Brussels Kraut

Mmmm… Brussels sprouts! I love you with bacon. I love you roasted in olive oil. I even love you fermented! On a recent trip to my brother’s house he showed off his mad knife skillz. He likes to slice Brussels sprouts paper thin and saute them with pancetta. Delicious! But I had another idea when I saw that mountain of Brussels sprouts chiffonade – sauerkraut! Brussels sprouts make a delightful kraut with a lemony flavor and a firm texture. Beware that it’s very stinky during the early stages of fermentation; you’ll want to keep this one secluded in a cupboard until the 4 weeks are up to avoid objections from family members. 😉



Brussels Kraut

Makes 1 quart

2lbs. Brussels sprouts
1TB salt
1tsp. dried thyme
½tsp. caraway seeds
½tsp. dill seeds
½tps. ground black pepper
1tsp. salt dissolved in 1c. water (optional)

Rinse Brussels sprouts and remove any scrappy outer leaves. Slice the sprouts very thinly into a chiffonade, using a sharp knife or a mandoline or v-slicer. (I use this one: Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline, V-7000.) In a large mixing bowl, toss the sliced sprouts with the salt and other spices. Massage a bit with your hands to work in the salt. Put a plate on top and a weight and cover with a towel. Let the whole thing sit for an hour or two to macerate.

Pack the salted, spiced, sliced sprouts into a 1 quart or 1 liter jar, pressing down firmly with each addition, until the jar is filled to about 2″ from top. Place a little weight on top of the sprouts. (Small jar or shot glass works great.) I find that Brussels sprouts are not as juicy as cabbages; if this is the case, add brine until the sprouts are just covered (they will release more juice in the next couple days).

Secure lid – slightly loose if using a mason jar, or clamped down if using a hermetic jar. Let ferment in a cupboard or covered with a towel for 4 weeks before refrigerating. The flavor will be bright and lemony. 🙂

For more detailed instructions, please see my recipe for Klassic Kraut.

Happy Fermenting!

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9 Responses

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Sara, I am intrigued by the tag of lemony flavor! I recently had a kraut with chiffonade like pieces of lemon peel & lemongrass were used & it was amazing! Wondering how it might work with brussel kraut!?

    • Sarah Miller says:

      I think it would be great! When I set out to make this I had originally planned to use lemon peel and caraway, but alas was out of lemon on the day of. Thyme ended up being just lovely, but I may give lemon a try at some point. Let me know how it you like it!

  2. Anna K says:

    Making sauerkraut brings back childhood memories for me. We always invited three or four other families – our kitchen was a buzzing hive of activity for a long evening when anything that could be used for cutting was dug out and used. My dad even made a large sized mandolin that he rigged up in the middle of the floor with a barrel underneath to catch all the slivers. I’m really intrigued by the idea of using Brussel sprouts – might have to give it a try!

  3. Karen says:

    When you say that Brussels sprouts are not as juicy as cabbage you can add more brine… is it just water or do you have a brine?

  4. Ed Bennett says:

    If I modify the recipe with some other veggies (garlic, hot pepper, fennel), do I need to change the amount of salt or will that brine work for everything?


  5. Brad says:

    I tried this recipe about 4 weeks ago. Tasted it last night and it was good. One jar has a little white looking swirl towards the bottom. Is this normal and safe to eat? Also, should I refrigerate now and how long will it keep? Thanks.

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