Posts Tagged ‘lacto-fermented’


late february veggie ferments

March 1, 2011

swiss chard stems with garlic, clove, allspice, and mustard seed

very dilly beans

dilly cauliflower

saltwater-pickled garlic and onion

carrot and baby cucumber with tons of dill and laurel

giardinera with carrot, tons of hot pepper, cauliflower, and onion

lime juice fermented hot peppers



February 28, 2011

vegan, gluten-free doughnuts that were instantly devoured by picky gluten-lovers.

a perfectly deep-fried, golden-brown, doughnut-shaped vada was not what we got.

although fermenting the batter wasn’t called for in the recipe, i missed fermented foods so much after being away from them for two months that i sat the batter out for a few hours after grinding it.

i’ll try it unfermented some day, but WOW! these were worshipped by my gluten-free housemates. i just treated it like dosa batter, but made it a little thicker.

2 cups urad dal (bet that’d be better than what we used, which was just plain lentils – but they were still outstanding)
a few T chana dal
a few T rice
(recipe said you can use potato, too!)
spices (i did cloves, allspice, cumin seed, mustard seed, and coriander)

soak the grains and rice for a few hours, blend with not a lot of water, leave to ferment, and just before frying up, add spices and whatever else you want.

we did a few batches savory and we liked ’em, but when i started rolling them in sugar, we discovered they are approximately the best thing ever.

i found a good trick was to make tiny doughnut holes so they’d cook all the way through at a temperature high enough to keep the batter from absorbing all the oil.

just made them for a vegan friend’s birthday, and they were unimpressed. hmm. they all got rolled in sugar and eaten up, anyway. also finally figured out how to make them doughnut-shaped: when grinding the batter, add water a tablespoon-full at a time and only add enough to allow the food processor to do its thing. then just form into a circle and toss it in the oil like that.


lacto-fermented condiments

February 27, 2011

lacto-fermented mayonnaise

lacto-fermented salsa

lacto-fermented ketchup

lacto-fermented mustard


more on saltwater brine lacto-fermentation

October 22, 2010

lacto-fermentation. aka alchemy.

for information about other methods of lacto-fermentation that don’t use a saltwater brine, see lime-juice lacto-fermentation.


in open crocks

find a crock made of anything but metal (reacts to acids) or plastic (unless you want a probiotic bowl… just kidding. it’s alive!!) – i like glass, but glazed ceramic and that sort of stuff is fine.

fill the bowl part-way with your dream vegetables.

find a (again, not metal or plastic) plate that fits inside the bowl as closely to the edge as possible while still being able to squish the food down. the goal is to have the food ALWAYS under saltwater brine. the brine kills the nasty bacteria in the air that makes food rot. let the pickles live outside of the brine and they immediately begin rotting.

mold blooms will always grow on the surface of the water. spoon out the mold; you won’t be able to remove ALL of it, but try to grab the larger blooms. again, if the blooms aren’t touching the food, your food is safe.

weigh down the plate and sample the food after each delicious day to learn what your ideal fermentation time is. i find hot days pickle food about twice as fast. i have had sour pickles after only a few days in the summer, or up to a week and a half in the winter. sandy’s amazing website WILD FERMENTATION articulates this a lot better than i can.

in jars
(please remember that anaerobic environments like jars are the perfect environment for botulism!)

find a glass jar with a rubber gasket that allows some gases to escape (or be good about burping the jars to prevent explosions.)

most people seem to agree that they need to be sterilized. i never do this and i haven’t been made sick by pickles yet, but i feel like i am asking for botulism.

mix up some non-chlorinated water (we let water sit out to off-gas) with a coarse, non-iodized salt like sea salt or pickling salt. you want it to be just a little saltier than your tears. if you’re not good about remembering to burp the jar, make it a little saltier – it’ll ferment more slowly.

pack vegetables in any combination you can imagine tightly but not too close to the top to avoid explosions. fill brine near the top but not too close. sweet foods, like apple-kraut, will need more headroom to compensate

place on a sunny sill and shake several times a day to ensure even pickling. let ’em sit in the sun a few days, then bring them to a pantry and let them sit a while longer. sample often to find out what you like.

examples of normal activity include a fizziness you’ve only seen in seltzer, a cloudy brine (happens every time to me,) mushy pickles (it’ll happen,) and a mega-sourness.  adding something with tannins (oak leaves, grape leaves, horseradish leaves) will keep ’em crunchier.

some examples of successful ferments i’ve made to get you dreaming

  • beet-horseradish (grated and used as a condiment)
  • carrot-ginger
  • garlic-dill wax beans or green beans
  • clove-cinnamon green tomatoes
  • holy basil and hot jalapeno turnips
  • giardinera with hot peppers, carrots, and onions
  • black-mustard-seed and turmeric caulifower

lime-juice lacto-fermentation

October 12, 2010

i’ve been a slave to the bacteria in kefir and kraut for two years now, indoctrinated into the cult of lacto-fermentation by sandy katz. i’ve crammed strange combinations of vegetables under a salty brine. but i’d never heard of lime juice fermentation until i read some madhur jaffrey recipes. we had less success with a foot-odor-like oil-fermented turnip pickle, but these recipes are incredible. try them. our house is hooked on the peppers.

hot pepper pickle

cram hot peppers, sliced into rounds, into a mason jar. my favorite was a combination of serranos, jalapenos, banana peppers, and poblanos.
salt them as you go and add some flavor (we like black mustard seeds ground coarsely and fresh ginger, chopped finely.)
heat oil (we like mustard oil) – not much, only about two tablespoons. pour over peppers and place lid on. don’t boil the jar.
leave on a sunny ledge for a day or two. shake jar several times per day, more if liquid doesn’t cover them entirely. the peppers should shrink some. add lime juice – a few tablespoons – and leave in the sunny place. (bring them in at night if your sunny place is outside.) continue to shake to ensure even pickling! once they have soured to your liking (a week? two? longer?) refrigerate to slow the fermentation.

they are wildly sour and addictive.

sour lime pickle

slice limes into wedges. arrange in jar. salt and season strongly (we like cinnamon, allspice, cloves, etc.)
pour lime juice over wedges. lid. leave jar on sunny ledge and shake several times a day for about two months.
our first batch will be ready in a few weeks! they already smell intoxicating.

EDIT 4/11: i made FOUR CUPS of this and it barely lasted a month. next time, make two batches. or three.


lacto-ferments of september and october

October 12, 2010

green beans and wax beans with dill

giardinera with hot peppers, carrots, onions

kraut with red cabbage, green apple, and seaweed

turnips and baby cucumbers with dill