Best Fermented Vegetables To Make | How To & Recipes

Fermented vegetables are a great way to get both more veggies in your diet and probiotic food in as well.

Not only that, they can add a lot of flavour to a bland foods like rice or bread (like in a sandwich). They can also add some punch to a salad.

Fermented Vegetables in Jars

 

Here you’ll find:

  • The benefits of fermented vegetables
  • A list of common fermented vegetables from around the world
  • How to make fermented vegetables
  • My top 5 favourite fermented veggie recipes

 

Benefits of Fermented Vegetables:

Fermented Vegetables: check!Vegetables are fermented using lacto-fermentation. It produces lactic-acid-producing bacteria called lactobacilli. Lactobacilli do a number of beneficial things like:

  • enhance digestibility of the vegetables that have been fermented
  • increase the levels of vitamins
  • produce enzymes which are helpful in a variety of ways including being antibiotic and anticarcinogenic
  • They are well known for being probiotic which will promote a healthy gut.

Fermented Vegetables From Around the World

Vegetables have been fermented around the world and nearly everything can be fermented. Some things do have better success than others. Broccoli for example, can be hard to do well. Here are vegetables that have been traditionally fermented from different areas.

Europe

  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickled Cucumbers
  • Pickled Beets
  • Pickled Turnips
  • Pickles herbs
  • Pickles Grape Leaves

Russia and Poland

  • Pickles Green Tomatoes
  • Pickled Peppers
  • Fermented Lettuces

Japan, China and Korea

  • Kimchi (Korean specialty)
  • Fermented Cabbage
  • Pickled Turnip
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Pickled Onion
  • Squash
  • Carrot
  • Pickled Daikon Radish
  • Tsukemono (Japanese Sauerkraut)
  • Pickled Ginger
  • Pickled Garlic

Americas

  • Relishes like corn relish or cucumber relish.
  • Pickled watermelon rind
  • Cortido (South American Sauerkraut)
  • Fermented Salsa

Basics of How to Make Fermented Food

Equipment Needed

If just starting out and making your very first batches, all you need is a glass jar. A large one is better than a small one and it needs a wide mouth (so you can stick your fist in).

If you’ve make fermented food before and are going to continue doing so, I’d recommend using something large like a crock.

==> Check out the crock I recommend here.

 

Homemade whey is also a great way to ensure success and I’d recommend using it.

You can check out my Youtube video on making whey here.

 

How To Make Fermented Vegetables

It’s quite easy. After you grasp the basics of it, you just chop, stuff and leave it.

Note: not every batch will work out. Fermenting is less predictable than heat-based methods of preserving food.

A basic guide to fermenting vegetables:

1. Wash and chop vegetables.
2. Mix with salt and seasonings or herbs. Add starter culture or whey here if using it.
3. Press down or pound to release juices.
4. Put into a container that is airtight and press underneath the brine or liquid.
5. After a few days of fermenting (depends on recipes), store in a cool place like the fridge.

My Top 5 Fermented Vegetable Recipes

These are favourite ferments that why like to keep handy. They were also the bestselling fermented foods from our market stall and many others loved them as well.

First, a basic brine recipe:

  • 6 tbsp of fine sea salt or 9 tbsp coarse sea salt plus 2 liters of water (filtered or purified)
  • Combine and heat until salt dissolves. Allow to cool before using.

Whey Recipe:

Fermented Vegetables Using Whey

Important Note:

Always keep about an inch of room at the top of any jar you pack with fermented veggies.

Here is a brief recipe to follow for each of my favourite fermented foods.

Fermented Bruschetta

Fermented Vegetables: Cuultured BruschettaDefinitely my favourite, could eat it everyday with a good piece of sourdough.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp of oregano
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 4 tbsp whey
  • 2 tbsp of water, if needed

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Put in a sealed jar and ferment for 2 days.
  3. Refrigerate.

Fermented Vegetables: CauliflowerFermented Cauliflower Turmeric

If you have any children, this one is a great one. It’s easy to eat with fingers and has a great yellow colour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cloves of garlic, whole, chopped or minced
  • 2 inches of fresh turmeric, grated
  • Salt brine (about a liter)

Directions:

  1. Combine the cauliflower, garlicĀ  and turmeric and press down in a jar.
  2. Add the brine until if covers the top of the veggies.
  3. Ferment for 3-5 days.
  4. Refrigerate.

Cortido (South American Sauerkraut)

This one you can make spicy or not. It’s up to your own taste.

Fermented Vegetables: Cortido SauerkrautIngredients:

  • 2 cabbages, green and red if possible
  • 2 cups of grated carrots
  • 2 red onions, sliced or chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of oregano
  • 1/4 -1 tsp chili powder or red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of whey

Directions:

  1. Combine and let sit for a half hour under a tea towel. (This will allow juices to come out more.)
  2. Put into 2 jars and press down firmly, allowing juices to come above the vegetables. Put a lid on.
  3. Ferment for 3-7 days. Open jar and press down after 24 hours.

 

Kimchi

Every family in Korea has their own kimchi recipe. Here’s our “adjusted for Westerners” version. It’s not quite as spicy.

Ingredients:Fermentation Vegetables: Kimchi

  • 1 wombak (or napa) cabbage
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mined
  • 8-10 green onions
  • 1/2 tsp of dried chili flakes
  • 1 cup of carrots, grated
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 3-6 radishes, grated
  • 2 pears or apples
  • 1/4 cup of whey (optional – add a bit more salt if not using.)

Directions:

  1. Combine and pound to make juices come out.
  2. Put in 1-2 jars, press down until liquid rises above the vegetables.
  3. Ferment for 3-7 days. Open the jar to release gases after 24 hours and mix what is on top under.

Tsukemono

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage, medium, shredded
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of whey

Directions:

  1. Combine ingredients in a bowl, mix and pound.
  2. Put in a jar. Push down until the liquid covers the veggies. Put a lid on.
  3. Ferment for 3-7 days. Open and press down after 24 hours.

 

Other Favourites:

  • Fermented Green Beans with Dill and Garlic
  • Ginger Carrots
  • Salsa
  • Beetroot and Ginger Sauerkraut

Fermentation Crock for sauerkraut, pickles and kimchiMaking fermented vegetables on an ongoing basis is a great way to maintain a good healthy gut flora and get those veggies in.

If you will be fermenting long term, I’d recommend getting a good quality crock to ensure your batches turn out successful and to eliminate the possibility of leaking / exploding jars and leaching chemicals.

==> Here is the crock I recommend for anyone fermenting vegetables and making sauerkraut.