I still had a large crop, almost 2 kilos, of frozen peppers in the freezer. I decided to ferment them to make pepper sauce and sambal after a few weeks (or months). Fermenting is an easy way to preserve your abundant harvest.
how do you ferment peppers
What do you need?
If you want to make sure that your fermentation is successful, it is best to work with a starter. You see that glass jar with a clear liquid in it, that's the starter. This could be a liquid from a homemade sauerkraut or kimchi, but if you don't have that, take about 200 ml of yogurt, milk kefir or buttermilk. Take a high pan, a sieve and cheesecloth or a clean kitchen towel. Place the sieve on the high pan and place the cheesecloth folded in half at least twice. Then pour the milk product being Kefir in my case on the cheesecloth and leave it overnight.
The next day you have your starter, as you can see in my glass jar in the photo.
The residual product of your starter is a delicious curd, so you certainly do not throw this away. I enjoyed a delicious breakfast.
You need these ingredients:
1 large or 2 smaller preserving jars with rubber ring
at least 2 tablespoons of starter
1 to 2 kilos of peppers, whether or not grown themselves, but is preferred of course.
50 grams of sea salt, seasoned or not.
600 to 700 ml of water
This is how you proceed:
Take a pan, put it with the water and salt on a medium heat and heat until the salt has dissolved and then let it cool down again. It is important that you let the liquid cool down properly, otherwise your starter will soon go to the ......
In the meantime, cut the peppers. Cut the stalk off and then cut into small pieces and put them in the clean weck jar immediately.
When all the peppers have been cut, first check whether the salt solution has cooled down properly, the intention is that it should not be hotter than hand warm, otherwise just a cup of tea in between.
Then you take the cooled saline solution and pour in the starter. This should be at least 2 tablespoons, but more is good. Stir this well and then carefully pour it into the preserving jar with peppers.
Make sure to keep the peppers under the liquid. I use a plastic mat that I cut to size for the relevant pot. You can use these mats over and over again, they are so-called cheese mats.
In the right jar I see that I put 2 stacked small preserving jars on the mat to keep the peppers well under the liquid.
If you look very closely you will already see bubbles in the rim of the liquid and if you shake the jar carefully, the air bubbles will fly up. This means that you have to let the weck jar burp from time to time (just open and close the lid). Otherwise the jar may burst, I have never had this myself with these preserving jars but once with a jar with screw lid, so be warned.
How long to ferment?
How long you want to ferment this pot is up to you, but at least 2 weeks for sure. It is true the longer the better! But that is the case with everything.
The longer you let this ferment, the deeper the flavor becomes. Umami is the fifth taste next to salty and sweet, sour and bitter. If you like old cheese, you will find this Umami taste delicious and fermentation is really something for you.
I plan to leave these pots for six months. Then I pass the content with liquid through a sieve with a ladle or a strainer.
The liquid, possibly thickened with a cornstarch paste, in a nice bottle with a clip closure and the pepper grit that you remove from the sieve you make a delicious sambal. By then I'll write it all in a blog so stay tuned!