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Brussel Sprout Radish Fermentation — 13 Comments

  1. Hi there. Not sure if I’ve got as many projects going as you, but I have quite a bit of bubbling going on in the cupboards, so I wanted to say hello and thanks for the blog. After years of saying, “I want to try making Kimchi at home” (which I still haven’t yet), the scales finally tipped when I was in a restaurant in Norfolk, VA, and the chef had made a batch of brussels sprouts kimchi. Our curiousity piqued, we naturally ordered a serving, and then proceeded to order 3 more. It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever tasted. Have you tried it? Any recs or suggestions about brussels sprouts for a novice kimchi maker? Anyway, congrats again on the blog. Sam

  2. Hi Sam, you made my mouth water just thinking about making brussel sprout kimchi. I haven’t done it before but you can bet I will. I’d suggest a couple of things: one is to be sure to cut the brussel sprouts lengthwise in half )or perhaps quarters if they are large enough). By cutting them open, it’s easier for the fermentation activity to penetrate into the inner leaves, and also the kimchi flavorings will extend throughout the brussel sprouts. Cut lengthwise, simply because the base will help hold the separate leaf segments together. The second piece of advice I’d have is that the brussel sprouts won’t compress as easily as sliced cabbage so you may need to add a little more brine to make sure the liquid level rises to an inch over the top of the veggies. You can also try using brussel sprouts and cabbage together rather than just substituting brussel sprouts for cabbage. That might be nice. Finally, getting the heat just right is always the trick with kimchi as different peppers have remarkably different temperature levels so take good notes on what you do and adjust as necessary in future batches. If it somehow comes out too hot, you can always rinse off a portion of the finished product and then re-toss it together. Anyway, those are my thoughts at the moment. Please let me know how it goes so I can give it a shot myself with the benefit of your experience. Thanks for writing.

  3. Love your site – Question… For the brine and/or vinegar would it alter the taste too much to use Whey? It’s so much healthier and alive 🙂
    Thanks!

    • Using all whey does not provide the correct results. It provides the same bacteria ( lacto bacillus) you are growing with this fermentation process but you do not get the preservation nor the palatability with just whey. I would suggest a tea spoon full of whey to your jars to give it a kick start. Things like cabbage, Brussel sprouts, bay leaves, oak leaves, and many other things have naturally occurring lacto bacillus on them.

  4. “the radishes gave away their redness to the greater good,”

    love it.

    I’m going to have to try the brussels sprouts. I have noticed that I can live almost entirely on condiments, when said condiments are of the sort they were always intended to be. It’s so wonderful that more and more people are culturing.

    I’ve tried it the whey way a few times and didn’t get good results. My online intro to kimchi was via Erik Armstrong’s delightful piece, which is well worth reading. . . My first crock was not-to-be-believed heavenly! and included bright gemlike morsels of several citrus, an apple and a pear, along with various veg.

  5. I am using a good deal less salt than that. Just an observations. For a 2% solution of salt 1 Tbl of salt to 4 cups of water. I have not experienced any problems. I have never done Brussel sprouts before either though. I enjoy the sight, the articles, and recipes. Do they turn out like sour kraut?

    • Your weaker brine is fine if you keep the entire brine in. For this recipe, I added the brine but then poured off 3/4 of it which reduced the remaining salt effectively to a tablespoon. They do turn out like kraut. If you’ve experimented with different cabbages for making kraut, I’ve found the flavor compares to kraut made with Savoy cabbage.

    • The primary goal is maintaining an anaerobic environment for the ferment, which means keeping it submerged under liquid as it ferments. Tasting it does create the possibility of introducing an unwanted bacteria or mold into the mix, so whenever I do, I make sure my hands are scrubbed nice and clean and that any untensils inserted to taste are also clean.

    • The stirring isn’t terribly important. Whenever you are opening to taste, go ahead and mix everything up a bit. And yes, when the fermentation is complete, place in jars and place in the refrigerator. Cooler temperatures effectively slow the fermentaiton to a crawl. Good luck!

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