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Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Jalapeños | FarmSteady

Recipe: Lacto-Fermented Jalapeños

Fermented jalapeños are a deliciously spicy ingredient we always keep on hand. These piquant little lacto-pickled pepper slices pack loads of flavor and are incredibly versatile. Lacto-fermented jalapeños develop a tangy flavor that adds a rich depth to the spiciness of fresh peppers. Don’t get us wrong, these peppers are spicy, but they’re balanced with a sharp, pickled tang and subtle salt-brininess.

Whether you’re new to lacto-fermentation, or you’ve become a pickling expert, fermented jalapeños are one of our tried and true favorites. Natural fermentation preserves the jalapeños, meaning there’s no rush to use them all before going bad.

We love picking up a big batch of jalapeños at the the farmers market during prime pepper season or grabbing some at the supermarket any other time of year and fermenting them for later. The best part? This ferment is incredibly easy and will take you under 15 minutes to prepare.

All you really need are jalapeños and a saltwater brine, but we encourage you to get creative and add flavors that inspire you. In our recipe, we use a little lime peel and garlic, but you’re free to use onions, more peppers of another variety, fresh herbs, and other seasonings. This recipe is an ideal base for experimenting with jalapeño fermentation.

How to ferment your jalapeños

To make your own lacto-fermented jalapeños, you’ll need fresh jalapeños that are still green, 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt, one quart of water, and any additional ingredients of your choice. Seriously, this recipe could not be any simpler. You will de-stem your jalapeños and thinly slice into rounds. We like to keep the seeds for ease in preparation and for a little extra heat, but this is up to you depending on how spicy you’d like your final product to be. Put your sliced jalapeños in your fermentation jar along with your garlic cloves, herbs, and anything else you’d like to add.

Now it’s time to prep your brine. Simply dissolve 1.5 tablespoons of kosher salt into one quart of water. Place your glass fermentation weight over the sliced jalapeños, and pour in your brine to cover the glass weight. Lastly, top your fermentation jar with your lid and airlock. Your jalapeños will need to ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days. After the first three days, taste to determine if they’re developed enough for your liking or if they should ferment longer.

Some folks prefer to ferment their jalapeños for up to two weeks, however, we like ours on the less sour side. It’s totally up to you. When they’re just perfect, transfer to smaller jars and move to the fridge where they will keep for months!

We love how versatile jalapeños are, and trust us when we tell you we’ve found endless uses for this fun and easy ferment. Think spicy quesadillas, tacos, nachos, soups, and more. They add a richness and depth to recipes that can make things almost taste slow-cooked. Try adding them to your next batch of skillet chili if you want to know what we’re talking about. They make a 30 minute chili taste like it was cooked for hours.

You can also use them to make a salsa, giardiniera for homemade subs, or blend them up with a little acid (like vinegar or lime juice) for a simple jalapeño hot sauce. This recipe makes a full quart, leaving plenty to store for a rainy day or to share with friends.

New to lacto-fermentation? Check out our very own Fermented Vegetable Kit for everything you need to easily get started fermenting at home. Looking for more fermented vegetable recipes? Check out our Lacto-Fermented Red Onions Recipe

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