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Fermenting

Hello, I'm new to this forum been lurking for a bit, anyways...

I wanted to ask about Fermenting as it's something I'm interested in dabbling in. What are some of the techniques to look out for as far as getting started? Do I need to match certain herbs with different plants to get the most out of it, as far as taste is concerned?

How long does the fermentation last and how long can I keep it stored?

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

I love fermenting fruits and vegetables!
I make cortido and sauerkraut mostly though. Yum! It's so good for you!

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RASelkirk
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Re: Fermenting

My last ferment was white onions with coriander, fennel & mustard seeds. Let it run for a month and it ended up like an "oniony" sauerkraut. Stuck it in the food processor with some dill pickle and brown mustard and got a great hot dog relish. Sorry no recipe, was a simple "wing it" job...

Russ

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

That sounds awesome!

imafan26
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Re: Fermenting

I am a beginner too. I found recipes on the internet. The most important thing is to get the ratios right for the acidity, so I am using tried and true recipes. Herbs though can probably be added as well. Herbs do have complementary flavors when paired right. I have a link to a guide that pairs herbs with almost everything. Now for wine, I go with the basics. Red for dark meat, and white for white meat. For fermenting, not all vinegar have the same acidity and lemon is less acidic so testing with a pH tester is the way to go to make sure the ferment is ready. It can also take some time depending on the ambient temperature from days to months.

https://delishably.com/spices-seasoning ... ring-Guide
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

Fermenting can be super simple or can be really complex. One of my favs is cortido because it's fairly simple. I just thinly chop cabbage, julienned carrots, sliced onions, red pepper flakes, salt, garlic, and oregano. Mix it all together, pound it a bit to get all the juices flowing from the cabbage and then put it in a jar, fill with water and wait a month. Be sure to burp the cortido a couple times a day when it is bubbling or else your jar will crack! I ended buying special lids for fermenting that let the gasses escape and now I can just do nothing to it but wait. So good!

pepperhead212
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Re: Fermenting

I got some of those lids for fermenting - various kimchi, SE Asian, and Indian type fermented dishes. They have valves that you use a suction tool to vacuum seal the lid, and remove nearly all of the oxygen. Eventually, the CO2 starts building up, but it can't get too high, due to the valve. There are also weights, to put on the veggies in the jars, to keep them under water.
Dave

imafan26
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Re: Fermenting

Keeping the food submerged is important to reduce mold growth. The lids I have use a valve that is sealed with water so it is a one way valve. The pickling crocks I have seen use a ceramic pot with a ring rim and an inverted bowl over the top. The rim is filled with water and that does the same thing. My Korean friends have a kimchi refrigerator because fermenting does have a characteristic smell.

I have only recently started brining and pickling. Before the main thing I made was sherry ginger. It is simple just a clean jar, peeled ginger and dry sherry. It pickles in the alcohol and lasts a long time in the refrigerator. I have made a chili paste with hot peppers, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and fish sauce. It is not fermenting so much because it is preserved in salt. I just made some pickled onions, fina denne, and chili pepper water. I may have to make some quick pickles with the cucumbers.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

Sounds delicious! What do you eat with the sherry ginger?

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RASelkirk
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Re: Fermenting

imafan26 wrote:
Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:29 pm
Keeping the food submerged is important to reduce mold growth. The lids I have use a valve that is sealed with water so it is a one way valve. The pickling crocks I have seen use a ceramic pot with a ring rim and an inverted bowl over the top. The rim is filled with water and that does the same thing. My Korean friends have a kimchi refrigerator because fermenting does have a characteristic smell.

I have only recently started brining and pickling. Before the main thing I made was sherry ginger. It is simple just a clean jar, peeled ginger and dry sherry. It pickles in the alcohol and lasts a long time in the refrigerator. I have made a chili paste with hot peppers, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and fish sauce. It is not fermenting so much because it is preserved in salt. I just made some pickled onions, fina denne, and chili pepper water. I may have to make some quick pickles with the cucumbers.
I fermented some daikons once, they did well but when I opened a jar to grab some, the wife wanted to evacuate to house. :eek: Tossed them after a half jar to save the marriage...

Russ

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

What do you eat the sherry ginger with? Ive made candied ginger for sushi, but never fermented ginger. Sounds interesting!

imafan26
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Re: Fermenting

Actually. The sherry (alcohol) is what I am using to preserve the ginger. I could use vodka. It is cheaper and has a neutral flavor. However, most of the Asian recipes that call for a short marinade of meat (cornstarch, ginger, sugar, soy and shao hsing wine.) Good Shao Hsing wine is very expensive and not that easy to find. The cooking shao hsing wine is like regular cooking wine, it is salted. The substitutes for Shao Hsing wine would be either Sherry, mirin, or Sake. Sherry keeps a long time, sake does not keep well after it is opened so I only buy a little jar of it. I was going to preserve the ginger in sake until I found out that sake is only good for about 9 days after opening. Needless to say, I have a couple of large bottles of sake I don't know what to do with. In recipes sherry is the usual substitute for shao hsing wine.


I can use the ginger in any recipe that calls for ginger. The pieces are thumb size so they are about the size called for in most recipes. Freezing and keeping ginger in the refrigerator works for short storage but they dry out. I can actually harvest ginger anytime after about 5 months of growing. They will be big enough. I do have to harvest the entire container after the ginger blooms or it is going to be to crowded and the pieces will be small and very hard to clean. The sherry can be used in the same recipes as the ginger for the Shao Hsing wine. I just have to make sure that the ginger pieces remain submerged.

Takuan can be pungent but the smell is not nearly as bad as pickled cabbage. The first time I open those jars, I do it outside where it can vent for awhile. I cover it with a food umbrella.

If you think daikon was bad you should take a whiff of bagoong (filipino fermented fish paste). That stuff really draws the flies. It smells bad, but it tastes good.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

Thank you for the information!
Has anyone ever tried wild ginger? I mean the kind you rarely see while out hiking? I've heard it's weaker in flavor, but I wonder if it would be pretty good in recipes?

imafan26
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Re: Fermenting

The different gingers have very different flavors. Thai ginger galangal and kra chai or Chinese key ginger all have very different tastes. Galangal is a harder root and it has a very different taste. I think it is flowery, others think it is spicy. It is hard for me to judge its' spiciness since Thai food will contain a spicy element like chilies. I only know about key ginger but I have never seen it. Tumeric (olena) is yellow. Hawaiians used it mainly for dye. It is has anticancer properties and is a basic ingredient in curry. Buds of mioga are eaten with sashimi. It is a seasonal ginger. There are a lot of ornamental gingers. I have a few of those, but I never try to eat any of them. Although, I have read that many of them are edible. It is not always the roots that are used but the flower buds and leaves. Most ginger flavor is described as spicy or bitter but it is not all the same in intensity and there are other elements that come into play.

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Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

ElizabethA
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Re: Fermenting

Thank you for that great information!
The kind of wild ginger I think I'm going to look for next time I'm out hiking around is a wild ginger with the scientific name of Asarum caudatum. I read that supposedly the roots and stems are edible and it could be used as a substitute for store bought ginger.

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