Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Green papaya sauerkraut




What could be more NOT Thanksgiving than this. In fact I made the kraut last Thursday or Friday and it’s been “curing” ever since. I think it’s ready to eat.

I bought a green papaya when I visited my favorite Vietnamese market last week. I was going to make a traditional Thai salad with it, but the weather has been so chilly I wasn’t in the mood for it. Then I got an idea. A Google search confirmed what I suspected: you can make sauerkraut from green papaya.

With the aid of one of my favorite books, “Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Ellix Katz, I started the sauerkraut using his simple method. I julienned the papaya with my mandoline, then layered it in a crock, sprinkling salt as I went along. To weigh it down I used a 1 gallon freezer bag filled with water. It’s been curing now for 4-5 days and is almost ready to eat. I’m thinking we’ll use it on turkey sandwiches later in the week.

There is no difference between making sauerkraut with regular green cabbage or napa except the vegetable itself. Green papaya is nice and crunchy and the crunch is retained during the curing (which is done at room temperature). This is better than any commercial sauerkraut I’ve ever had. It is infused with that wonderful quality, umami.

I’m remembering I did one thing special: I added about a half teaspoon of ground caraway seed after a couple of days.

Now, you might ask me “how much salt did you use?” Only a medium pinch on each layer. Can’t be more precise than that.

4 comments:

Mary said...

What an interesting concept. I'd never have thought to brine green papaya. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Chris said...

I've never heard of making sauerkraut from papaya. So would you use this (as far as pairing it with other dishes) with any other normal sauerkraut dish?

Create. Snap. Eat. said...

Brilliant! What a brilliant and well-conceived idea! So jealous, but happy to see that we both had unconventional foods for Thanksgiving. I hope you had a lovely holiday.

Jenn said...

Wow, definitely not something you see everyday! It sounds very intriguing.

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