How to Make Fermented Eggplant (And, WOW, Is It Delicious!)
We visited our local orchard and vegetable garden at the outskirts of our town a couple of weeks ago, and we picked a TON of great vegetables. Among them were these beautiful eggplants! I LOVE eggplant, and maybe you do too? However, many people don't have a fondness for it. So, here I'm going to share an AMAZING Fermented Eggplant Recipe that I think you'll love! It makes a fantastic garnish, or you can even cook it into other foods like stews and casseroles.
AND, if you are just not into eggplant at all, and want to know how to ferment other veggies, check out Fermented Russian Tomatoes, How to Make Fermented Jalapeño Rings, and How to Make Fermented Hot Sauce (Just Like Tabasco!)! There's lots more there too!
Note: This post may have affiliate links, and if you click through and make any kind of purchase, I will receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you! Thank you SO much for helping support Healing Harvest Homestead! Heidi
Ingredients for Fermented Eggplant
1) Eggplants---about 4 per quart Mason jar.
2) Sea Salt
3) Distilled water (I just use our tap water because we are on a well--but if yours is chlorinated, then I'd use distilled or purified.)
4) Starter Culture:
Option 1) Whey (Find out how to make it here!)
Option 3) Make your own brine using more salt
Steps for Making Fermented Eggplant
Step 1) Cut up your eggplant
Cut your eggplant into thin strips. You'll want them quite thin (less than a quarter inch), so they will ferment easier.
Step 2) Salt and rest the eggplant
Place all the cut up eggplant into a bowl, and salt it liberally. Massage and squeeze the eggplant strips in the salt. This will release the liquid from the eggplant and soften it up. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Step 3) Jar it up
Squish the eggplant into a Mason jar. Don't be afraid to really press it in! You may have enough juice to cover it already!
Step 4) Add the starter
This is where you add about 1/4 cup of whey or liquid from a previous ferment. You can even use liquid from raw ferments (like kimchi or sauerkraut) you get from the store. The KEY is to be sure it's from a RAW ferment, and has not been pasteurized. If it's not raw, there will be no live cultures in it.
If you don't have Whey or fermented liquid, then you can just add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of sea salt.
Step 5) Add any additional liquid & spices (optional)
Your eggplant needs to be completely covered by the liquid! This is important! Your ferment can mold if it's not covered. Read this article to see how that looks!
For spices, I used black pepper and garlic. The starter I used was already pretty spicy (it's from my fermented Russian tomatoes), so I didn't worry about adding much more spice.
Step 6) Attach your airlock or lid
I love using this silicone airlock because once it's on, I don't need to do anything else at all. If you don't have one, though, NO problem! Just use a regular Mason jar lid. You'll have to "burp" it once a day to release the gases, though.
Step 7) Let ferment
Here's where patience is a virtue! The longer your ferment sits and ferments, the tastier it will be! I did two jars of eggplant, and the first one I opened and used after a week. It was WONDERFUL! The other jar is, as of right now--an additional week later--still on the counter. It's going to be GOOD!
When you taste test, and you like where it is, just remove the weight, put a regular lid on it, and refrigerate!
How to Use Your Fermented Eggplant
I use it mainly as a garnish, although I am guilty of sitting there and eating it right out of the jar--that's how good it is! In the picture below, you can see it as a side garnish with my eggs, spices and a little feta cheese.
(Interested in learning more about fermentation? And using herbs? And combining the two knowledges? The Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course is EXCELLENT! You will feel completely comfortable with fermentation after this course!)
Fermenting your vegetables is a GREAT way to add additional probiotics and nutrition to your diet while also preserving your veggies for a much longer period of time, too!
Do you ferment foods? I'd love to know your thoughts and any unusual vegetables you've tried out! Share, please! It's boring without you! ;-)
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
P.S. If you haven't signed up for our weekly newsletter, please do! I'd love to give you a gift of my eBook, How to Relax Using Herbs! I know you'll love all the ideas!