How to Make Fermented Coleslaw

Coleslaw is one of our family’s favorite foods. We cannot eat pulled pork bbq without it. I cannot wait to try Kristi’s version of fermented coleslaw. Who knew we could make one of our favorite foods even healthier.

Did you know coleslaw means cabbage salad? It sure does! Coleslaw is fun to ferment, and fermented, even more delicious than its traditional counterpart. When you ferment coleslaw there is no need to add the usual vinegar. This is because the fermenting process adds the tangy flavor.

Why should you eat more fermented foods like coleslaw? Fermented foods have been linked to aiding with mental health. This traditional way of preserving food is getting attention in research where results may show lower levels of inflammation and lowering some types of anxiety, depression, and stress. Armed with this research maybe we can help spread the good word about fermented foods, to help decreasing stress and anxiety in our world that we know today. That would be wonderful, wouldn’t it? If you would like to know how to make fermented coleslaw, keep reading. We have an amazing fermented coleslaw recipe for you.

How to Make Fermented Coleslaw

How to Make Fermented Coleslaw

An Amazing Fermented Coleslaw Recipe


You will need a fermenting vessel for this ferment. I like using an airlock because I don’t have to worry about gasses building up, or having to “burp” my ferments. They are not only a time saver, but they help me have more successful ferments. You may also need a wooden tamper or something to push the food down. You need something that is nonreactive like wood, or glass. I don’t have a tamper, so I put two wooden spoons together and use it to tamp the food down into the jar. For this ferment, you will need a half-gallon sized vessel. I used a Mason jar and my nifty Fermentools kit. Having a food processor will help cut down on time cutting up everything. If you do not have a food processor, cut up the cabbage and carrots as small as you can.


• 1 small head of green cabbage (3-4 cups), cut into smaller pieces that will fit into the food processor; or cut them up a small as you can if you do not have a food processor.
• 3 large carrots (1-2 cups), cut into smaller pieces that will fit into the food processor; or cut them up as small as you can if you do not have a food processor.
• 2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
• 2 tsp salt
• 4 cups of water
• Pepper, to taste *Optional


1. Process the cabbage and carrots in the food processor until they are finely chopped.
Place them in a bowl and mix them well.
2. Mix the salt and water together in a clean non-reactive container, such as glass or wood.
3. Place the cabbage and carrots in a fermenting vessel.
4. Tamp the food down as much as you possibly can.
5. Place a follower (a cabbage leaf to cover the chopped vegetables) and weights on top. Make sure you have no floaters. If you have trouble with floaters you might try using a plastic zip bag, filled with brine as a follower. I like to tamper the food, put the bag in, fill it with brine, zip it up, and then fill the jar with brine. This usually does the trick.
6. Ferment 4-5 days.
7. Drain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. You may want to use a cheesecloth to push some of the liquid out otherwise it may be a little watery. Or you can strain most of the liquid out and not worry about it being a little watery. The brine is delicious!

Keep this mixture in the fridge until you are ready to eat it.

When you are ready to eat your fermented coleslaw, add mayo, and stir it well. I like to sprinkle pepper on top. It most likely won’t need any extra salt added, it is salty enough from the brine.

Coleslaw is served alongside any of your favorite southern foods, such as barbecue ribs, beans, cornbread, and/or potato salad.


Fermented coleslaw sounds too easy to not try. If you need the proper equipment, like fermentation lids for Mason jars, glass weights, and more, Fermentools has everything you need in their online store.


Kristi is the blog owner of She is a wife and mother of three wonderful boys. She loves to write about food, children & parenting, tips and tricks, and survival information.

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