Lacto-Fermented Pickled Peppers Recipe

| 10/14/2015 10:13:00 AM

Tags: food preservation, fermentation, peppers, pickling, Kirsten K. Shockey, Oregon,


Hot pepper season is on. It is time to preserve the red, yellow, green, small, large, mild or hot peppers that have been growing in the garden all summer. These tips will help turn your peppers, whatever the variety, into pickled peppers. You may use any combination of peppers and even add some dried cayenne or other super hot peppers if you want to make the flavor complex.

I cannot think of pickled peppers without hearing the tongue twister in my head — Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers… This maybe more information than you want to know but this will swim around in my head dodging the words that I am trying to type while I write this — like background music, but irritating. I do know that you have all been there—the show tune that won’t leave.

This post is about brine pickling peppers, which means that the peppers will be submerged in salt brine you make and add to the peppers. So let’s start with making a good brine. Making a great pickle starts with a high quality brine and this begins with the water. Make sure your water is un-chlorinated. The chlorine can inhibit fermentation. The other ingredient is salt. Use a high quality unrefined salt. No need to use kosher pickling salt; these salts are highly processed and contain anti-caking agents which are not only not needed but are not as healthy and tasty.

Always make a little more brine than you will need as sometimes during the most active first few days of fermentation some of your brine may bubble over and you will want to top off. Be sure to store the extra un-fermented brine in the refrigerator; it will keep for about a week.

If you want to add vinegar for flavor — wait. Don’t add any vinegar to the brine until after fermentation. The salt solution is perfect for promoting lactic-acid fermentation. Acetic acid (vinegar) too early in the process can impede the fermentation. Add any vinegar later in the process as recipes suggest.

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