If you’re looking for a quick and easy fermented side dish, then give this sweet, tangy and spicy Napa cabbage salad a try.
I like to ferment sauerkraut and kimchi regularly so as to have an ongoing supply for easy meal additions. Recently, I ran out of time to finish a batch of kimchi. The Napa cabbage and carrots were cut so I decided to ferment them without any of the usual kimchi spices.
I fermented the half-gallon of Napa cabbage and carrots for a week at room temperature before allowing a slow fermentation in the refrigerator for another month. These vegetables turned out bubbly and fresh.
I have never fermented Napa cabbage without spice, but it turned out to be a refreshing and spring-like treat in the middle of winter. It was, however, not nearly as appetizing as a full-flavored batch of kimchi.
These plain, effervescent and mildly fermented vegetables can be added to many dishes. I didn’t want to cook out the bubbles, so I made a simple cold salad with mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce as a dressing. It tasted great by itself or served with rice.
Ideally, I would have used homemade and fermented Sriracha sauce and mayonnaise but the ones that I used were from the grocery store.
Once the Napa cabbage and carrots have fermented for a month, this recipe only takes a few minutes to prepare.
- 1 large head Napa cabbage
- 3 large carrots
- 2.5 Tablespoons Salt (35 grams)
- Sriracha Sauce
Directions: Fermentation Prep
- Chop the Napa cabbage.
- Julienne the carrots.
- Toss carrots, cabbage and salt in a large bowl.
- Cover bowl and leave to sit for about 5 hours.
- Massage cabbage to release cabbage juice.
- Stuff the vegetables and any juice from bowl into a half-gallon (2 liters) mason jar or other fermentation vessel.
- The vegetables should be submerged below the cabbage juice.
- If vegetables are not below juice, mix a salt water brine with a salt ratio of roughly 2.25% and pour into jar until vegetables are submerged.
- Allow vegetables to ferment for 1 week at room temperature.
- Refrigerate jar and allow to continue a very slow fermentation for 1 month.
Once the carrots and Napa cabbage are effervescent with a mild tangy flavor, they are ready to turn into a fresh and spicy salad. I don’t use specific proportions for the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce and it turns out good every time. Add as much Sriracha sauce as you can handle and make sure you add enough mayonnaise to coat the vegetables.
Also note that these fermented vegetables will last for many months in the refrigerator but should be eaten soon after applying dressing.
- Place desired amount of fermented Napa cabbage and carrots into a bowl.
- Add one heaping spoonful of mayonaise.
- Add as much Sriracha sauce has your heat tolerance allows.
- Mix them all together and serve.
Sometimes being lazy pays off. If I had squeezed in the time to finish my original kimchi recipe, then I may never have discovered this spicy salad concoction. For me, the real enjoyment comes from the combination of the effervescent Napa cabbage, the creamy mayonnaise and the flavor and bite from the fermentation process along with Sriracha sauce. Give it a try and I’m sure you will enjoy.