Finally, the time has come: Autumn is pumpkin time. For a few weeks we can fill our plates and bellies with delicious and healthy flesh of red kuri squash, butternut, pattison and the like. Whether boiled, fried or out of the oven, we all have our favorite recipes – currently very popular is fermented pumpkin! Beside the special taste experience, fermenting is a very original and healthy form of preservation because no sugar is added. You can store your own fermented pumpkin for several months.
Ferment pumpkin: This is how you do it
- 1 kg pumpkin flesh (ideally red kuri squash but you can also use butternut squash)
- 25 g of fresh, finely chopped ginger
- chili flakes or crushed chilies as much as you wish
- green pepper as much as you wish
- 50-100 g of salt for the brine
- preserving jars (short, hot wash/boil before filling)
- if necessary, glasses or small saucers to weigh down the vegetables in the jar
Fermented pumpkin in 3 steps
- Prepare brine: Dissolve 100 g of salt in 2 liters of boiling water and allow cooling to room temperature.
- Cut vegetables and spices: Peel red kuri squash pumpkin – organic Hokkaido pumpkins don’t need to be peeled, instead just wash them – remove the seeds and cut the pumpkin into thin sticks. Pour the brine over the pumpkin sticks; the level of the brine should be one centimeter higher than the length of the pumpkin sticks. Chop the ginger into fine pieces and put them with some chili flakes, some green peppercorns and the pumpkin sticks into the preserving jars. Finally, fill the jars with the brine but make sure that the vegetables are isolated from the air with 1-2 cm of brine. Tip: You might need an object (for example a small glass filled with water or a saucer) in order to push the vegetables down and prohibit that they float on the surface. Now the main part of the work is done!
- Fermenting: The filled jars shall now be stored at room temperature for 5-10 days, so that the lactic acid bacteria can do their wonderful work. After 2-3 days try a pumpkin stick every day (pick it with a clean fork) in order to decide whether the desired flavor intensity is already achieved and whether the salt is used up. If this is the case, close the jar hermetically so that it can be stored in a cool place (eg.: cellar or refrigerator) for many months.
Ferment pumpkin: Serve with…
Fermented pumpkin actually fits to all meals to which you would serve fried or baked pumpkin.
Of course you can eat the tasty pumpkin sticks plain or serve them with homemade sauces and dips on your next party.
Have fun and good appetite!
Your Dole Team