Fermented vegetables: interim report, plus request for guidance
I have just started a fermented vegetable kick. This is an interim report and a call for tried & tested recipes. I'm using Sandor Katz's 'The Art of Fermentation' as a guide, as well as his web site and a couple of other web sites.
First item I made was sauerkraut: 3 heads of cabbage, a few carrots and a head of garlic, plus salt. Result: tasty, crisp, tastes fresher than commercial kraut. Very good stuff.
Second, tried some daikon radish. Result: pretty good.
Third, tried some Chinese Yam. (Supposed to be good for the guts.) Taste is fine, but the consistency is very mucilaginous, like okra. I find if I mix it half and half with kraut, it's pretty palatable.
Fourth, tried some Chinese Bitter Melon along with some garlic and cabbage. Result: the most godawful stuff I've ever put in my mouth. Hoo, it was nasty. I sort of like bitter melon in stir fry and soup, but this mix was abominable.
I see that you can buy all sorts of fermenting vessels and crocks. I'm sure they work well, but here's what I did for a lot less money. Get some 2 qt Ball canning jars. They're available online, but the shipping is brutal; the most economical way to get them is to order them online from either Ace Hardware or True Value. Both of them have a 'ship to store' option where you don't have to pay shipping, just sales tax. They're about $13 for six. Next, order some 'airlock grommets' --I found a deal on eBay, 20 of them for around $6 including shipping. Next, get some airlocks from a homebrew supply store or online; I found an eBay deal for six of them for around $10 including shipping.
Into the center of the metal lid that comes with the canning jar, drill a one-half inch hole. Fit a grommet to the hole, and stick an airlock in the grommet. Fill the airlock with water or vodka, and you're good to go. So for a total of around $30 I have six 2-qt fermenting vessels, enough to try all sorts of things.
Any recommendations for other fermentations? I'm gonna try pickling some carrots next go round. I have a couple of jars of cauliflower with Indian seasonings percolating right now.
This post was edited by arley on Wed, Feb 13, 13 at 10:10