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Who pickles?


Image stolen from here. Looks like a useful site.

Pickles? Saurkraut? Kimchi? Chutney? Anyone make their own kefir? (Is it gross? I’ve never tried it). Any hints’n’tips?

I’m really susceptible to hippie trendy foodie crap. Gullible. Gullible is the word I’m looking for. I’m not ashamed. Sometimes stuff turns out to be a good idea, and sometimes it doesn’t. Meanwhile, I get to do Weasel Science.

Fermentation is the trendy thing at the moment. Though, to my mind, fermentation means yeast and sugar. Putting stuff in brine for ten days is pickling. But. Whatever.

Supposedly, brined food is stuffed full of natural probiotics. And if you haven’t been reading all the interesting stuff about probiotics and gut flora floating around t’internet lately, you haven’t been paying attention.

Lucky for me, I like my snackies sour/salty/savory rather than sweet, so I’m expecting to like the outcome regardless. Unless I culture something really horrific and explode at both ends.

Nobody say “elderberry cordial” please.

BRB. Going to cut up carrots.


Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: June 29, 2015, 9:54 pm


Luckily, it looks as though fermentation with lactic acid is safe. I really liked the chart, though, so I’m linking it anyway.

Comment from Stark Dickflüßiᵹ
Time: June 29, 2015, 9:57 pm

I’ve made kimchi. Then made kimchi-chigae from it. Got an “honourary Korean” from someone who grew up over there, too. I mean, I love fermented stuff like that. My mom used to make that old fermented pickle recipe, & years later, my wife’s uncle gave us some pickles that were exactly like my mother’s. Fucking flashbacks to her beating me with a wooden spaghetti spoon & all. Also, had some amazing, home-made, Paki hot pickle stuff in Toronto once. Awesome stuff.

The stuff that ferments sauerkraut & kimchi (& I suspect the pickles) is a lactobacillus, much like the one that gives us yogurt. I mean, cabbages & cucumbers don’t taste sweet to people who eat sugar regularly, but they have enough to get some rot going, yeah.

Anyway, go for it. Nothing wrong with good food being trendy (except maybe the prices getting out of control). Just make sure your hands & dishes are really clean.

Edited to add: Make sure your house is free of black mold spores, too. Yeah, personal experience. Blech!

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: June 29, 2015, 10:08 pm

Meanwhile the badger (a far more sensible animal) is making ice cream.

Comment from Stark Dickflüßiᵹ
Time: June 29, 2015, 10:29 pm

Fermented ice-cream? Oh, frozen yogurt, right.

Comment from mojo
Time: June 29, 2015, 10:37 pm

“real American sea salt”? I’m so proud. I had no idea we owned the seas.

Comment from Stark Dickflüßiᵹ
Time: June 29, 2015, 11:32 pm

Certified Organic Sea Salt.

Hrm. Something is certainly certifiable.

Comment from BJM
Time: June 29, 2015, 11:44 pm

Ha! I have a batch of Gran’s ice box pickles working and always keep a crock of some sort of kimchi fermenting. I love daikon kimchi more than my luggage.

@Starkers…be still my beating heart! What could be better than pork belly & kimchi?

Great site! Thanks Stoaty. Go for it…fermenting is fun…I have a 10 yr old crock of sourdough that has taken on a life of it’s own.

I am so making those fermented carrots as I too must thin a sh*tload of carrots cuz I fell in love with Johnny’s seed catalog in Feb and way over planted carrots and beets.

Comment from Jeff Gauch
Time: June 30, 2015, 12:17 am

“I had no idea we owned the seas.”

Since June 4, 1942.

Comment from Pablo
Time: June 30, 2015, 1:20 am

Certified Organic Sea Salt.

Hrm. Something is certainly certifiable.

GMO, lactose and gluten free!

Comment from Kim
Time: June 30, 2015, 1:55 am

Kefir…yum. Easy. Buy or barter “grains” (really more curds) and add milk. Let sit overnight, in the morning fix smoothie, or whatever. Great in pancakes, mac and cheese and anything with milk. Yum. I repeat, yum.

Comment from LesterIII
Time: June 30, 2015, 6:20 am

Be good to your bowels and they will be good to you.

Yep, gut flora keeps ya movin’.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: June 30, 2015, 11:39 am

Badgers are extremely sensible animals. Just as Moley or Ratty.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: June 30, 2015, 11:39 am

Mojo, thanks to the USN, we DO own the oceans!

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: June 30, 2015, 2:18 pm

I keep wanting to do Kim Chi, but don’t have a recipe, and I’m not sure how reliable the recipes I’ve seen on the web are. Anyone got a good one?

Comment from mojo
Time: June 30, 2015, 5:31 pm

Own? You might want to check with the Chinese Navy. New kid, from outta nowhere, leading the Masters…

Comment from Stark Dickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 1, 2015, 2:20 am

I keep wanting to do Kim Chi, but don’t have a recipe, and I’m not sure how reliable the recipes I’ve seen on the web are. Anyone got a good one?

Err, this is from memory (6 or 7 years ago), so bear with me but:

Napa Cabbage (enough)
Salt (fuckloads)
Red pepper flakes (again, quite a bit)
Daikon (a chunk about the size of your fist)
Garlic (tons)
Ginger (a fair amount)
Sugar (a bit)
Fish sauce (not much, like a tablespoon or so)

Quarter the cabbage through the stem. Pull the leaves apart (don’t disconnect them from the stem, though) & sprinkle salt between every leaf. Put in a bowl large enough to hold them, & let sit until the salt pulls a lot of the water out (probably 2 hours or more).

Whilst the cabbage soaks, grate the daikon very fine, place in a bowl, & salt. Let sit for 15 or 20 minutes, or until plenty of juice is released. Squeeze out the grated daikon, & mix with red pepper flakes & a lot of minced garlic & ginger, & a couple of teaspoons of sugar & the fish sauce. Set aside.

Drain & then wring out the cabbage quarters (seriously, squeeze that water out, as much as you can. More than that, like really squeeze), when they’ve done enough juicing (again, it’s probably been a couple of hours). Check your daikon-pepper mixture, making sure it’s a very thick paste. Open up the leaves again, individually (I start from the outside) and with reasonably clean hands smear with pepper paste. Do this for every leaf. Once all the leaves are coated (very tedious it is, young Skywanker), place in a large crock & start on the next quarter.

When all of the cabbage is in the crock (or the crock is full) smash it down really fucking tight & add some more. Or in the case of no more to add, just mash it down super tight & put plastic wrap down on top of it. Put wax paper over the plastic wrap & push down some more. No, harder than that. Now weight it down, making sure the plastic wrap is over it good & snug. Wait two or three days & eat. It should have started bubbling a bit, & expelling red liquid.

The longer it ferments, the better it tastes, up to a point. But that’s like a month or so, so don’t worry.

Comment from Stark Dickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 1, 2015, 2:27 am

Oh, & once it has fermented for a few days in the big-ass crock, take it out, chop it into bite sized hunks & repackage it into manageable jars, smooshing it down really well.

Comment from Can’t Hark My Cry
Time: July 1, 2015, 1:00 pm

Thank you! As soon as nappa and daikon show up in the greenmarket, I’m on it!

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