Lacto – Fermented Asian Veggie Medley

by lydia on February 9, 2011

I love fermented veggies as they are an excellent probiotic food that help to assist digestion. Not to mention all that beneficial bacteria you will be getting in each bite, just what we all need and this time of year is no exception. Sauerkraut is my mainstay, however I love to dice it up especially for my kids sake. They are far more interested in eating a pickle type ferment than they are some shredded cabbage. So I came up with this fun recipe that is very suitable for winter and kid friendly.

Lacto-Fermented Asian Veggie Medley

Makes 1/2 gallon
2 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 1/2 cups cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cups carrots, sliced
2 bunches green onions, chopped
3 -4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
4 tablespoons naturally fermented soy sauce, gluten free or coconut aminos

4-6 tablespoons sea salt


Cut the broccoli and cauliflower into bite sized pieces, cut the carrots into 1/2 inch thick disks. Coarsely chop the garlic, ginger and green onions. Tightly pack all the veggies into the jar. Add the lemon juice and soy sauce to the jar as well.
In another half gallon jar make a brine with filtered water and 4 to 6 tablespoons sea salt. Taste the brine to see if you are happy with the saltiness of it and adjust as needed. Stir well so the salt can dissolve. Add enough brine to fill the jar leaving an inch of head space.  Make sure the vegetables are completely covered by the brine so that the vegetables will not get moldy.  If you need to, take a cabbage leaf that is about an inch wider than the circumference of your jar and shove it down into the jar below the lip to keep the veggies submerged under the brine. Make sure you still have 1 inch of head space. Let sit on your counter for one  week before moving to cold storage.

*Note* – you can add up to 1 cup of whey to this, though I do not prefer the use of whey however am aware that some do. You can also drink the brine as a supplemental way to get in more beneficial bacteria.

Time: 10 minutes active prep time,  1 week inactive time

This recipe contributed to Real Food Wednesdays and Fight Back Friday.



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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lori February 9, 2011 at 6:02 pm

How much lemon juice and soy sauce? I made my first sauerkraut but when I put it in the fridge with lid tight, the liquid reduced below the cabbage.

When I had it on the counter I didn’t tighten the lids and liquid did bubble out, but I read if lids were tight it could explode.

tight lids or not?

Thanks! This sounds delicious, we love Asian flavors.


lydia February 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

By golly I forgot to post the amounts – I will fix that shortly Lori, thanks for asking.

I put my lids on tight and check it, especially if the weather is warm or it’s in a pretty warm spot. Just open your jar every day if you want to be safe. When the liquid reduces below the cabbage, you can just press the cabbage back down in the jar with your fist. OR, you can create a weight by using a cabbage leaf and a boiled rock on top. I never have issues though and I don’t use anything in my sauerkraut. But with loose veggies like this recipes I do the cabbage leaf thing to keep them submerged.


Kelly @ The Nourishing Home April 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Found you through Cultured Food for Life. This recipe looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it! Blessings, Kelly


lydia April 26, 2011 at 4:55 pm

Thanks Kelly! Hope you enjoy it!!


Cortney February 10, 2012 at 9:29 am

So am I right in reading we need 2 half-gallon jars for this? And is there any special way to treat the jars before fermentation, or just wash them normally?

Thanks for the recipe! I have never fermented anything before (intentionally, anyway), so I’m a little bit nervous!


lydia February 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

Cortney – you just wash them normally, hot water and gentle healthy soap, nothing harsh. You only need one half gallon jar for the ferment, but then you need another jar or container that measures half gallon to make your brine.


april corwin February 13, 2012 at 9:55 am

in order for it to be lacto fermented, don’t you have to add whey? Why in you Note did you say you do not perfer the use of whey? I am very confused


lydia February 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Lacto-fermentation has nothing to with whey. It’s lactic acid that is being referred to. Anyway, I have had some iffy results with whey and don’t always have whey on hand, so it’s honestly just a preference thing. It’s also so people know they don’t HAVE to use whey, you can have a successful ferment with just salt! Hope that helps!


Alison September 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Is the salt measurement correct? It seems it should be 4-6 teaspoons, not tablespoons for a half gallon.


Cathy April 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Just thought I’d say about the salt/whey thing. I think you end up using more salt if you don’t use the whey. It prevents unwanted bacteria from growing before the lactic acid bacteria can take off. That’s (my guess) why the recipe calls for what seems like a lot of salt. I am by no means a food expert, just my own experience and noting from the recipes in the “Nourishing Traditions” cookbook by Sally Fallon. In all the fermentation recipes she says 1 T salt per quart jar, and if you choose not to add the 4 T whey, then add an extra T salt. So for a half gallon that would be 4 T salt. Since this fermentation involves an actual brine and vegetables floating around in it, then you would end up using extra salt for the brine. So…. that being said 4-6 T sounds about right! :) Thank you for posting this recipe, it’s just the thing I”ve been looking for to entice my kids a little more since they’re not super keen on shredded veggies as much as a pickle type.


lydia April 21, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Cathy – I no longer follow this method at all. Since I’ve learned a lot more about fermentation. I do not use whey anymore either – whey is not actually an appropriate starter for this kind of ferment as it drops the pH too fast and skips critical stages of fermentation. Now I would ferment this medley in an anaerobic vessel with a salt brine only. I need to re-write the recipe and post my new method. I’d use a 2% brine for 1 liter which is 20 grams of salt. I do not use mason jars either since they are not airtight. The majority of lactic acid bacteria only grow and thrive in an anaerobic environment. I no longer feel comfortable that I am making a true healthy ferment by using the methods taught in Nourishing Traditions.


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