply