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Lola's Mexican Sauerkraut

Author Chef Lola, Lola Denver


  • 16 cups water
  • 4 lbs green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 white onions, thinly sliced
  • 12 chiles de arbol
  • 6 Guajillo chiles
  • 4 limes, juiced


  • Combine water, salt, lime juice, chiles de arbol, and Guajillo chiles in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Once ingredients are boiling, remove from heat and let the brine cool.
  • Combine the cabbage and brine in a large, nonreactive container.
  • Cover the cabbage with piece of cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel, then weigh the cabbage and cloth down with a plate, pressing the plate down so that the cabbage is completely submerged.
  • Cover the container loosely with plastic wrap and set in a cool place for two weeks (it can be no warmer than 70 - 75 degree, otherwise no beneficial bacteria can begin to thrive.)
  • After two weeks, drain the cabbage, reserving the brining liquid; the cabbage should have a pleasant sour/salty flavor and although its green color will have paled, it should still be crunchy.
  • Strain the brining liquid into a pot, then cover and refrigerate the cabbage.
  • Bring the brining liquid to a boil, remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then chill.
  • Pour enough of the cold brine over the sauerkraut to cover it completely, discard the extra brine.
  • Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.