I remember distinctly the first time I worked with jalapeno peppers in the kitchen. They were the first hot pepper I had ever worked with, and it showed. I got out my trusty cutting board and chef’s knife and set to chopping.
Thirty minutes later I was hunched over the sink, desperately trying to remove the searing heat from my nose which I’d inadvertently brushed with a finger that had come into contact with the heat of the jalapeno. (Dish soap and coconut oil works wonders for hot pepper burns, by the way.)
Besides jalapeno poppers, there aren’t a lot of great ideas for using up a glut of these green spicy guys. When I came into a couple of bagfuls recently, I decided to do what I usually do with just about every thing I have too much of – I fermented them.
And this time, with no gloves in sight, I donned plastic ziploc bags and promptly removed them when done chopping.
This recipe, like most ferments, is dead simple. In a nutshell it’s slice, brine, ferment, eat. Much of the heat in a pepper is found in the seeds and membranes, so if you’d like a milder version, carefully remove these. I simply sliced mine in half length-wise and then sliced thinly.
With the summer heat, my brine generally uses 3 Tablespoons of salt per quart of water. I used the half-gallon Fermented Vegetable Master for this recipe and once I filled it with spicy peppers I added the ceramic vegetable weights that work so well. The airlock went on and about five days later we tried some. My husband teared up when he mixed it into his kraut, so I think it was a success.
I’ve been letting them ferment a couple of extra weeks in the hopes that they’ll soften up enough to make another batch of fermented hot sauce from them.