Fermented Coleslaw

When living, my widowed mother frequently invited my family over for cake. She wanted a piece, but couldn’t eat an entire cake before it went bad. Such is a plight of the single cook. But Sarah has conquered that issue with this recipe—a small batch fermented coleslaw variation, just enough for one.

After a bit, a straight batch of fermented cabbage can get boring. I like mixing up my ferments and trying different veggie combinations. A recent success was a coleslaw-type ferment with cabbage, carrots, and ginger. This ferment has a hint of spice, a hint of sweetness from the carrots, and the natural ferment tanginess, making it a perfect side-dish or addition to any meal.

I am living on my own, so I only try to ferment what I can consume within a few weeks at any one time. After all, it’s summer and there is a wide variety of fruits and veggies to ferment, so small and quick batches are the best for me. If you are fermenting for more people, this recipe is easily doubled or quadrupled for your preferred jar-size.

How to Make Fermented Coleslaw for One

A small batch fermented coleslaw recipe


  • 2 loose cups finely sliced cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 1-inch x 1-inch diameter piece of ginger root, coarsely grated
  • 1.5 tsp salt – Himalayan pink salt, or finely ground sea salt
  • Slightly warm water
  • 1 tbsp. inoculant from a successful ferment, whey can also work if you don’t have a current ferment.

This quantity of fermented coleslaw will fit in one wide-mouth pint jar. If you want to make a quart, double the recipe. Depending on how spicy you like your food, you may want to adjust the ginger.


  1. Thoroughly wash your pint jar, lid, and airlock with hot soapy water.
  2. Rinse your cabbage, carrot, and ginger in cold water and remove any visually damaged spots.
  3. Peel and grate the carrot, slice the cabbage and grate the ginger root.
  4. Layer the carrot, ginger, and cabbage into the jar with a sprinkle of salt between each layer.
  5. Once the jar is full, pack it in as much as you can with your fist, a kraut pounder, or by pushing down on your glass weight after placing it in the mouth of the jar. Depending on how many carrots you had, you may need to slice a bit more cabbage to fully fill the jar.
  6. Add your inoculant, and enough just warm water to cover the glass weight.
  7. Secure your lid and airlock, and set on a plate to ferment.

As this is a pint jar, your ferment will be quicker than if it were a quart. I’ve had pints finish in 24 hours, though the average jar takes 48 hours. Ferment time depends on ambient temperature and how finely sliced things are.

Once your jar is fermented, that is the large bubbles have passed and the fine bubbles have just about stopped, and the color is muted, replace the airlock lid with a regular wide-mouth lid and store in the fridge. A pint jar will provide eight small servings of fermented veggies or four large ones.

Once your ferment has cooled, grab a fork and enjoy. I like this combination of veggies as a side-condiment with meals, on sandwiches as a crispy-sour-spicy addition, and plain on a fork.

No matter what size batches of ferment you want to make, Fermentools has the kit for you. For lids, air locks, salt and more, visit our store today.


Sarah Dalziel is passionate about DiY skills, knowledge, and self-sufficiency. She was homeschooled K-BSc, and enjoys questioning, researching, and writing about hands on skills and preparedness. Ethnobotany, natural dyes, and self-sufficiency fascinate her. If she isn’t writing about them, you’ll find her dipping yarn into a steaming dye pot, or stirring up a batch of woad pigmented soap. Sarah blogs at wearingwoad.com, a natural dye and fiber skills blog, and also at sarahdalzielmedia.com, an interdisciplinary skills and writing blog.

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