Japanese fermenting? Use the pickle press!

Vegetable fermenting complicated? No, with a pickle press you can quickly, easily and hygienically place fruit and vegetables at home. Japanese fermenting!
6 January 2021

Where your grandmother used to need preserving jars, heavy stones and patience, nowadays the pickle press does all the work. You put vegetables and salt in the press, and the spring applies so much pressure that the taste and texture of your vegetables changes in a few hours. Not that your carrots will taste like beets, but white cabbage will look a lot like sauerkraut. You want to try that, right?

Okay, but which vegetable should I choose?

Actually, you can ferment any type of vegetable. With vegetables, think of hard vegetables such as beetroot, cabbage, carrot, onion and pumpkin. Softer vegetables, such as cucumber, tomato, and spinach turn mushy quickly, so ferment them briefly. Fruit can also be fermented well. Particularly peaches, plums, apricots and exotic fruits such as pineapple and mango work well.

pickle pers - fermentatiepers om mee te fermenteren

What should I pay attention to when I start using the pickle press?

Some basic rules for fermentation are:

  1. Longer fermentation time for stronger flavors and more acidity.
  2. The fermentation process goes faster when the temperature is around room temperature and the humidity is high: in the summer the process goes faster!
  3. Ensure good hygiene of the pickle press and wash your hands well before, during and after the process.
  4. Using too little salt makes the products less crispy and in some cases even unsafe due to incorrect bacterial growth. Make sure you use about 2% salt on the vegetable weight. Example: for 200 g of vegetables you use 4 g of salt.

If you keep these rules in mind, there is little you can do wrong. Not sure how long to keep the vegetables in the press? Taste every hour and trust your own taste. Is the pickle too salty? Discard the liquid and taste again.

gefermenteerde groente op tafel met sake

Fermenting step by step

We also have one practical explanation of how to use the pickle press, including spices and seasonings that give your pickle more character.

Oh yes, and do you want to know how your grandmother actually used to do that, with those heavy stones and stuff? Read about the mystery of fermentation explained by Japanese professor Takeo Koizumi.