Fermented foods are considered an ancient superfood that boosts your immune system and supports healthy digestion. It supplies all the vital nutrients and vitamins to your body. And it only takes one hour to prepare months of supply!
Almost any vegetable can be fermented. From cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, chilli, beetroot, celery, cucumber, capsicum, tomatoes and many more. You can either ferment one vegetable alone, or create a mix vegetables, along with complimenting herbs and spices.
In fermenting, you do not need lots of equipment or ingredients. If you want to ferment a certain vegetable, all you need is the vegetable itself. Fresh vegetables contains all the beautiful bacterias needed for the fermentation process to happen.
In this article, we’ll be showing you the 3 ways on how you can ferment vegetables at home.
1. Fermentation in Brine
Brining method is typically a process wherein you soak any food in a saltwater solution. In fermenting vegetables, you need to dissolve the salt in water, put it in the jar with the vegetable of your choice to ferment. You can add other vegetables, aromatics, or your favourite spices with it. All you need to do is close the jar and leave all the good healthy bacterias to do all the job for you.
General Brine Formula: 2-2.5% of Salt
One thing to note here is that you have to make sure that all the vegetables inside your jar must be completely covered by the brine. This means that your vegetables will undergo anaerobic fermentation, completely discarding oxygen or preventing it to touch your vegetables but also letting some air out to avoid unnecessary explosions from your jar.
This may sound too complicated but this doesn’t mean that you need any special equipment or jars. Like in traditional fermentation, all you need is to make sure that all your veggies are submerged in the brine.
To know if everything is going well on your fermentation, what you need to do is check the top of your jar and look for molds. If there are no molds forming on top then everything is going well.
Like many other fermented foods, kimchi is the result of a special type of fermentation. Kimchi method also exists in different countries. They may not call it Kimchi but the process is the same. Kimchi Method involves the process of fermenting vegetables with a lot of flavors.
In Korea, the most well-known type of kimchi is Napa cabbage kimchi. But actually, you can actually ferment any type of veggie you want.
The process of the kimchi method is very simple. Though the preparation might depend on the vegetables that you are going to use. But basically, all you have to do is pick vegetables of your choice, cover them with some spicy paste and other flavorings of your choice, and very tightly seal them in a jar. It is also important to note that when you use the kimchi method, remember to not leave your jar outside for too long. Always store it in the fridge after a maximum of 1-week of fermentation to avoid the vegetable being too sour or too soft.
If you want to know more about fermentation, you can check out our free fermentation classes and challenges here.
3. Dry Salting
Dry salting is a fermentation method that involves adding salt to a dry vegetable to draw out the water. Some vegetables contain too much water or paste in them that it is enough to ferment them. These vegetables are pounded to further break down and release extra juice in order to create enough liquid brine to submerge it.
Sauerkraut is the most common example of dry salting: the cabbage is shredded, salted, pounded, and then packed tightly into a container. As the cabbage is tightly packed, a brine is released and raised above to submerge the cabbage. Another example of the dry salting method is the classic preserved lemons.