Gut Cure

Maybe this is TMI but it might help people, so I want to share. My post-COVID gut issues have been cured decisively within a day by means of Russian-style pickled cabbage. Nothing else – probiotics, kombucha, kefir – had any impact.

Here’s how you make it at home. Put two heads of cabbage in the refrigerator for a few hours (or in the freezer for 30 minutes). Shred the cabbage, add some shredded carrots. You can also add some cranberries or yellow apples but it’s unnecessary.

Put 1 tablespoon of coarse salt per each kilo of cabbage in a saucer. Start transferring the shredded cabbage into a pot in small portions, adding salt, and kneading the cabbage with your hands until it starts releasing juice. Do that until you transfer all of the cabbage, carrots, and cranberries into the pot. You can add some bay leaf and black peppercorns but it’s not a must. The only things you can’t do without are cabbages and salt. Everything else is optional.

Now you need to apply significant pressure to the cabbage and leave it in a warm place (not a fridge!). It will need a couple of days to ferment. A couple of times a day, remove the weight and poke the cabbage with a wooden spoon or a stick.

After it ferments, keep it in the fridge. Easy, cheap, and very healthy. We eat it as garnish, put it in salads and soups.

22 thoughts on “Gut Cure

  1. We make sauerkraut at home in much the same way– except we put it in jars. My husband used it while rehabbing his gut from a round of antibiotics. Sometimes it is nice to add some juniper berries and caraway seeds. Always wanted to try making kimchi, but haven’t got around to it yet.

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    1. We made it in large clay pots with mu parents. Instead of kneading, we uses a wooden hammer and beat it until it let the juices out. One advice that I got in Germany that I found it works is that if you tend to get gassy from it, sprinkle some caraway seeds on it when eating raw.

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    1. @cliff arroyo
      Often store bought is made with vinegar and not really fermented. There are a couple of exceptions, typically expensive and only found in fancy stores or Eastern European stores.

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  2. All those procedures—-sounds a bit piecemeal to me.
    How long does it take to shop for all those ingredients? And how long does it take to perform all those procedures? How does one accurately measure each and every item? If someone has a busy lifestyle where would they get the time necessary to fastidiously carry out making this dish?

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      1. The reason that I asked is because I live in a tropical place where room temperature means 27C-30C in the cool season and 30-35C in the warm season.

        So, if I may ask, is this fermentation ever carried out in temperate regions at the height of summer or is that considered dangerous?

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            1. PS: I have made kraut in Florida successfully, but not in the middle of summer. Mostly because the good cabbages are not available then. YMMV. I made a couple of decent batches of do chua (Viet pickles) in Lima, which are made the same way as kraut, but are made with carrot and daikon radish instead of cabbage.

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            2. “And you should watch out for mold or weird colors and throw that out”

              I don’t know what the normal colour is, let alone what weird ones look like 🙂

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              1. Hm. With carrots in it, I’m really not sure what color it’d be. But fuzzy mold spots are not good. If you haven’t got enough liquid and the top layer gets air in it, you can lose that part to mold. For me, that’s about one batch in five, that I end up throwing out. But it was actually worse when I lived in the Mid-Atlantic. There was this weird pink mildew that got on everything (the shower, the laundry…), and I’d get pink batches of kraut that smelled bad about one time in three. Those went in the compost.

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              2. “Hm. With carrots in it, I’m really not sure what color it’d be.”

                It’s okay, I’ll go and find everything in some microbiology paper somewhere. Surely some student at some university somewhere did some dumb experiment measuring something like acidity vs temperature across a range of temperatures. Hunting it down shouldn’t be hard. I just wanted to hear from the natives.

                Meanwhile I still don’t have cabbage 🙂

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          1. “Talk to different groups of Asians and find out what kind of fermented foods they make in similar climates.”

            Respectfully, I prefer the European version. In my experience, many Asian people eat like they’re in a permanent wartime situation or don’t have many years left to live.

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            1. “I prefer the European version”

              Then look for immigrants from Central Eastern Europeans (Germany-Austria and eastward but no further south than Hungary-Romania….) and find out what they do…

              IIINM they ferment heads of cabbage in Romania where it gets hot as anything in the summer…

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              1. “Then look for immigrants from Central Eastern Europeans”

                Where I live, there are very, very few of those. Plus I don’t know any.

                Anyhow as I said earlier I’ll hunt down some paper somewhere and deduce the temperature. Thanks for the help anyway though 🙂

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  3. Who are you and what have you done with the real Clarissa? Kombucha schombucha, eastern european style pickles would have been the first solution she’d have tried.

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