6 September 2016

Sweet and Sour Fermented Cucumber Salad

This recipe is adapted from Donna Schwenk sweet pickle relish:

This ferment takes only about 2-3 days to make due to the high water content of the cucumbers.
It has pleasant refreshing taste and stays crunchy for a few weeks.


all ingredients are organically sourced

350 g filtered water (approximately)
1 1/2 medium cucumbers
1 white onion
1 small sweet pepper
4 gloves of garlic
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp celery seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
3-4 florets of celery or dill (optional)
1 1/4 tsp unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
1 tbsp raw unpasteurized honey (or unrefined cane sugar)
2 tbsp previous brine (omit when making for the first time)


around 800 ml glass jar with a lid (can use recycled)
measuring spoons (optional)
kitchen scale (optional)
medium mixing bowl
chopping board
sharp knife


Wash the jar and sterilise if desired. Measure out all the  spices except salt and honey and keep them aside for now in a little bowl.

Slice the vegetables

and pack into the jar pressing them down very lightly with your hands and cover with filtered water to determine the amount of water needed. Keep the top of the liquid 4-5 cm below the top of the jar.
If making this recipe using the previous brine then remember to leave some space to add the brine later. Holding the vegetables with your fingers pour the water out into a mixing bowl and add honey (sugar) and salt, stir it to dissolve everything well. Then put all the spices into the jar and fill it with sweet and salty water. Add the brine from the previous batch at this point, if using.

Cover tightly with the lid and leave to ferment at room temperature and away from direct sunlight for 2-3 days.

Around the second day, you will see small bubbles on and in the ferment when you open it to check, this means that beneficial bacteria is actively transforming your fresh vegetables into pro--biotic condiment.
Then place into the fridge. I usually give it an additional day in the fridge and then start eating it.

I tried the same recipe for cherry tomatoes and it took around 7 days to be ready. The tomatoes had nice taste and texture but the accompanying vegetables (I only used garlic and onion) became slightly slimy, which was not very pleasant.