Pepper Fermentation Recipe | Wild Fermented Shishito Peppers | How to Ferment Any Type of Pepper
Pepper Fermentation Recipe
As most of you know, we just made a Limited Edition batch of our Fermented Caribe Peppers (aka fermented spicy banana peppers). I LOVE fermented peppers, and I’m so glad we got to do a large scale batch in our commercial kitchen. They’re all sold out now, but if you didn’t get a jar, here’s everything you need to know to make your own!
At home I’ve experimented with some fun pepper recipes. My favorite is a mix of banana peppers and jalapeños, but I’ve tried many kinds of peppers. So this recipe blog can be used for just about any pepper type! I usually stay away from hot peppers that are shades of orange though, because after fermentation they tend to taste like soap.
I suggest trying:
Whole Shishito Peppers
Pickled Peppers are Good, BUT Fermented Peppers are Even Better!
When it comes to fermentation times, the longer the peppers ferment the more the flavor develops. I love peppers that have been fermented for about five weeks. After five weeks they’re perfectly tart and preserved.
I have experimented with fermentation times though! I once fermented peppers for a YEAR! and wow. The wait was long, but the flavor was so unique and good!
When fermenting peppers it’s better to use a slightly higher salt concentration than normal, about 3.5% of the total weight in salt. (Read more about salt concentration here)
Mastering Fermented Vegetables
If you're going to master fermentation you'll need to use weight measurements for your fermentation ingredients. That means you need a kitchen scale. In order to select for the best probiotic bacteria (the ones that are actually beneficial) in your ferments, you must weigh salt to create a specific salt concentration. Weighing salt is the only way to create a salt concentration that will select for only probiotic microbes to thrive. You can read more about why you must weigh your salt here.
We Recommend either one of these scales:
Supplies You Need to Make wild fermented peppers:
here’s the recipe:
Wild Fermented Shishito Peppers
- 100 grams of Shishito Peppers (or see list at the beginning of this blog for other pepper sugesstions).
- 14 Grams of Cultured Guru Fermentation Salt Or unrefined sea salt
- 300 grams (or 300 milliliters) of filtered water
- (See pictures below for visual demonstrations of recipe steps). Wash your fermentation equipment including the jar, weight and lid.
- Wash your peppers. Then using a small knife poke a couple holes in each whole pepper. (you can slice the peppers if you prefer or if you are using a different type of pepper).
- Place your kitchen scale on the counter. Turn it on and set it to weigh in grams.
- Place a mixing bowl on your kitchen scale and tare/zero the scale. Note: Taring/zeroing the scale with a container on it subtracts the weight of the container, allowing you to weigh only what is added to the container. After taring/zeroing the scale, the scale should read 0.0 with the container on it.
- Add your peppers into the bowl on your scale until the scale reads 100 grams.
- Remove the bowl from your scale and set aside. Place your empty, clean mason jar on the scale, and tare/zero the scale. Make sure your scale is still set to grams and add 300 grams of filtered water to your mason jar.
- Add the 100 grams of peppers from your bowl, into the mason jar with water.
- Place a small bowl on your scale and tare/zero the scale. weigh out 10 grams of 14 Grams of Cultured Guru Fermentation Salt or unrefined sea salt . Then add the 14 grams of salt to the jar of peppers and water.
- Place your standard mason jar lid on the jar, and secure. shake the jar vigorously for 2 minutes.
- Remove the standard mason jar lid. Place your fermentation weight in the jar making sure to submerge all of the pepper pieces and weight fully in the liquid.
- Secure the standard mason jar lid, or your airlock lid to the mason jar.
- See care steps below for instructions on how to care for your fermenting peppers.
Note: this recipe is for a 16 oz mason jar. If you would like to ferment a quart jar or a gallon jar of peppers multiply all ingredient amounts by 2 or 8, respectively.
How to Care for Your Fermented Foods
Wild Fermented Pepper Tips
During the first few days of fermentation: carbon dioxide and bubbles will be produced. Sometimes Jars will become very full with liquid, and this liquid can seep out.
If using a standard mason jar lid: remove the lid and tamper everything back down using a gloved hand, tamper or spoon. Make sure everything is still submerged below the brine.
If using a silicone airlock lid: If liquid comes out of the top of the lid, you can remove the lid and tamper everything back down, or you can leave the lid on and just rinse the top off in the sink.
Always Trust your sense of smell: Fermented peppers should smell pleasantly sour and spicy. Never eat anything that smells repulsive.
Never eat anything that had mold growing on it: By following directions you should not encounter this problem.
Taste test at four weeks: If you prefer the peppers to be more tart and sour, let them ferment for two more weeks.
What Temperature Should I Keep My Fermented Foods At?
Keep your fermenting peppers at a temperature between 70-80 degrees F. Keep out of direct sunlight.
How Long Should I Ferment Peppers for?
After 4-5 weeks, remove the fermentation weight and smell and taste test. Your fermented peppers should smell peppery and pleasantly sour. They should taste tart and savory.
Do I Need to Refrigerate My Wild Fermented Peppers?
After fermenting for 4-5 weeks, place a regular mason jar lid on the jar and refrigerate. Consume within 6 months for full probiotic benefits
wild fermented peppers: Fermentation Timeline
We tracked our peppers throughout the fermentation process. By checking the progress of microbial stages under the microscope we have provided you with this handy timeline! If you follow our recipe and directions, your timeline of pepper fermentation should approximately match ours!
24 - 72 hours: All contents in the jar should be submerged beneath the brine. At this time there are still Gram negative bacteria and possible pathogens present.
72 hours - 9 days: After 72 hours you should start to see lots of bubbles being produced. This is the stage in which you will burp the jar (open the lid and make sure everything is submerged below the brine). This is when the ferment enters stage two of vegetable fermentation. Leuconostoc bacteria begin to thrive and produce a lot of carbon dioxide. Gram negative organisms die off.
9 - 14 days: The bubbles in the brine will decrease, as the ferment leaves stage two and enters stage three. The peppers will become cloudy and start to develop a pleasant sour smell. They will also start to change color from vibrant to more muted colors. Lactobacillus species are most abundant during this time period.
14 - 28 days: Lactobacillus make up majority or all of the microbial population. They produce copious amounts of lactic acid, and make the ferment smell even more pleasantly sour. This is the time in which the vegetable mixture becomes preserved.
30 days: Wait for the peppers to smell and taste as you like, and refrigerate when you find the smell and taste most pleasant! We like ours best when we refrigerate at about five, but they are also good at around 30 days. The longer the peppers ferment, the more the flavors develop.