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.

Lacto-fermented Carrots & Kombu

Hello,

Have you tried pickling carrots before? If not, you really should give it a try (check out our lacto-fermenting overview if you are a beginner). It’s easy and the carrots have a great sweet/sour balance. I added kombu, an edible type of kelp, to this batch to an extra layer of flavor. Kombu is traditionally used to make dashi, which is the broth base for most miso soups, but it can used in any number of other dishes, too. As an added bonus, kombu keeps well for long periods of time, making it an ideal pantry staple to keep on hand. It doesn’t hurt that it is a nutritional powerhouse as well.

Enjoy!

Lacto-fermented Carrots & Kombu
makes a pint

Recipe note: I used the small carrots from last weeks share, which were only 2 to 3 inches long. It took roughly 40 of these small carrots to get 2/3 pound whereas you might only need 3 or 4 large carrots to equal this weight.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 pound carrots, trimmed and cut 1/4″ thick on the diagonal
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 ounce (about 3/4 tablespoon) sea salt
  • 3 pieces of kombu (roughly 2×3″), cut into 1/2″ strips

Directions:

  • Place carrots in a 1.5 pint jar.
  • Place 1 cup of water along with the salt in a small saucepan. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, making sure the salt has dissolved. Remove from heat and add the kombu (it should soften within a minute or so). Add 1 cup of cold water and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Pour over the carrots and ensure they are submerged (we love the KrautSource fermenting lid but you can also weigh them down with a cabbage leaf). Cover and allow to sit at room temperature. Taste daily to determine when they are “done”.

Preserving the Harvest :: Lacto-Fermention + A Sauerruben Recipe!

Hello!

We love fermenting here at Tant Hill Farm so figured it was time to share our tips and tricks to help you lacto-ferment at home. Lacto-fermentation happens when food is submerged in a salty brine and left to sit at room temperature for days, weeks or even months. A specific species of bacteria, Lactobacillus, converts sugars to lactic acid. This process not only preserves food but it also makes it more nutritious and digestible.

There is a lot to learn and we know it can seem overwhelming but it really boils down to the crucial steps listed below. Of course there is more to this – which type of container to use, how to flavor it, etc, but you need to understand these steps first. After reviewing the crucial steps, you will have a greater understanding of the sauerruben recipe below. We hope you enjoy it!

Crucial Steps for Successful Lacto-Fermenting at Home

  • Salt: 
    • Salt is crucial because it both draws liquid from the vegetable, creating its own brine, and also creates an atmosphere where only healthy bacteria can thrive.
      • Amount: most resources recommend using 2% – 5% salt of the fermented vegetables weight. That means trim, peel and cut your vegetables before weighing them and THEN calculate the amount of salt you need. I typically use about 3.5% salt and have had great results (I use sea salt). I would highly suggest investing in a digital scale to make this step easy.
      • Type: do a quick online search and you will find different opinions on whether the type of salt you use makes a difference of not. It comes down to the amount of sodium in your salt, and luckily, it is printed in the nutrition section on the box. Table salt typically has 580mg in 1/4 teaspoon and sea salt has 440mg in 1/4 teaspoon. So, given that I typically measure my salt using a teaspoon or tablespoon, if you use table salt, it will result in a saltier (and sometimes too salty) end product. In the end, I recommend looking at the sodium content on your salt box and if you have a choice, use the salt with the lower amount.
  • Submerge:
    • Lacto-fermentation is an anaerobic process, meaning it happens in the absence of air. That is why it is so important to have all vegetables submerged under the brine and all air-pockets removed. You will often see recipes that state you should add the vegetables a little at a time, pounding them down between each addition. This helps to ensure there are no air pockets remaining. You can also tap the finished ferment on the counter lightly or use a long skewer to remove any trapped air bubbles. There are all sorts of gadgets on the market to help – we love using the Kraut Source but you can use just about anything. It can be as simple as filling a plastic bag with brine and setting it on top to keep the vegetables submerged.
  • Time & Temperature:
    • Time and temperature work hand in hand. You can ferment anywhere between 55°F and 80°F. The lower the temperature, the slower the fermentation and conversely, the higher the temperature, the faster the fermentation. This also affects the flavor – slow fermentations typically have more complex, nuanced flavor whereas fast fermentations can have more intense flavors with a higher chance for off-flavors. There is a useful rule of thumb that states for every 10°C rise in temperature, the rate of reaction doubles. As an example, if it is 10°C (or about 18°F) hotter in your kitchen, expect your fermentation to finish in half the time. In the end, tasting your fermentation every day is the only way to know how it is progressing.

Kohlrabi Sauerruben
makes about 1 cup

Recipe note: traditional sauerruben is made with turnips but I added kohlrabi for an interesting twist.

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces combined salad turnips and kohlrabi
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Directions:

  • Trim the salad turnips and peel the kohlrabi. Grate on the large holes of a box grater. I had 8 ounces of grated salad turnips and 4 ounces of grated kohlrabi. The breakdown isn’t as important as the total amount as this determines the amount of salt.
  • Add the grated vegetables and salt to a medium mixing bowl and mix well to combine. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so to extract the water from the vegetables. You can use any type of fermenting vessel but a pint sized glass canning jar works great here. Add the vegetables a little at a time, pounding them down with the back of a spoon between each addition. There should be enough liquid to cover the vegetables. Add the bay leaf and submerge the vegetables below the brine. If you aren’t using a device that covers the top, cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Allow to ferment as desired. I find that I like my ferments after a week or so. Once it is to your liking, cover with a lid and transfer to the refrigerator. I have kept ferments for months and months in the refrigerator but this probably won’t last that long.