Sunday, 22 May 2016

Lacto-Fermented Daikon (that my toddler loves)

I've mentioned before that my kid can't get enough of these fermented radish pickles. This isn't a recipe, as much as a method - I obviously didn't invent this (if it were a song, it would be 'Trad'), but I'm asked about it frequently enough that I thought some of you might like a how-to? They are unbelievably tasty, considering how simple they are. I just plonk the jar on the table to have with dinner, or with bread and veggies and dips for an easy Sunday lunch. The three of us (you know, who eat solid foods), can get through a jar in one sitting. Sound good? Ok!

Wash, but don't peel, some daikon radishes. Quantity is up to you, but I say make a good sized batch. I usually do two large ones at a time. Slice them into coins.

Pack the daikon slices into a jar. You can pack them fairly tightly, just not so tightly that air couldn't escape. The fermentation process creates bubbles, and you want those bubbles to sneak out.

You'll also need some brine. The ratio I use is as 1 1/2 teaspoon of (good, natural) sea salt to 1 cup of water. So for two cups of water, that's 3 teaspoons (1 tablespoon). The quantity you'll need depends on the jars. I usually need one or two cups, so I make them one at a time. It should be room temperature.

Submerge the daikon in brine. If its packed tightly in a jar with a narrower mouth, you can sometimes keep them submerged by wedging under the neck, but a safer bet is to use a weight of some kind. A smaller jar works a treat, as pictured. If they are still sneaking up to the surface, these little silicon mats work well as a 'follower', but you'll still need a weight. Point is, keep them submerged. No metal.

Cover loosely with a cloth, and check every now and again to make sure that everything is still submerged. Leave at room temperature for at least a week, no longer than two. If it's cold, as it often is in my kitchen, two weeks is better. In the summer, I find one is perfect. If you're a nerd, like me, you can keep litmus papers in the kitchen to test for acidity - they are ready when they are 4.6 or lower. But that really isn't necessary, they are ready when they taste delicious. I can't be more precise because it depends on so many variables, but they really are that easy: submerge in brine, leave for a week or two.

Eat, with everything. I like them on toast. She likes them by the handful!


  1. Glad your son likes them! I'm half Japanese and grew up eating daikon in various forms. It was a staple in my mother's kitchen. She did a lot of traditional Japanese fermented pickles and I have happily followed in her footsteps! I found some green daikon at the Asian market last night. It has a somewhat horseradish-y bite so I decided to grind it up before fermenting. The Japanese make a simple dipping sauce with soy sauce and fresh grated daikon. I thought this would be a good substitution. It's green like the color of wasabi. Here's a link for image. If you can find it, try it out! Your son's adorable! Thanks!!!!

    1. Oops, I meant the baby eating them yet?>

    2. Yum! Thank you for sharing! I haven't given them to the baby yet, because I thought they might be too salty - but soon enough!!
      Jo x