If you like the funk of sauerkraut and kimchi and can appreciate, even seek, the heat in chiles YOU are the perfect candidate for lacto-fermented chiles. In brief, lacto-fermentation is the process of converting sugars into lactic acid. This happens in an anaerobic environment, in the absense of oxygen. It’s simple and delicious and yields many beneficial bacteria and yeast.
*3 tbsp salt
1 quart water
spices as desired, coriander, cardamom, star anise
Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 1 quart of water to make the brine.
Rinse chiles with water and remove stems and seeds if desired. Folks say leaving the stem end yields more floral flavors.
Wearing gloves if your chiles are super spicy, coarsely chop the peppers or cut into rings.
Feel free to include some spices, to taste – coriander, cardamom, star anise, etc. If using, place a sprinkle of these at the bottom of each jar. Fill the jar about halfway with chiles. Add in a bit more of the spices. Fill the rest of the jar with the chiles, leaving at least 2-3 inches headspace.
Pour brine over chiles and seasonings until completely covered.
Keep the chiles submerged by weighing them down. (A regular mouth half pint Ball jar fits perfectly inside a wide mouth quart jar!). Cover the jar with a tight lid, airlock lid, or coffee filter secured with a rubber band.
Set aside to culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) until desired flavor is achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure. Don’t forget to taste them as they proceed so you know when they’re right for you. They’ll only get funkier!
Once the peppers are finished, put a tight lid on the jar and refrigerate, grind into a sauce (careful of the possible spicy fumes!) and refrigerate, or dehydrate in a dryer and grind the pepper flakes. Other suggestions? Let us know!
Hey! Did you know we grow an exceptional lineup of chilis? As we approach peak abundance, it seemed like a good time to share some details!