Leek! How much I appreciate it every winter again, when there is otherwise only cabbage and turnips in northern Germany. It is extremely versatile. I'm sure you know it in a warming potato soup, or maybe baked with cheese, grilled and glazed with miso, or as a crunchy salad - but do you know how fresh and spicy fermented leek salad tastes? It's quick to prepare and quick to finish fermenting, so what are you waiting for, try this recipe right now! Especially for the inexperienced, this is a great ferment because it's so quick to prepare and quick to finish fermenting.
Fermented leek salad is healthy and provides probiotics
Leeks in themselves provide many vitamins, minerals and fiber. Especially the contained inulin promotes intestinal health. Fermentation further increases its digestibility, so that even people who react with flatulence to a high inulin content can often digest it better.
In addition, a study conducted by the University of Negeri Surabaya, Indonesia, demonstrated that leeks are a suitable growth medium for the lactic acid bacterium L. plantarum B1765. This particular lactobacillus has been shown to have probiotic capabilities in terms of its resistance to gastrointestinal pH, bile acid, pathogenic bacteria and antibiotics. It was able to survive at a gastrointestinal pH of more than 90%.
Regarding the invasion of pathogenic bacteria, L. plantarum B1765 is capable of bactericidal activity against S. aureus and E. coli. Moreover, L. plantarum B1765 was able to survive at a concentration of 50 ppm amoxicillin.
Fermented leek salad is thus a natural possible supplier of probiotics. * And I find it far better to eat this delicious salad than to take probiotic supplements.
I was inspired to make this ferment by the Korean cuisine, which I really love. For traditional barbecues, meat dishes in restaurants are usually accompanied by a green spring onion salad called Pajeori 파절이, which tastes hot and spicy and is soured with vinegar. Sometimes it is also prepared with leeks and tastes even better in fresh than my fermented version. The fermented leek salad on the other hand is convincing because you can prepare it when you find time and then eat it quickly when hunger strikes.
Botulism and fermented vegetables
Statistically proven, fermented vegetables have virtually no risk of botulism. Lactic acid severely limits pathogenic germs in their reproductive capacity and is considered a reliable, natural preservative.
To be sure that sufficient lactic acid has formed, you can measure the pH value. It should be below 4.5. You can use indicator strips **, which you can buy at the pharmacy or online. Strips with a narrower spectrum in the low range are usually more informative than those that show all levels.
By the way, the spores of Clostridium botulinum can survive fermentation, but are no longer able to form the botulinum toxin at a pH below 4.6. ***
* Potential of Fermented Leek (Allium porrum L.) Cultured by Lactobacillus plantarum B1765 to Deliver Probiotics
Prima Retno Wikandari, Renita Eka Juniariani, Wijo Kongko Kartika Yudha Sujadmiko. Chemistry Department, Faculty of Natural Science and Mathematics, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, Indonesia
** If you order through the linked recommendation, a share of the purchase price goes to me (at no extra cost to you, you know the principle under the name Affiliate Links). I take the commission as your appreciation for my work as a writing fermentista and thank you if you trust my recommendations.
*** https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/16427726.pdf, page 50
Toxicological aspects of preservation methods in the household, Charloth Pucher, University of Vienna