Fermenting vegetables is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Prepare the vegetables
Wash (and if necessary) peel the vegetables. There are useful bacteria and yeasts on the peel, which are helpful for fermentation, but if you don't like it, you should remove it. For example, I don't like fermented carrots with the skin on, so I peel them first.
The vegetables are chopped according to personal preference or according to how you would like to process them after fermentation.
- Solid vegetables can be easily sliced. The classic are carrots fermented in slices.
- Grating, slicing or shredding works well with hard or crunchy vegetables, such as carrots, beet or cabbage.
- Bite sized pieces are also great. I like this cut with kohlrabi, celery and pineapple.
- Small vegetables like radishes, cocktail tomatoes and pickles are best left whole.
By the way: the finer the vegetables are chopped, i.e. the larger the surface, the faster they ferment.
Step 2: Cover with brine
For fermentation you need brine. And you can do this in three different ways.
For grated or sliced vegetables, e.g. white cabbage for sauerkraut, you can knead the brine. Mix the grated vegetables with salt and knead until there is enough liquid to cover the vegetables well in the jar. 2% is a safe guideline value.
For semi-large pieces of vegetables, it sometimes works by sprinkling them with 2% of their weight in salt and leaving them to stand until they have given off enough liquid. If this does not work, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollar but go straight on to the next...
A brine is mixed from salt and water. A salinity, which generally promises successful fermentations, is 2% (if you need help in calculating, feel free to use my salt ratio calculator).
It is super important that the vegetables are always under the brine in an anaerobic environment. The English speaking fermentistas have the winged phrase under the brine is fine. This is crucial, because everything exposed to the air could become mouldy.
Step 3: Wait
This is both the most boring and the most fascinating part! Now the whole project has to ferment, and that takes time. If you used glas vessels to ferment, you can watch the process at any time, and it is fabulously exciting! The ferments are constantly transforming, and you can see that. And listen! How I love the soft hissing of an effervescent red cabbage ferment 💜
Recipes for vegetable ferments
More Recipes can be found via the menu of the page.