I’m starting to harvest lots of fall veggies here, and that means it’s time to get busy fermenting some of them. Fermenting is my favorite way to preserve brassicas like cabbage, kohlrabi and radishes. We will be enjoying jars of the fermented veggies all winter long, and they help keep us supplied when fresh homegrown goodies are in short supply. Last month I was busy making hot sauces from our hot peppers. I made a sriracha style sauce, a Tabasco style sauce, and a chunky fermented chili-garlic sauce. I made enough for our own use plus some to give away to friends who like it hot.
I already wrote about making kimchi last week, and this week I started a few more jars of it to ferment. I’ve got one jar made with napa cabbage (baechu kimchi), two jars with daikon radish (kkakdugi) and one jar I started yesterday made with kohlrabi. I prepare the kohlrabi exactly like I do the radishes, peeling it and cubing it up then soaking it in a 5% salt brine for 6-8 hours. Then I drain and mix with the seasoning paste. This year I am happy to be using peppers I grew myself for the gochugaru powder, and I am anxious to see how it compares with the commercial powders I have used in the past.
I started one jar of kohlrabi ‘pickles’ yesterday and I hope to make some sauerkraut as soon as the cabbage is ready. For the pickles I cut them into spears, pack them in a jar and cover with a 2% brine solution. I also add a few cloves of garlic to each jar to give a little extra flavor. This is my wife’s favorite ferment, and I try and make lots of it for her since she enjoys it so much.
I’m also experimenting with making some ‘green’ flavors of kombucha. I flavored one bottle with powdered chlorella, mint and lime juice. The other I flavored with spirulina powder and lemon. Hopefully they will not taste like something you scrape from the bottom of your lawnmower! My wife and I drink my homemade kombucha daily, and I love to try new flavors. Her favorite is ginger, so she mostly lets me drink the new ones myself. I’ve tried commercial versions of green kombuchas before and liked them, so hopefully I can flavor a homemade version that I like.
Regular readers might be wondering where we manage to find room in the refrigerator for all those fermented foods. The answer is – we don’t, and so a couple of years ago we got a small refrigerator we put in the basement just for them. It holds quite a bit, and now we have more room in the main frig for things like fresh veggies from the garden!
I hope you have enjoyed this update about some of the foods I have been fermenting lately. I’ll be back soon with more from Happy Acres!