Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lacto-Fermented Turnips- Salt Pickled Turnips

If you're like me, you've probably seen turnips on sale at the grocery store, and have had little idea what to do with them that didn't involve soup or turnip mash. You might have wondered what else you could possibly do with turnips, ideally one that is healthy and easy to make, and tastes good to boot.

Wonder no more.

Fortunately, on the web I stumbled across the idea for a Japanese condiment- lacto-fermented turnips!

Lacto-fermentation, setting the conditions of a food to ferment with the lactic acid bacteria that are found everywhere (usually pickling with salt), is something that I've been doing for a while. I love making my lacto-fermented salsa, cucumber pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, kvass and all other types of salty ferments. Lacto-fermentation makes vegetables easier to digest, lowers their glycemic index, and improves many bodily functions by adding a healthy dose of probiotics to your system. Of course, lacto-fermentation also has the added benefit of preserving your vegetables to make them last even longer.

Lacto-fermented turnips are absolutely delicious. Crisp and refreshing, yet without the spiciness usually found in raw turnips, these turnips are so delicious that you'll easily be able to finish them all in one sitting.

To make, peel raw turnips and cut them into "french fries". Fill a jar with these turnip "fries" and if desired, add a square of kombu seaweed.
Make a mixture of salty water (the proportions of 6 cups of water plus one tablespoon and one teaspoon salt usually is what I aim for), and pour the salt into the jar of turnips.
Cover the jar with a cheesecloth, and leave it on the counter for 3-6 days.
Taste it every day or two to see if the turnips have become somewhat sour and have lost their bite. When they taste as you'd like them to, move the jar to the refrigerator until it is all eaten.

How do you usually make turnips? Ever tried to lacto-ferment them? Think you might try out this recipe?

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