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How Do You Ferment Ginger

How Do You Ferment Ginger

This is going to be a reeealllly short post.  You know why? Because this is a reeeealllllllyyyy easy thing to do!

How Do You Ferment Ginger

Gather Your Goodies

Fresh Ginger

Salt

Mineral Water

It’s Action Time

Peel the fresh ginger (easiest and safest way do this – I have found – is to pop a chunk of it on a chopping board and move a small, sharp knife slowly down the skin down towards the board)

Cut it into julienne strips (that’s strips about an 2 1/2 cm long and 3 mm thick – see photo)

Pop the ginger pieces into a small jar (best thing to do when you’re first trying new recipes is to use very small jars and just a little portion of food.  That way, if you don’t like the taste of a ferment, you won’t be wasting much. Of course, your family, friends or even neighbours might love it! Always best to gift the food if possible, before committing it to a bin.  I make huge jars of ginger – the one featured is a 1 quart jar – that’s the equivalent of 2 pints – but then, I love ginger!)

Fill the jar with mineral or filtered water (no chlorine from taps!) leaving a 1 inch gap at the top

Add a little salt

Pop the lid on (a metal lid is ok if you only have normal glass jars to hand – you could use an old jam jar – but keep the water below lid level as you don’t want the metal to come into contact with the metal while fermenting is happening)

Leave for three days

That’s it!

Open the jar and the ginger should be fizzing a little bit (i.e. bubbles in the water, or the water is a little cloudy, which means the good bacteria have done their work!)

If it hasn’t started to fizz a little, it’s most likely because your room isn’t warm enough.  Just leave it a little longer if that’s the case.  Pop it near the boiler, in an airing cupboard, on top of a fridge or anywhere extra warm, if you keep your house below 70 degrees.

Food will always ferment, whether you leave it at 5 degrees or 75 degrees.  Colder takes longer, that’s all.  The average house temperature is 65-72 degrees and this will work to around the timings I’m giving you.  (Our house settles at around 70 degrees and our utility – where the boiler lives – is probably a tad warmer than that – I’ve never checked the temp in there, so it could work a little faster than the average room.)

At any rate, after very little waiting, you have a beautiful little jar of fermented ginger!

Juice the ginger as you need to use it and add to your green drinks and smoothies to cut through the bitterness of vegetables.  It will, of course, also give a healthier drink, without sugar, and one that contains lots of lovely probiotics.

A win-win methinks?! 😉

Ooh, Really?!

  • Some people cut a chunk of veg and lay it on top of the ferment before shutting the lid.  If you cut it to the size of the jar it will weight down the veg and keep them below the level of the water.  I’ve never bothered.

Food will always rise in water/ferments, but so long as you keep an eye on it and top up the water if the jar leaks a little (even though they’re kind of air tight, the pressure can build and liquid does seep out, so it’s wise to pop them on a tray that will catch the liquid and also open the lid to top up the water every day or so if it’s needed).

  • The other two great veg to use for this are limes and lemons.  Both these and ginger are a great way to introduce probiotics to any juice or smoothie and cut through the taste of veg.  Remember, the more often you drink green juice, the quicker your tastebuds will adjust to the gorgeous green-ness, rather than opting for sugary, fruity drinks that are full of fructose.  Fructose spikes your energy and leads to highs and lows.  Not what you need if you’re looking to keep a good level of energy throughout the day.

See you soon!

How Do You Ferment Ginger

About the Author Sarah Jackson

I love to experiment with food, write, read, walk by the river, watch vintage TV dramas, good documentaries and comedy.

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19 comments
Angie Pearce says

Hi Sarah! This may be a silly question. But is fermented foods the same as pickling? For example, my husband and I really love Shoga (pickled ginger). Is it the same thing as fermented ginger? Thanks! 💕

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    I pickle a little differently Angie. I don’t use vinegar. Instead I use water/salt/veg juices/spices/herbs and, in some pickles, a culture starter. Check out my pickled cucumber recipe to see how I keep the pickles nice’n’firm. They’re really yummy and I now prefer them to pickles using vinegar. This method is also kinder to the gut than traditional vinegars used for pickling. Give them a try and see what you think! xx

    Reply
claudiod says

Hi,

This is a great post. I do have a question. After the ginger is fermented do I leave it out or put it in the fridge? and for how long is this good for ? Thank you

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Thank you!Refrigerate it Claudio.I’ve had it last many months before now. You can always make a small batch though, so you use it up before it has a chance to over ferment, which it will eventually do, even in the fridge. I hope this helps!

    Reply
Ignacio says

Hi,

I’m getting into fermenting recently and found your recipe. I always see fermented ginger paired with sugar, so I thought it was necessary to compensate for the natural spicy flavor of ginger. Is that not so?

Also, what fruits could one put in the jar, along with the ginger, to give it a sweet flavor? Could pomegranate work? I like the idea of lemon juice, though.

Thanks.

Thanks.

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Ignacio, I prefer to make basic ferments and add sweetness to the recipe in which I’m using the fermented fruit/milk. I’ve not paired it with anything else. I keep my fermenting quite plain. My suggestion would be to experiment with different fruits yourself. It’s fun to try new things and work out your own favourite blends! Thank you for popping in!

    Reply
Rosemary Nolan says

Great post, one ingredient is salt and you say add a little salt.
This can be quite a pain for those of us who like amounts, as some think a little is a pinch when it the one doing it means a teaspoon.
How little salt is a little, a teaspoon, a tablespoon????

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Rosemary, I have a confession! I’ve stopped making this because I’m writing an immune-boosting eating plan book with a leading UK physician and keep my fermenting to such basics (so busy with this other work) that I don’t recall what I added. I know I used as little as I could and I think I probably only used a teaspoon for this recipe.

    When I make cucumber pickles or pickles which include watery vegetables, I tend to use more salt, because it helps to preserve the crunch. Without more salt, they can disintegrate quickly. Next time I make these, I will double check and report back to you.

    In the mean-time, I would use a teaspoon myself and that’s the experiment I’ll run when I make some more. So sorry not to have been specific. This post was written in the early days of my blog writing and I was less knowledgeable about what my readers needed back then!

    Reply
Julianne says

Why does the peel have to be removed from the ginger. Is the peel harmful to eat? Or does it alter the taste? I always thought the peel on vegetables etc. held the most nutrition. Thanks in advance for answering my questions.

Reply
chijioke says

Do I use the old water or a fresh one?

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Used brine can create a slimy coating on the food .. a type of yeast called kahm. It’s not, in itself, dangerous, but tends to have a strong odour as it thickens and needs to be scraped off the vegetables. I’ve tested batches of cucumber pickles using the same brine and the yeast does tend to build with each batch. It doesn’t render the food inedible in the earlier stages, but after a few batches it can be unpleasant and could possibly be a pre-cursor to mould forming. For these reasons, I now use fresh water for each new ferment. I do, however, sometimes use a little fermented ginger water (if it’s not yeasty) to flavour freshly filtered water in fruit ferments. It can add an extra layer of flavour, which is fun. 1tspn – 1 tbspn would do the trick, depending on the size of the jar you’re using. I hope this helps!

    Reply
Rhianon says

I didn’t realize that food will always ferment, regardless of temperature- I figured it had to be between 60-70 degrees or so, and because of that, I’ve often avoided fermenting foods in the middle of winter or summer. Good to know I still can, and just adjust the fermentation time! I’m definitely going to try making the ginger too- yum!

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Yes Rhianon, A savoury miso could take 2 years to ferment at a low degree in a cellar. When in the fridge, you can slow a milk ferment down, but it’s best to ferment them at around the average temperature or near enough to it. Doing it faster is when things can run ahead and form mould, so heat is more of a concern than cooler temps. I hope you like the ginger!

    Reply
Jason Calvert says

I enjoy Fermenting various vegetables. I look forward to reading your posts.

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    Hi Jason, Thank you. Good to have you here. There’s lots of fermenting content here, so please feel welcome to hover the word BLOG on the Main Menu and check out the categories. Going forward I’ll be sharing new content. If you’d like to know more, just check out the post entitled: A New Start this week. Welcome!

    Reply
Vic says

I found that using the edge of a spoon to shave the skin off the ginger is a lot easier and safer. It also leaves you with a lot more ginger

Reply
MARIANGELES says

SALUDOS! THANKS FOR POSTING THIS! YOU HAVE A LOVELY WEBSITE..
QUESTION: I WONDER, WHY DON’T YOU USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR?
PEACE, LOVE & BLESSINGS, M

Reply
    Sarah Jackson says

    My pleasure and thank you Mari. I do use apple cider vinegar. There is a post about how to make it on this blog .. and also a recipe for a salad dressing using the homemade vinegar.

    Reply
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