All I can say is WOW! Incredible flavors bursting in your mouth. Its garlicky, lemony, spicy, bright with tomato flavor, tangy and savory all at the same time. I will never make salsa unless it is fermented again. There is no going back!
This was my first time fermenting salsa. I had been browsing Pinterest to see what others use to culture their salsa to get some ideas, but I didn’t find anyone doing it like this. Most people use whey which is the clear liquid from yogurt or a powdered culture starter. You can use any starter that has lactobacillus bacteria. So I thought I would try pickle juice since it’s easy to get and non-dairy. The pickle juice took it to another level.
Why ferment salsa?
It’s common to ferment chili sauces to develop flavor, but not many people or any brands that I know of actually ferment salsa. It only takes a few days and it allows all the flavors to marry and meld together. It enhances the ingredients used; the garlic gets more intense, the tomatoes taste sweet and the peppers get more spicy. The pickle juice makes it more tangy and adds complex flavors. Flavors you can’t get from anything else.
Not only is this salsa delicious, its good for you too. Adding the pickle juice kicks off fermentation and allows good bacteria to flourish, aiding in digestion, helping vitamins and minerals be absorbed and balancing your gut microbiome. This hot and spicy fermented salsa will keep the bloating down while you stuff yourself with chicken wings and sliders during Super Bowl Sunday.
Using Pickle Juice
The pickle juice used is very important. You can only use pickle juice from pickles that were lacto-fermented. Which means they were not heated, pasteurized or contain distilled vinegar or sugar in them. Lacto-fermentation is the process of fermentation that uses a salt water brine to essentially pickle vegetables while allowing the good bacteria to thrive. Making your own pickles is easy. Try my recipe on How To Make Crunchy Pickles (secret ingredient) and then use the brine in this salsa.
Using homemade pickle juice is the best, but if you don’t have that I suggest using the Bubbies brand which I find in grocery stores often or one like it. You will know it was lacto-fermented because the brine will be cloudy and the only ingredients will be water, salt and pickling spices.
If you make your own sauerkraut, you can use the juice from that too. It has similar flavor and the same benefits. Here are my sauerkraut recipes if you want to give it a try.
The Hot And Spicy Fermented Salsa will add excitement to your party and make your guests say “WOW”. Bring it to your next party or make a big batch for yourself. Once you make it this way you’ll be hooked.
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes (about 5 medium size tomatoes)
- 2 Jalapeño Peppers
- 1 Habanero Pepper
- ¼ Red Onion, finely chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves
- ¼ Cup Pickle Juice (either from homemade pickles or a brand like Bubbies)
- 1 tbsp Sea Salt
- Chop the tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, habanero and red onion and put in a big bowl.
- Mince the garlic or put it through a garlic press and add to the bowl.
- Add the sea salt.
- Mix it together and place it in a blender.
- Add the pickle juice.
- Pulse the mixture a few times until it is chopped up more finely and evenly.
- Pour into a quart sized mason jar and seal loosely to allow gas to escape.
- Set out on the counter for 3 days in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
- Chill before serving and store in the fridge.