Fermenting all of the leftover vegetables you have in your fridge.
Fermenting Like a Mad Woman
I can’t be stopped. Once you learn to make sauerkraut and the basics of fermenting, it’s so easy! I wanted to learn to make a bunch of fermented vegetables to capture the last of the veggies that were in season. I decided on Kimchi, Salsa, and Garlic Pickle Slices. Okay, so this was a lot to take on in one week, but it made for one heck of a homestead shelfie. It’s also a really cool way to use up extra produce you have before it goes bad. If you don’t have time to use up something, add salt, maybe some water and shove it in a jar. It is way easier than canning (I am still scared of canning. It will definitively be a future Homestead Challenge).
First on my list was Kimchi. I got this recipe from my Fermented Vegetables book that I have been relying on. To any one of my Korean friends or readers, try not to judge me too hard. It turned out pretty good for my first attempt! My husband and I plan to eat it alongside some at-home Korean BBQ.
As you’ll see, the steps differ a little bit from sauerkraut. You must first soak the cabbage in salt water. If I had to do it again, I would do this step before bed and just let the cabbage soak overnight. You simply press all of the ingredients into a jar and add back some of the salt water brine to make sure the vegetables are covered. This makes A LOT! A large jar is best. I used a 64oz (half gallon) Ball jar, but a gallon jar might be even better. At first, mine was not very red. The red pepper flakes will darken the color pretty quickly and in a few days, it will start to look like traditional kimchi. I let mine ferment about two weeks before putting it into the fridge. This was honestly so easy, but I felt super accomplished once it was complete.
Fermented Tomatillo Salsa Ingredients
I’ll be honest here. The first time I made this (pictured at the bottom), my grocery store did not have tomatillos and I did not even know what tomatillos were. I just bought a mixed medley of heirloom tomatoes and made it that way. Honestly, I liked the heirloom ones better than the actual recipe. What it boils down to is… you can make this with whatever vegetables you like in your regular salsa. You really can’t screw it up.
Fermented Tomatillo Salsa Recipe
As you’ll see, this is more similar to sauerkraut in that there is no extra water needed. The tomatoes will create enough brine all on their own so there is no need to add more. I think we waited too long to try this one anf move it to the fridge, as it gets a very fermented taste that I was not used to in my regular salsa. I want to keep experimenting with this recipe and improving it to our taste. Having salsa on hand is an easy way to add a ferment to our weekly Taco Tuesdays (and there is an added bonus in that I won’t have to make fresh pico de gallo every week if I make this in a big batch).
Garlic Pickle Ingredients
Warning! The garlic doesn’t lie. This is for serious garlic lovers only. To be fair, you can just take out the garlic from the recipe and you’d have regular pickles, but where’s the fun in that? These make an excellent burger topper and are very easy to make. These have been our most used ferment.
Garlic Pickle Recipe
Due to the added salt water brine, this recipe has a lot more liquid than the others. The cucumbers will be able to float around. I actually ended up leaving mine a lot longer than the recipe calls for (about two weeks). We are not cucumber fans in this household, so we wanted that taste completely gone. Just start tasting and move to the fridge once you get to your desired pickly taste.
More on Fermenting
I hope you have been enjoying all of the ferments. Once you get the hang of it, you can pretty much ferment any veggie you have on hand. Just add salt. If the vegetable does not make enough brine on its own, add salt water. Voila! You’re a fermenting expert!
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Printable Ferment Recipes
- Brine (1/2 Gallon Filtered Water + 1/2 Cup Sea Salt)
- 1 Large Napa Cabbage
- 1/4 Cup Chili Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Shredded Daikon
- 1/8 Cup Shredded Carrot
- 2 Scallions
- 1/2 Head Garlic
- 1 1/2 TSP Fresh Ginger
- Large Jar and Weight
1. Rinse cabbage and remove outer layers. Cut off stalk and cut in half. Submerge in brine for 6-8 hours.
2. Drain well and reserve 1 cup of brine and an outer layer of cabbage.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl.
4. Chop cabbage into bite sized pieces and mix with rest of ingredients.
5. Transfer to jar. Press down and add brine as needed to cover all the veggies.
6. Top with reserves cabbage layer and fermenting weight (or baggie of water).
7. Let ferment in a dark place for at least one week. Store in fridge for up to 9 months.
- 1lb tomatillos
- 1 diced onion
- 1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1-3 jalapenos
- Pinch of cracked pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
1. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
2. Dice tomatillos and mix with other ingredients. Then slowly add salt to taste.
3. Mash into jar and be sure the brine is above the veggies.
4. Add topper and weight. Let sit for 5-21 days.
5. Store in fridge for up to 6 months.
- 1 3/4 cup sliced cucumbers
- 1 medium onion (cut into eighths)
- 2 heads garlic (cloves cut in half)
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 gallon brine (6 tbsp salt and 1/2 gallon water)
1. Toss cut cucumbers with other veggies and spices.
2. Wedge into jar and cover with brine.
3. Top with plastic layer and weight.
4. Let sit for 4-7 days. Taste on day 4. Keep submerged and scoop any scum off top.
5. Dtore in fridge for up to 6 months.
I like mine to ferment even longer. Just keep tasting until you like it.