Have I told you about my girlfriend growing up, and her mother’s pickles? They were so hot, we called them “Wicked Pickles.” After I moved away and then back again, I sought out my girlfriends mother and got her Wicked Pickle recipe. While totally unlike this Spicy Fermented Pickle recipe, Kristi brought back a fond childhood memory. Enjoy!
Spicy fermented pickles are great in salads, as an appetizer, or snack. You could even pair them with a slice of soft cheese and a cracker. Fermented pickles only take 5-10 minutes to prepare. The fermentation process takes about 5-7 days.
How to Make Spicy Fermented Pickles
Selecting a cucumber fit for fermentation
Pickling cucumbers are often called Kirbys. They are small and unwaxed. The smaller the pickle, the better the crisp. Bigger cucumbers tend to get soft more quickly. These varieties can easily be grown in the garden. If you pick them from the garden it is best to chill them first in the refrigerator. This will help them keep crisp through the fermentation process.
Another option is to find them at your local farmer’s market. The cucumbers sold at the grocery stores are usually large and waxed. The wax inhibits the salty brine from penetrating the cucumber. If you pick them from the garden it is best to chill them first in the refrigerator. This will help them keep crisp through the fermentation process.
How HOT do you want your pickles?
You can use any hot pepper you want. Pick a pepper that will suit your need for flavor and intensity. Poblano and banana peppers are usually considered mild. Habanero (what I used) is on the hot side. You can also use black peppercorns, or red pepper flakes, adding about 10 peppercorns or flakes.
A Recipe for Spicy Fermented Pickles:
• A set of Fermentools
• 1 half-gallon, wide mouth canning jar
• Pickling cucumbers – enough to fill a half-gallon jar (around 10.) Cut off blossom ends
• 4 Tbsp Himalayan salt
• 2 Quarts of filtered water
• 1 Pepper, whole (The variety will depend on how spicy you want your pickles.)
• 1 grape, oak, or horseradish leaf
1. Wash all of your tools and dry them before you begin.
2. Make the brine. Mix the salt and water together to make the brine.
3. Place the cucumbers and peppers in the glass canning jar. Fit as many as you can, and leave a ½ inch head space.
4. Add grape, oak, or horseradish leaf.
5. Everything must be fully submerged. If you use glass weights or any other weights the weights must be under the brine also.
6. Secure Fermentools onto the jar.
7. Ferment for 5 -7 days, in a place away from direct sunlight with temps around 65 – 72º F
Refrigerate and then serve. Keep leftovers refrigerated. If there are any!
These pickles are a great item to add to a relish tray, they pair well with a soft cheese and a crisp cracker. Try them in a salad, on a sandwich or eat them for a snack! These spicy pickles are sure to please!
If you like this recipe, you will also enjoy the following lacto-fermented pickle recipes: