Vegan “Krautspätzle” aka German noodles with Sauerkraut

Cooking time: around 30 mins-1h depending on how much practice you have for the noodles, at least 1h for the sauerkraut, Prep time: 30 mins, Difficulty: Difficult, Pricing: $

I am originally from Germany and living in Montreal since a bit more than 2 years now. Sometimes I get a bit homesick. And what’s best to cover that homesickness? Right, cooking traditional meals from your home region.

This dish is a very old recipe from the south of Germany. It’s homemade noodles with sauerkraut. Usually the noodles are made with eggs, but after lots of experiments I found out how to best replace the eggs.

You will need some specific kitchen stuff, but no worries, if you’re not planning to travel to the south of Germany very soon I got some tips on how to replace them with normal household things.

Ingredients

For the Sauerkraut:

  • 500 gr. Sauerkraut (can or packet)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 juniper berries
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable broth
  • 0.2 l dry white wine
  • salt, pepper

For the spaetzle noodles:

  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1.5 cups of semolina durum wheat
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • milk and sparkling water until it has the right consistency (around 1 cup each)
  • some vegan butter or margarine for frying

Utensiles and set up

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  • You will need a “Spätzlebrett” (shown in the picture above) which is a special tool produced to make the noodles. You can probably find it in some online shops or in pretty much every household magazine in the south of Germany. If you can’t find one you can use a normal cutting board that is not too big.

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  • One pot with hot water and salt for the noodles, a bowl with ice cold water and salt to put the noodles in after you cooked them in the hot water and a strainer to put them after the cold water. I usually set everything up in a row.

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  • A knife to scrape the dough into the hot water, a spoon with some holes in it, so you can fish out the noodles later without taking all the hot water with you.

Recipe

Preparation of the Sauerkraut:

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Bring the sauerkraut together with the liquid in the can to a boil. In the meantime peel the onion, make a “cross cut”, in which you put the cloves. (see picture below)

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Add the onion, juniper berries and the bay leave to the sauerkraut and stir in the white wine and the vegetable broth. Let cook for at least 1 hour, check every now and then if the liquid has not evaporated, otherwise it will burn. If necessary, add some water. If the cabbage is soft add salt and pepper to taste, switch off the stove and let sit with the lid closed.

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Preparation of the noodles:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the dough is very chewy (it should stick to the cutting board almost like a chewing gum).

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Bring water with a bit of salt to a boil and then start scraping the noodles in the water by putting some dough on the cutting board and then “cutting” it with the knife.

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I recommend to always make the knife and the cutting board a bit wet. The noodles are ready to be taken out of the boiling water when they are swimming at the surface. You can then take them out with the spoon that we prepared earlier and put them quickly in the cold water. Then you can transfer them into the strainer. Repeat until you used all the dough.

When your sauerkraut is cooked enough and you made all the noodles, heat a bit of vegan margarine or butter in a pan. Then add the noodles and fry until they get a little bit golden/brown. Last but not least add the sauerkraut and let it cook together on low flame for around 3 more minutes. And this is it! At first it seems difficult, but the more you have practice, the more you will become a pro and the less time it will take.

And to say it in my mother language: Guten Appetit!

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