Fermented Jalapeno Peppers are an easy way to add a spicy and sour flavour to a meal. Lacto-fermented peppers are also more nutritious than raw Jalapenos as they feature healthful benefits such as probiotics. Our easy recipe for pickled jalapeno peppers is perfect for those canning Jalapenos for the first time.
What is Lacto-Fermentation?
At some point, thousands of years ago, early humans learned to use the process of fermentation to enjoy its tasty results. The most familiar fermented foods, like Korean kimchi, Jewish pickles and German sauerkraut are made using lacto-fermentation.
Most people think about beer or wine when they hear the word fermentation. While specialized yeasts are used to convert sugars in grape juice or grains into alcohol, it is tiny bacteria that are responsible for lacto-fermentation. Various strains of these bacteria are naturally present on the surface of plants, especially those growing in or close to the ground such as garlic, carrots, and jalapeños.
The naturally occurring bacteria convert sugars into lactic acid. This acid is a natural preservative that inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria. Lacto-fermentation also increases and preserves the beneficial vitamin and enzyme levels, and digestibility of fermented food.
Why Make Fermented Jalapeno Peppers?
- if you’re keen to try fermentation for the first time it’s best to start with an easy recipe. Fermented peppers is one of the easiest fermentation recipes you’ll find.
- lacto-fermented vegetables are rich in beneficial bacteria, which have been proven to encourage healthy gut flora.
- fermenting peppers allows you to naturally preserve raw garlic to enjoy over a long period of time.
- Jalepeno peppers that have gone through the process of lacto-fermentation change their flavour profile and texture over time. Many foodies find fermented peppers to be more delicious than the more pungent raw variety.
Get Creative with Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
Lacto-fermented peppers can be used in any recipe that calls for raw jalapeno peppers. You ideally want to avoid using it in recipes that require cooking, as the heat will destroy the beneficial probiotics. Here are some of our favourite ways to use fermented peppers when cooking at home:
- Jalapeno Butter: whip crushed fermented peppers into softened butter and spread on fresh bread.
- Dips: fermented peppers are a great addition to your favourite dips such as hummus, guacamole, salsa and baba ghanoush.
- Cheese and Charcuterie: add your favourite lacto-fermented vegetables to a celebratory cheese and charcuterie board.
- Pizza and Burgers: top a homemade pizza or stuff a juicy burger with fermented peppers.
- Mac & Cheese: top your favourite Mac & Cheese recipe with fermented peppers and fermented onions.
- Savoury Cocktails: add a few slices of fermented Jalapeno peppers to a savoury cocktail to give it a spicy meets sour flavour.
Tips on Making Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
Our pickled Jalapeno recipe looks very easy based on the short ingredients list. Since lacto-fermentation is a science, it’s best to ensure you understand how canning hot peppers works. Here are our favourite tips and tricks when canning peppers:
- do not fill the peppers and brine all the way to the top of the jar. You want to have just enough brine to cover the Jalapenos.
- You can speed up the fermentation process by adding a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar or “sauerkraut juice.”
- ensure the peppers are always submerged under the liquid to prevent mould growth.
- open your lid each day to burp the jar, releasing a build up of carbon dioxide. This will help you avoid an unwanted explosion in your cupboards.
- feel free to purchase a variety of spicy peppers at the grocery store. A variety of sizes and colours adds eye-catching creativity to the finished jar.
How To Slice a Jalapeno Pepper
If you’ve never cooked with spicy peppers in your kitchen before you’ll want to follow these steps to minimize any painful accidents. Fermented peppers can be stored whole or sliced. We suggest slicing peppers into 1/4 inch rings as when you bruise a vegetables membrane it speeds up the process of lacto-fermentation.
- Wear latex safety gloves and swimming googles to avoid irritation of your fingers and eyes.
- Cut the stem off of each Jalapeno pepper.
- Cut each pepper lengthwise then use a spoon to scrape the seeds and membrane out.
How to Make Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
Fermented Jalapeno Peppers
- 3 cups Jalapeno Peppers sliced
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Once your Jalapeno peppers are sliced, add the raw peppers to a mason jar so they are 1 inch from the top.
- Prepare a salt brine by dissolving salt in water.
- Pour brine into the mason jar until the peppers are covered.
- Optional: add any additional flavourings such as pickling spices or raw garlic.
- Put the lid on the jar and store at room temperature in a dark place like your closet or cupboard.
- Open the jar once a day to release carbon dioxide. Fermentation fans call this "burping."
- Continue this process for 3-4 weeks until fermentation bubbles no longer form.
- Move the fermented Jalapeno peppers to your fridge once fermentation has completed and enjoy for the next 3-6 months.
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