Ms. Clean Food Living is a well-being enthusiast who enjoys a clean food living lifestyle on her little country farm in Montana.
Today's recipe may seem uncommon in the lacto-fermentation world. We will ferment cabbage and turn it into an Asian slaw with a homemade peanut ginger dressing. It's a probiotic salad that is sinfully delicious!
Time: 2 to 3 days
Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: 2 servings (1 glass pint-size jar or equivalent)
Step 1: Prep the Salt Water Brine
The first step is prepping the salt water brine.
- 1/2 cup warm water (non-chlorinated)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (suggestions: Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt)
- Add the salt to the warm water.
- Stir to dissolve.
Step 2: Prep the Vegetables
Next, we need to prep the vegetables.
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1/4 cup finely chopped (or thinly sliced) carrot
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3/4 cup loosely packed cilantro
- Before you start slicing the cabbage, first remove the outer leaves. (Keep them for later.) Slice the cabbage thin.
- Place it in a large bowl.
- Next add the carrot, pepper and cilantro.
- Set aside.
Step 3: Make the Peanut Ginger Dressing
- Salt water brine mix (from step 1)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/3 cup peanut butter powder OR 1/4 cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon honey OR 1 teaspoon unbleached cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger (skin removed)
- 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic OR garlic powder
Note: if you are using creamy or crunch peanut butter instead of the powder, and your peanut butter has added sugar, skip the honey (or cane sugar).
- Get out a blender (preferably a small cup blender). If you don't have a blender, whisk together the ingredients thoroughly.
- Give the salt water brine another stir, then pour it into the blender.
- Add the soy sauce, peanut butter powder (or plain peanut butter) and honey.
- Remove the ginger skin, then add to the mixture.
- Add the lemon juice and garlic (or garlic powder).
- Blend at the highest speed until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the dressing over the vegetables and give it a toss to incorporate.
- Set aside for a few minutes to marinate.
Note: It's going to taste a bit heavy on the salt and light on the lemon juice tanginess. This is okay as the flavor changes over time.
Optional Step: Toast the Peanuts
Optional: Prep desired amount of toasted peanuts (skin off). Toss them in an ungreased pan on medium-low heat. The peanuts are going to turn a light brown color. Keep an eye on them, they can brown quickly! When toasted, add them to the vegetable bowl and give it another toss.
Step 4: Pack the Jar
1. The jar will be packed in layers. Take a handful, with freshly washed hands, and stuff it into the jar.
2. Using a mallet, or something similar, press the mixture down to get out any air gaps.
3. Take another handful and do the same. Make sure the juice is coming up over the salad mixture. You can use your knuckles for this step.
4. Fill the jar as pictured, just under the jar ring threads. Maybe even a little less as to prevent overflow.
5. To hold the mixture down under the liquid, add one of those cabbage leafs from earlier. They fit in tightly and help hold the vegetables down.
Step 5: Add a Fermenting Weight
You may choose to use a glass fermenting weight as well.
OR as an alternative to a glass fermenting weight, you can use a well washed, clean rock like this.
Place a coffee filter over the top. This allows the gasses to release, while keeping debris out. Use a jar ring (or rubber band) to hold it in place.
Step 6: Ferment for 2-3 Days
- Place on counter at room temperature for 2 to 3 days (maximum 3 days for this specific recipe).
- Put a plate underneath to catch any overflow.
- After about 3 days, remove the weight and cabbage leaf.
- Store in the fridge with a tightened jar lid.
Note: This salad can be eaten at day two, but be sure to finish it by day five or six at the latest.
Why Is This Fermentation so Short?
Many fermented vegetables can last for months. However, due to the honey and peanut butter in this recipe, those sugars are going to feed the lacto-bacteria and super accelerate the fermenting rate. The tanginess is going to increase rapidly rather than gradually and can quickly over-ferment meaning, become too sour.
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