Asian Fermented Slaw

Let’s go to Asia and make a delicious, complex slaw. Star anise, found in Asian markets, plays a starring role as one of my go-to spices with its subtle cinnamon and licorice flavors.

Introducing a Great Fermenting Fruit…Asian Pear

Asian pear is super crispy with bright pear notes. Choose firm fruit, it does not need to be fully ripe. You can find them in many larger supermarkets or international stores. Substitute a slightly underripe Bosc pear or pear variety that is very firm.

Make a standard slaw mix or you can use prepackaged Asian slaw mix right out of the supermarket. This recipe holds its crunch even after a month. It’s a cultured, fragrant slaw for any occasion.

RECIPE: Makes 1 Quart

cole slaw mix, 22 oz., or shred green cabbage and carrots

celery, 2 ribs, slant cut into very thin slices

Asian pear, 1 large, cored, shredded or thin matchstick slices

star anise, 4 wholestar-anise-bsp1

ginger, fresh, 1 TBS. grated

scallions, 2, thinly sliced on bias

sea salt, fine grind, 1 scant TBS., don’t use coarse salt

INSTRUCTIONSAsian Pear-Ginger Slaw

  1. Shred cabbage and carrots and place in a large bowl
  2. Add salt and begin to knead the mixture for several minutes. Leave it for 5 or so minutes and repeat until you can pick up a handful and squeeze so that liquid will easily drip back into the bowl.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients.
  4. Pack a one-quart canning jar using a thick wooden spoon handle to press the mixture down into the jar so the brine formation is enhanced.
  5. Fill to the shoulder of the jar and add any remaining brine from the bowl.
  6. Complete sealing using your fermenter instructions so that all the ingredients remain submerged in the brine.
  7. Ferment four days and then refrigerate.

After fermentation is complete, add any or all of the following:

  • chopped nuts or peanuts
  • a splash of neutral oil
  • squeeze of lemon or lime juice
  • drizzle of coconut water
  • chopped cilantro

© 2017 Bill Hettig

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