Fermented veg

Fermented red cabbage
Rajiv Shah

Why would you want to make it? It tastes so much better when you make it yourself. The fermented veg you buy in shops is pasteurised and so all the goodness from the fermentation is lost. Oh and another thing—it passes the ‘mum’ test with flying colours!

Fermented veg is not complicated to make—yes it requires a little physical effort and you only need a few things.

I’ve made a video that shows you how to make red cabbage and beetroot. You need:

  • Your veg
  • Large bowl
  • Knife—I used just a tomato knife to keep it simple
  • Large sterilised glass jar—important!
  • Salt
  • Spices—I used coriander seeds but you can use whatever flavours you like—fennel seeds or caraway seeds are a couple of examples. These are optional and not needed, but for added flavour a must.

For the red cabbage/beetroot

  • 1 medium red cabbage
  • 1 large beetroot
  • 2 tbsp salt—I find that’s more than enough for the quantity I make
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds


  1. Chop all the veg however you want. I coarsely shredded the beetroot and roughly chopped the red cabbage.
  2. Put all the chopped veg in a large bowl—it should be much larger than you need so that when you mix the veg it stays in the bowl.
  3. Add the salt and start the mix and squash the veg with your hands. You need to do this for about 10 to 15 minutes until lots of liquid starts to come out of the veg. This part feels really good—you get some really great ‘quiet’ time :)
  4. Add the coriander seeds and mix.
  5. Put the veg into the sterilised glass jar and pack it down well. The juice from the veg should be just covering the top of it in the jar. Make sure the jar is large enough so that you have a minimum of 2cm of breathing space for the veg once it’s packed down.
  6. Leave the jar at room temperate—everyday open the lid to let the gas from the fermenting veg escape, and at the same time pack the veg down.
  7. After two to three weeks the veg should be ready. You should now store the fermented veg in the fridge and it will keep for a very long time.

You can start to eat the veg after three days but wait at least two weeks before you start to eat it—it tastes so much better and will continue to improve.

Experiment with lots of different veg.