How to Eat Fermented Vegetables: 44 Delicious Ideas

Eating lacto-fermented vegetables is good for you and, best of all, it’s absolutely delicious!

Here are the basics on how to pair them well and 45 tasty ideas on how to eat fermented vegetables. Because eating fermented foods doesn’t have to be a hassle!

Whether you want to eat a little snack or are very hungry, skip ahead to the section that interests you:

Eating Fermented Foods: The Basics

What Do Fermented Vegetables Taste Like?

Fermented vegetables have a more or less pronounced tangy taste. It is similar to vinegar marinades but in a much less pronounced way.

During fermentation, vegetables develop new and very subtle flavours. They are delicious, and you will quickly become addicted to them!

Fermented vegetables are salty. This makes them perfect for seasoning a stir-fry or adding a little kick to a sandwich.

How to Add Fermented Vegetables to My Meals?

Great amateurs of fermented vegetables would tell you they eat them straight from the jar, while others use them as condiments to complement the main course.

We recommend adding fermented vegetables as a side dish whenever a meal lacks flavour.

Lacto-fermentations (fermented vegetables) are concentrations of flavours, salt, and acidity: in a nutshell, an all-in-one seasoning! No wonder Koreans eat kimchis with all their meals.

You can also adapt your recipes by replacing vegetables with their fermented version.

For example, your spring roll recipe requires carrots. Why not replace them with fermented carrots? Substitutions are delicious in soups, salads, sandwiches, etc.

We also like to combine lacto-fermentations with rich foods.

The acidity of fermented vegetables helps “cut through” the fat, creating a delicious balance of flavours. Lacto-fermentations combined with cheese, eggs, meats, avocado, or even peanut butter are excellent!

Cooking Fermented Vegetables or Eating Them Raw?

Lacto-fermentations have many benefits, including the presence of good probiotic bacteria. If you want to benefit from it, do not heat your fermentations above 42°C (108°F).

However, you can also eat cooked lacto-fermentations. They will remain tasty and their nutrients are easy to digest. Don’t miss out on them!

How to Eat Fermented Vegetables Throughout the Day

The following ideas are suggestions, canvases on which you can elaborate your future meals. Get inspired and enjoy your favourite fermented vegetables the way you want!

Breakfasts

1. Eggs and Fermented Salsa

Eggs are delicious with fermented vegetables. Their richness blends wonderfully with the tangy taste of lacto-fermentations. Try them with fermented tomato sauce, curtido, or even kimchi. Combine with your favourite eggs: scrambled, fried, omelet, etc.

2. Avocado Toast and Kimchi Toast

Garnish toast with avocado and kimchi. A rich, creamy, crunchy, and spicy meal. The perfect breakfast!

3. Breakfast Burrito and Curtido

Garnish your breakfast burrito with eggs, sausages, cheese, potatoes, and lacto-fermented salsa or curtido. It adds crunch and flavour.

4. Bagel With Cream Cheese and Fermented Carrots

Garnish a bagel with cream cheese and ginger, garlic, and seaweed carrots. The secret of this combination? The richness of the cheese is neutralized by the acidity of the carrots (the acidity of the carrots will attenuate the strong flavours of the cheese). The seaweed in the recipe adds a marine touch, suggesting the taste of smoked salmon.

Fermented carrots Bagel

5. Peanut Butter and Kimchi Sandwich

Why not try a peanut butter/kimchi sandwich for a change, instead of the usual peanut butter/jam combo? This combo may raise eyebrows, but it’s sold out!

6. Salted Oatmeal With Sauerkraut

Salted oatmeal with fermented vegetables is delicious! Garnish plain oatmeal with a dab of butter and a good portion of sauerkraut, shredded orange carrots, or drained kimchi. Top with a fried egg for a decadent experience.

7. Lacto-Fermented Fruit

Discover a world of flavours by lacto-fermenting fruit! Blueberries, plums, and peaches produce interesting flavours.

Note that the sugar from the fruit is consumed during fermentation. Add some honey before topping pancakes, waffles, and yogurts.

Lunches

8. Chicken Salad Sandwich With Fermented Celery

Do you like chicken, tuna or egg salad sandwiches? Add pickles, celery, or carrots fermented with dill (drained and chopped into small pieces) to enhance the flavour of your sandwiches.

9. Sandwiches and Fermented Vegetables

Fermented vegetables shine in almost every sandwich: shredded carrots, sauerkraut, or whatever you have in the fridge!
Start with small amounts so they don’t absorb the flavour of the other toppings. Drain well so your bread doesn’t get soggy.

10. Banh Mi With Do Chua

Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches traditionally feature do chua, a mixture of daikon and pickled carrots. Try fermented do chua, it’s even better!

Do Chua Banh Mi

11. Grilled Cheese With Kimchi

A grilled cheese sandwich is tasty. With kimchi, it’s divine! Drain and mince it before placing it between two slices of bread and cheese. Heat it in a frying pan and enjoy. Just as simple as that.

12. Fermented Beet Soup

Bland soup? Add a ¼ cup of shredded Eastern European sauerkraut or lacto-fermented beets to give it a little kick!

Add it at the beginning of the cooking process to add flavour to the broth or garnish your soup at the last minute to preserve the good bacteria.

13. Spicy Pikliz Soup

Do you prefer your soup spicy? Add Haitian pikliz, Korean kimchi, or fermented hot sauce!

14. Salad With Seasonal Fermented Vegetables

Garnish your salads with fermented vegetables: carrots, zucchini, radishes, cauliflowers… to make your salads colourful, even in winter! Mince or cut into julienne strips. You can also use fermented brine or fermented honey garlic in your salad dressing!

15. Pasta Salad With Fermented Salsa

Improvise a pasta salad mixed with lacto-fermented salsa. With a drizzle of olive oil, olives, and feta… it’s really tasty!

Eggplant, onions, corn, and lacto-fermented garlic scapes are also delicious additions.

Dinners

16. Abundance Bowls

Add ¼ cup of any fermented vegetables to enhance the colour, flavour, and texture of your abundance bowls. Some ideas:

Bibimbap and abundance bowl

17. Mexican Dishes With Fermented Salsa

Enhance your Mexican dishes! Nachos, quesadillas, tacos, burritos: add curtido, fermented onions, or lacto-fermented salsa for a splash of flavours.

18. Hamburgers and Fermented Onions and Pickles

Of course, pickled cucumbers are a classic hamburger topping, but have you tried them with fermented onions? To die for!

19. European Sauerkraut Hot Dogs

The acidity of traditional sauerkraut is the perfect match to the fat of the sausage in your hot dogs. Start with a small amount and increase as you experiment. Don’t forget to garnish with lacto-fermented mustard!

Hot dog with traditional Alsatian sauerkraut

20. Pizza With Fermented Garlic Scapes

Have you ever tried lacto-fermented garlic scapes on a pizza? It’s divine when toasted! Try it with other tasty vegetables like salsa, onions, or eggplant.

21. Fermented Carrot Spring Rolls

Garnish your rolls with lacto-fermented radish, kimchi, ginger carrots, or do chua (fermented carrots and daikon). Slice them thinly beforehand.

22. Middle Eastern Dishes and Fermented Pink Turnips

Add sticks of fermented pink turnips to your falafels, shawarmas, shish-taouk, and other dishes. Crunchy, tangy, and fluorescent pink… what more could you ask for?

23. Asian Kimchi Dumplings 

Add kimchi or cai chua to the stuffing of your favourite Asian dumplings. Drain, mince, and add to your dumpling stuffing. It adds punch!

24. Sauerkraut Pierogis

Do you know what pierogis are? These Polish dumplings are usually stuffed with potatoes, cheese, lentils, and… sauerkraut! Older and tangy sauerkraut is particularly delicious. Fermented and shredded turnips are also very tasty.

25. Asian Noodles With Kimchi

Add kimchi to Asian-style noodles or ramen. Add at the end of the cooking so they keep their crunchy texture.

Bonus: Add kimchi to peanut butter noodles. This creamy and rich sauce is a perfect match for the crunchy and spicy taste of kimchi.

26. Vietnamese Stir-Fry With Cai Chua

Cai chua is a slightly sweet and spicy fermented Vietnamese cabbage. It is delicious with Vietnamese beef and broccoli stir-fries. Add at the end of the cooking or as a side dish to preserve its freshness and crunchiness.

27. Latkes and Rostis With Fermented Root Vegetables

Have you ever heard of latkes or even röstis? Replace half or all of the shredded root vegetables of these small fried patties with fermented vegetables (carrots, beets, parsnips, etc.).

Fermented root vegetable latkes

28. Risotto or Tagine With Candied Lemon

Flavour your risotto or your tagine with salted preserved lemons. Through fermentation, lemons lose their bitterness and become very fragrant, ideal to flavour your favourite dish.

29. With Whatever You Want!

Eat your fermented vegetables as a side dish to any meal! Tangy vegetables have always been very popular with raclette, deli meats, and rich and copious meals. They refresh the palate and help digestion. Always keep a jar of fermented vegetables on the table, your taste buds and stomach will thank you!

Snacks

30. Corn Chips and Fermented Salsa

Enjoy a delicious fermented homemade salsa, by fermenting tomatoes, onions, and herbs for a few days. To die for with corn chips!

31. Guacamole With Curtido

Prepare unusual guacamole by combining avocado and curtido! Drain the curtido, slice thinly, and add it to pureed avocado.

32. Fermented Baba Ganoush

Crush lacto-fermented eggplant with tahini, lemon, and garlic to make a delicious raw, fermented baba ganoush (eggplant caviar).

33. Fermented Raw Vegetables

Bite into lacto-fermented vegetable sticks to replace your usual raw vegetables. Orange carrots, dill carrots, pink turnips, beans, and cauliflower are delicious snacks!

34. Fermented Beet Hummus

Add fermented vegetables such as beets, eggplants, or peppers to your homemade hummus.

You can also use brine to replace part of the oil: add about ½ cup of vegetables to your usual hummus recipe, or substitute ¼ cup of oil for brine. Adjust to taste.

Homemade fermented beet hummus

35. Fried Fermented Pickles

Fried pickles are a classic in the United States. Fermented cucumbers or zucchinis can be sliced, dipped in batter, and then deep-fried or cooked in a skillet. Serve with spicy mayonnaise.

36. Straight Out of the Jar

Simply eat your fermented vegetables directly from the jar with a fork. We promise we won’t tell anyone!

Condiments

37. Fermented Hot Sauce

Make a lacto-fermented hot sauce to add punch to all your dishes. Fermentation provides complex flavours that will delight your taste buds!

38. Fermented Ketchup

Replace your bottle of commercial ketchup with delicious fermented ketchup or chutney.

39. Fermented Olive and Garlic Flower Tapenade

Make a homemade tapenade with lacto-fermented garlic scapes and olives. Spread on crackers.

40. Fermented Relish

Cut lacto-fermented pickles into small cubes to make a delicious homemade relish.

41. Tartar Sauce With Fermented Pickles and Lemons

Add salty preserved lemon and small cubes of lacto-fermented pickles to mayonnaise or yogurt to make a delicious homemade tartar sauce.

42. Spicy Kimchi Mayonnaise

Mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of kimchi brine to ¼ cup mayonnaise to make a spicy side sauce. Delicious with dumplings or sushi!

43. Beet Brine Marinade

Incorporate lacto-fermentation brine into your homemade marinades for a pleasant hint of salt and acidity. For example, you can marinate tofu in turnip and beet brine to give it a bright pink colour!

44. Lacto-Fermented Basil Pesto

Make a fermented basil pesto. Even in the middle of winter, you will get the fresh and delicious taste of summer leaves!

You now have a good basis to know how to eat fermented vegetables! Incorporating lacto-fermented foods into your diet is easy, healthy, and delicious.

Get started!

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