Profile: Sandor Katz

Sandor Katz, a self-proclaimed fermentation revivalist, became hooked on fermentation with his first homemade batch of sauerkraut, earning him the nickname “Sandorkraut”. As an AIDS survivor, he considers fermented foods an important part of his health and well-being. His 2003 book, Wild Fermentation, was lauded by Newsweek as the “fermentation bible”, and his 2012 book, The Art of Fermentation, received a James Beard award and was a finalist at the International Association of Culinary Professionals. In 2014, Katz received the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Read more…

See Sandor Katz May 11, 2016 at “Microbes: From Your Food to Your Brain”


Got to spend last Saturday at the Tennessee Local Food Summit and one of the cooler things about the day was getting to go to a workshop hosted by Sandor Katz - who, if you don’t know - is basically the guru of all things fermented.

I’ve been flipping through the Art of Fermentation because it’s just a great resource and encyclopedia of fermented foods from around the world and I *finally* got inspired to make some kimchi.

Well, it was less inspiration and more a realization that I had a head of nappa cabbage in fridge that was just languishing. And when you’ve got two finals and a term paper approaching, what’s a better use of your time than making kimchi?


  • 1 head of nappa cabbage, diced
  • 1 can of anchovy fillets, drained and and diced
  • 1 hunk of ginger, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 1 ounce cane vinegar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sea salt


  1. Put your cabbage in a non-reactive bowl, cover it with salt and begin to massage the salt into the leaves. Grab it and squeeze. Let your cabbage rest in the salt for about 30-45 minutes - kill that time by checking out the new episode of Serial.
  2. Add your garlic, ginger, peppers, anchovy and vinegar to a bowl. Mash it together with a potato masher or the bottom of a jar until you get a paste.
  3. When your cabbage is ready you’ll notice it’s begun to weep out a lot of water. Squeeze out as much of that as you can before you start mixing your cabbage with your seasoning mash.
  4. Put your cabbage in a glass jar, cover loosely and ferment at room temperature for 48-72 hours before refrigerating and tasting.

And that’s how you make kimchi. At least, that’s how you make kimchi in a one bedroom apartment in the middle of the night with whatever you’ve got hanging around in the fridge and cupboard. Once you get the hang of it you can take it in all different directions. You can kimchi all sorts of things.

Oh, and if you find that kimchi isn’t your twist, you can switch up a lot of these ingredients and make sauerkraut. Sub in some juniper berries, caraway seeds, dill or cloves for the ginger/anchovies/peppers/vinegar and you’ve got the makings of something fantastic to top a hot dog with or serve with some smoked meats.

Keep on fermenting!

Spiritscraft’s Recommended Witch Kitchen and Plant Alchemy Books

The Alchemist’s Kitchen by Guy Ogilvy
Mastering Herbalism by Paul Huson
Harvest to Hydrosol by Ann Harman
Witchcraft Medicine by Claudia Müller-Ebeling et al*
Etheric Anatomy by Victor Anderson
Kitchen Witch by Cora Anderson
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz*

*Starred titles have PDF or E-reader versions available