Sauerkraut made with mature green papaya provides a rich source of papain enzymes. Papaya sauerkraut has a bitter taste that combines well with red meat. If you wish to sweeten it then try adding some beetroot or carrots. Mature green papaya is ready to use when the fruit shows a slight tinge of yellow. If the seeds are white then you can also add them to the sauerkraut. Black mature seeds are too peppery for this type of recipe.
Makes enough to fill a 2 litre mason jar.
1. Remove the seeds from the chile, then finely chop it and add it to a large mixing vessel, such as a food grade plastic bucket. Add the salt. Chop the onions and the capsicum into pieces about 1cm (1/2 inch) square and thoroughly mix with the salt and chile in the bucket. Add any optional fresh herbs but go easy on the quantity as the flavour tends to get accentuated. Chop the mature green papaya (leave the skin on if the papaya are organic, otherwise peel them) and process in a food processor using the grating attachment (otherwise grate by hand). Add the grated papaya to the other ingredients in the bucket with the kefir whey and lime juice. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly using a pair tongs.
2. Transfer the mixture to a 2 litre mason jar with tongs. Use the back of a wooden spoon to push the mixture to the bottom of the jar and remove all air pockets. The mixture should be juicy. Keep forcing the mixture into the jar until it is about 2 inch from the top. This space is necessary for any expansion that may take place.
3. Wipe the inside of the neck clean with a paper towel and screw on a plastic lid firmly to prevent any liquid spilling over. If you have concerns about pressure build up in the jar you may wish to leave the lid slightly loose.
4. Store the jar on a saucer, in a cupboard at room temperature (20 Celsius), and leave to ferment for 3-4 days. Once or twice each day push the sauerkraut under the surface of the liquid with a wooden spoon so as to prevent the top layer drying out and forming a substrata for mould. Store the papaya sauerkraut in a refrigerator. The papaya sauerkraut is ready to eat after one week. Once or twice a day while it is fermenting press the sauerkraut down with a spoon to keep the surface wet. If the top dries out it may go mouldy.
In the event that any mould forms on the surface you have the choice to just scrape it off or discard the batch and start again. If the top layer dries out it is because the mixture was not wet enough to start with or you failed to push the top layer under the liquid once or twice a day. If the sauerkraut goes putrid then discard it and start again. In the future, grate the vegetables finer to bruise the cell walls and extract more of the juice, or add 1/2 cup of apple cider after 1 week. Traditionally vinegar was sometimes added after the fermentation process of sauerkraut to extend the shelf life. You may also wish to experiment with using more kefir whey, lime juice or salt.
Go easy on the chile. A little chile goes a long way in sauerkraut.
1 teaspoon = 5 ml / 5 gm. 1 tablespoon = 15 ml / 15 gm. 15 tablespoons = 1 cup / 225 ml. 1 cup = 8 fluid oz / 225 ml. 1 US gallon = 3.6 litres. 1 lb = 16 oz / 454 gm. Temperature 20C = 68F. Conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius: C = (F - 32) / 1.8. Conversion from Celsius to Fahrenheit: F = C x 1.8 + 32
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