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By A Web Design

FERMENTATION: Japanese Cucumbers (Pickles) and Root Kimchi

Monday, 01 October 2012 07:03

1shoppinglist-wholegrains_2With the Fall Harvest in full swing and the colder months fast approaching; I always have my Harsch Crock and Perfect Pickler in action during this time of the year. This recipe was inspired by my friend Jamie Mitchell, our SUP Performance Clinics, and seeing the folks at QuickBlade Headquarters taking on some of their own food enhancement skills. Fermentation has been a process used by traditional societies to preserve food as well as enhance their beneficial nutrients for centuries. However, it is also a process that surrounds our daily food lives without most even recognizing it. As a result of the industrially processed foods that are so prevalent, they have become known as Artisan. Breads, cheeses, chocolate, beer, yoghurt, wine and an assortment of delicacies across the globe are all made using the natural fermentation process. As a result, these foods which are unpasteurized, raw and produced without vinegar make food more digestible, enhance their nutrients and should be a regular part of one's foundational nutrition. All you need are fresh, organic vegetables, salt, water and time.

Here's How:

Equipment:

This recipe makes use of The Perfect Pickler, Harsch Crock or any other closed fermentation vessel.

Ingredients:

It all starts here. Ideally, you have a robust organic garden with a variety of vegetables to choose from. If not, find your local farmers market and purchase some from a small family farm.

JAPANESE CUCUMBERS

I grow these every year and just love how they climb up my trellis with their long hanging fruit easy for the picking. They have a great quality for becoming pickles with small seeds and sturdy composition.

For a 1 Gallon Sized Perfect Pickler

  • 4-5 lbs Japanese Cucumbers, rinsed and cut into 1-1.5inch pieces, choose ones that are as uniform in diameter as possible
  • 2 Bulbs Fresh Summer Garlic, peeled and separated into cloves
  • 2-3 inches of Fresh Ginger, about 1/2 cup, sliced into 1 inch long pieces
  • 2 3 inch strips of Kombu Seaweed, rehydrated in fresh water, reserve water
  • 2-3T Red Pepper Flakes, optional
  • Handful of Grape, or Oak leaves, rinsed, used for their tannins to keep cukes crisp
  • 6T Sea Salt dissolved in 2 Quarts of Fresh, filtered water

Process:

  • *Clean out Gallon Jar using hot water with a cool rinse. Try not to use soap so there is no residual left behind.
  • Place Oak or Grape leaves at the bottom of jar
  • Place Seaweed on top of leaves
  • Add half of ginger, garlic, and 1T of red pepper
  • Begin adding cucumber pieces, taking up as much empty space as possible without squishing them together.
  • When half the jar is full, begin adding the rest of ginger, garlic and red pepper as you fill the rest of the jar. Fill right up to, its okay if it goes above, where the jar begins to narrow.
  • Add the salt water to the jar until it covers all of the cucumbers.
  • Place Pickler cover and Lock on jar and set aside in a cool, dark place with temps 55-65 degrees for 3-4 weeks.
  • After a couple weeks you can start to check on your pickles and see how they taste. I like mine of the sour variety so I let them go the full 4 weeks, but once they are to your liking you can leave them in the same jar or place them in smaller ones and then move them to the fridge to slow down the fermentation. From there you can continue to enjoy them for however long they last!

ROOT KIMCHI

This is an early season variety of the Fall version that I make with cabbage. The summer is too hot to grow cabbage so I take advantage of the abundance of carrots and radishes that I have to make one without. Its a great accompaniment to any meal, as an addition to salads or just as a snack on their own.  

For a 1 Gallon Sized Jar

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Fresh Garden Carrots of all colors, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3-4 Bunches Fresh Garden Radishes, rinsed and cut in half or quartered, depending on size
  • 2 Bulbs Fresh Summer Garlic, peeled into cloves
  • 2-3 inches of Fresh Ginger, peeled and sliced into 2inch pieces
    2-3T Red Pepper Flakes, optional
  • 6T Sea Salt dissolved into 2 Quarts fresh, filtered water

Process:

  1. Clean out Gallon Jar using hot water with a cool rinse. Try not to use soap so there is no residual left behind.
  2. Add half of ginger, garlic, and 1T of red pepper
  3. Begin adding carrots and radishes, taking up as much empty space as possible.
  4. When half the jar is full, begin adding the rest of ginger, garlic and red pepper as you fill the rest of the jar. Fill right up to, its okay if it goes above, where the jar begins to narrow.
  5. Add the salt water to the jar until it covers all of the cucumbers.
  6. Place Pickler cover and Lock on jar and set aside in a cool, dark place with temps 55-65 degrees for 3-4 weeks

After a couple weeks you can start to check on your kimchi and see how it tastes. I generally like mine to go the full 4 weeks, but once they are to your liking you can leave them in the same jar or place them in smaller ones and then move them to the fridge to slow down the fermentation. From there you can continue to enjoy them for however long they last!!!

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