Posts Tagged ‘lacto-fermented’


lacto-fermented squid (ojingeojeot)

October 20, 2011

go see this recipe, with its beautiful photos!

i know what you’re thinking. but i’m going to make it, and it’s going to be really, really good.

basically, you’ll want to carefully clean squid (or fish, or whatever,) and salt it heavily. same as fermenting vegetables! stick ’em in a jar. she recommends fermenting for a month in the fridge before adding green and red hot peppers, garlic, green onions, ginger, toasted sesame seeds, and a little sesame oil.

check out her recipe; i can’t do it justice describing it here.

the comments are glorious, too, including one from someone who found an intact 3″ fish inside her squid when she cleaned it!


lacto-fermented garden-fresh salsa

July 28, 2011

recipe requested by sonya!

i made two batches this go-round. one was a little sweeter, with carrot, sweet basil, little cherry tomatoes, a little jalapeno, turmeric, and fennel seed. one was very hot, with a ton of jalapeno, lemon basil, all kinds of heirloom tomatoes, turmeric, and garlic.

but you really can’t go wrong with anything involving garden tomatoes.

cut up your mixture into tiny chunks.

layer this mixture in the bottom of a clean mason jar with salt (coarse kosher or sea, please. it makes all the difference.) press as you go. the veggies will start creating brine as you work. keep going til you get near the top. add a little water and taste it. if it tastes saltier than your tears, you’re done. otherwise, add a little salt.

you can do this open-crock (see this post for more details; basically, you want to put a glass filled with water or a rock in the jar to keep the veggies submerged under the brine at all times) or with a lid on it (please burp the jar twice a day to avoid brining your ceiling)

other delicious add-ins? any fresh herb. any allium (i love onion in my salsa!) cauliflower. fruit. celery. sweet peppers (sometimes i have floating problems with these – weigh them down with carrots.) whatever you can imagine.

my advice? make a lot of this. i never thought i’d find something to replace my great love of homemade lacto-fermented giardinera, but the garden-fresh tomatoes put this salsa in my top three fermented veggies of all-time.



March 2, 2011

fermenting rice and beans changes EVERYTHING.

this is one of the most popular requests from my vegan and gluten-free friends. throw some stir-fry on top (or puree it and throw it in the batter!) and it’s a whole meal.


just soak equal parts rice and some small pulse like split peas, lentils, urad dal, channa dal, etc.

after many hours (whenever you remember, really,) grind them to a paste (with water) about the consistency of pancake batter.

put the batter in a non-reactive vessel (glass, pyrex; a bowl or baking pan is fine – just nothing metal) and just leave it on your table for a few hours. no lid. no worries. if you have flies, drape a kitchen towel or plastic bag over the top loosely.

it’ll start smelling yeasty after six-ish hours. ferment it for longer if you like!

season it (we love fresh ginger, garlic, and chilis, and lots of spices like coriander, cumin seed, ajwain seed, cinnamon, allspice, and a little mango powder)
and fry the sucker up like a pancake with plenty of oil.

tricks i’ve encountered to making a perfect dosa:
use LOTS of oil
grind the paste so that all the chunks are gone
thin pancake, high heat
ferment for a long time
don’t flip until it’s browned on the bottom (otherwise it falls apart)


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