Making Northeast China’s “Suancai” (AKA Chinese Sauerkraut)

Washing cabbage

Washing cabbage

Cabbage, after 3-4 days drying and wilted leaves removed.

Dried cabbage, after 3-4 days leaning against the wall. 12kg of cabbage weighed only 6.8kg after drying and removing wilted leaves.

Halved and sliced at base.

Halved and sliced at base.

Stacked one layer at a time, with salt and Sichuanese peppercorns (huajiao 花椒) spread on top of each layer.

Stacked one layer at a time. A layer of salt and Sichuanese peppercorns (huajiao 花椒) are spread on each layer.

Salt and Sichuanese peppercorns on every layer

Salt and Sichuanese peppercorns on every layer

Placing a kraut rock

Placing a kraut rock

Adding boiled water, AFTER cooling to room temperature.

Adding boiled water (after cooling to room temperature)

Over 30 days below 50 degrees, and no mold...

Over 30 days below 50 degrees, and no mold…

Suancai is ready to be chopped for a dish of Chinese sauerkraut and vermicelli noodles (suancaifensi, 酸菜粉丝)

Suancai is ready to be chopped for a dish of Chinese sauerkraut and vermicelli noodles (suancaifensi, 酸菜粉丝)

 

These photos are from my January 2014 crock of suancai. This batch was made using the recipe of a Chinese friend. His family is from Foshun outside Shenyang in Liaoning province. He makes suancai every year in his Beijing apartment.

 

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