Hatch Chiles. . .
I can’t imagine a world without ’em.
So, when my local Bountiful Baskets offered a 20-pound box of them, do you think I could pass them up?!
No way!! 🙂
I knew I wanted to roast most of them and freeze them for later use (can you say SALSA?), because roasted hatch chiles are famous. But I also wanted to try something new. Most of the time when I order a large box of something through my local co-ops, I have to process a lot of food in a fairly small amount of time, before it all spoils. Usually I try fermenting a little bit in some way, and that was exactly what I wanted to try with this box of peppers.
Turns out this was one of the easiest ferments I’ve ever tried! Score!
Here’s how to do it:
Fermented Hatch Chiles
Makes 2 quarts, adjust recipe as needed for the size of jar you have.
- about 2 pounds of fresh Hatch chiles, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons fine-grain sea salt like this one, dissolved into 1 quart of unchlorinated water
- 3 cloves peeled garlic. I just added garlic this time, but you can also add a little sliced onion, peppercorns, whatever you want to add to make it your own!
- I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: my absolute favorite fermenting vessel is a Fido jar. Read more about why I choose a Fido jar here. (This is the size I prefer and always get wonderful results with. But you can also use airlocks, used pickle jars, or even mason jars.)
- Knife and cutting board
- This is very simple – which is why I love it. Cut the tops off, and slice your peppers into small rings, whichever thickness you prefer. You can core the peppers if you don’t want the seeds, but I don’t mind the seeds and simply left them in. Your choice! 🙂
- Place your seasonings in the bottom of the jar. Pack the pepper slices into your jar tightly. Fill up the jar, and stop when your peppers reach the “shoulder” of the jar.
- Pour your salt water over the peppers to cover. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace from the opening of the jar. (If you need more brine, make more at the same ratio of 3 tablespoons sea salt per quart of water.)
- Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean towel and close your jar. Set in a dark place (a pantry is perfect) for 3-5 days, then open and keep refrigerated. Will keep in the fridge for several months, but who are we kidding? They’ll be gone before you know it.
This is a very simple ferment, and if you’ve never fermented anything before, I think this one would be a great one to start with.
If you are not using a Fido, you will want to “burp” the jar each day of the ferment, to release built-up gases. Burping your ferment is where you loosen the lid just long enough to release the pressure, and quickly re-tighten. If you’re using a Fido, burping is not necessary as the jars off-gas on their own.
I chose to leave my peppers fermenting in my pantry for 5 days, and I live in Arizona, complete with warm kitchen. I think they turned out perfectly! The chiles I bought were not hot at all, and they ended up tasting so wonderful. My favorite way to get my probiotics in. 🙂
So, look what happened when I opened my Fido jar of fermented Hatch chiles after 5 days of fermenting:
Look at all that fizzy action! Fizz like that will make any fermenter’s day. ThatÂ fizz is thereÂ because I used a Fido jar! 🙂
There, wasn’t that simple? A nice, fermented pepper, filled with probiotics and that wonderful Hatch chile flavor. Happy fermenting!
Peace, Love, and Hatch Chiles,
P.S. Love fermented foods like I do? Oh Lardy’s Guide to Fermenting Fruits and Vegetables has just been released! For a limited time, you can use coupon code FERMENT30 to receive 30% off the price. <3