Sliced and spiced veggies

Asian Style Pickled Vegetables

When it’s high season at the farmers’ market I often buy way too many vegetables because everything is so beautiful and fresh. I like to preserve the excess veggies by fermenting them into healthy probiotic treats. Fermenting is simple and requires no special equipment although a few tools like Mason jar weights, Pickle Pebbles for example, and venting lids like Pickle Pipes or Stainless Steel Fermentation Lids will make it easier.


Prepped veggies
Prepped veggies
  • 1 lb bok choy
  • 1 lb turnips
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 small purple onion
  • 2 garlic cloves quartered
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon chipotle chili flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon fish sauce
  • 4 Tablespoons sauerkraut juice (optional)
  • 2 clean 1 quart Mason jars with lids
  • 1 large non-reactive bowl


  • Wash and chop the bok choy stems into 1/2 inch lengths
  • Chop the bok choy leaves into 1 inch squares
  • Very thinly slice the turnips and carrots (I used a food processor)
  • Halve the onion and thinly slice
  • Mix the vegetables, garlic, salt, fish sauce, and chili flakes in the large bowl and let it wilt for 2 hours
  • Tightly pack the quart jars with vegetable mix, really mash it down to exclude air
  • Pour the liquid from the bowl evenly into the two jars
  • Add 2 tablespoons fresh sauerkraut juice to each jar, if available
  • Fill the jars with filtered (non-chlorinated) water to cover the vegetables
  • Tap the jars on the counter to release bubbles and refill with water until no more bubbles are released
  • Weight the vegetables to keep them under the water
  • Screw on lids or vented lids
  • Place each jar in a bowl in a warm place (70-75 Fahrenheit) out of direct sun
  • Let ferment about a week until bubbling slows or stops
  • Remove the weights and add enough filtered (non-chlorinated) water to cover the vegetables
  • Store in refrigerator

    Fermenting Asian Style Pickles
    Fermenting Asian Style Pickles


  • Periodically pour out any juice that overflows from the jars into the bowls.
  • Use 1 tablespoon of salt per 2 pounds of vegetables. Any non-iodized salt will work.
  • Never use chlorinated water because it will kill the fermentation bacteria and the vegetables will spoil.
  • Sauerkraut or other fermented vegetable juice will hasten the fermentation but is not required.
  • The smaller/thinner the vegetables are sliced the faster they will ferment.
  • Cabbage and other vegetables are traditionally fermented for six weeks to six months so don’t panic if yours are still bubbling after a week.
  • Options for keeping vegetables under water include:
    • Zip lock bag containing a small amount of water crammed into the top of the jar (throw away the bag afterwards)
    • Half an apple mashed onto the vegetables
    • Cabbage leaf crammed onto the vegetables
    • Fermentation weights made for wide mouth jars


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