Korean Lacto-fermented Salad Turnips

Hello!

Here is a quick and flavorful way to lacto-ferment those lovely salad turnips from this week’s share. The flavorings used are similar to kimchi – chiles, scallions and garlic – and can be altered to suit your tastes. The 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes lends a slight spiciness on the finish so feel free to add more for additional heat. Also, I used a lot of garlic in proportion to the turnips, but I love the flavor of fermented garlic. You can always cut back if desired.

We have posted about the tips and tricks to lacto-fermenting before, but there are a couple keys worth repeating:

  • The amount of salt you use is very important. Too little and you run the risk of spoilage, too much and the fermentation may not work at all. I am using a brine of 1 tablespoon fine sea salt to 2 cups of water. I think this is a good starting point but it may take some experimentation to find out what works best for you.
  • Keep the vegetables submerged under the brine. Our favorite way to achieve this is with the Kraut Source canning jar lid. It allows you to make small batches of ferments without committing to too much at once (which is great for those just learning about this process). If you need other ideas, check out this post.

Enjoy!

Korean Lacto-fermented Salad Turnips
makes about 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 10 ounces turnip roots (about 3 small), scrubbed clean, cut in half, and then cut into thin half moon shapes
  • 1 large scallion, cut in half and then cut into 1″ pieces
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Directions:

  • Add 1/2 cup of water and the salt to a small saucepan, cover and heat over medium. Bring to a boil, ensuring the salt has dissolved, and remove from heat. Add an additional 1-1/2 cups of cold water and set aside until it has reached room temperature.
  • Prepare the vegetables and toss together in a medium mixing bowl. Pack into a pint and a half wide mouth canning jar (#42 on the bottom) or evenly divide between two smaller jars. Once the brine is at room temperature, cover the vegetables completely and ensure they are submerged (see top section). Set aside, out of direct sunlight, and test daily until the desired flavor has been reached.
  • Secure with an air-tight lid and transfer to the refrigerator. The ferment should keep for at least a month.

Korean Lettuce Wraps with Bitter Melon

Hello!

Are you wondering how to use your bitter melon? Well, I think I found the perfect recipe for carnivores and vegetarians alike. I was searching for a ground beef lettuce wrap recipe and found this one. The sweetness and spices in the recipe are just want you need to balance the bitterness in the melon. I made the recipe with ground beef but I am sure it would be equally as tasty if you substituted tofu. You can also make use of your Red Leaf lettuce in this recipe. I found the large, crunchy leaves worked great as wraps. We hope you enjoy it!

Korean Lettuce Wraps with Bitter Melon
makes enough for about 4 small servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bitter melon, sliced in half lengthwise, seeds removed, and sliced 1/2″ thick on the bias
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 pound ground beef or firm tofu
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • Cooked white rice for serving
  • Lettuce for serving

Directions:

  • Heat the vegetable oil in a 12″ non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add half of the bitter melon, season with salt and pepper and cook until first side is browned, 5-7 minutes. Flip and cook until the second side is brown and the melon is tender, another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl.
  • Prepare the sauce by mixing the soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, chili power and ginger together in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • Using the same non-stick pan, saute the beef over medium heat until cooked through. Alternatively, add a little oil to the pan, add the tofu, break it up into little pieces (follow this technique), and brown. Add the garlic, mix with beef/tofu to combine and cook for an additional minute. Add the sauce and simmer for a few minutes, or until the mixture has reduced slightly. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with rice and bitter melon in a large lettuce leaf.