I have to admit my love affair with kohlrabi began at about age 6 I think. The nostalgia of my parents working out in our garden and my dad inviting us over to indulge in a freshly harvested kohlrabi, still holding the fertile garden soil, spins in my mind like an old family film. Retrieving his jack knife from his pocket (cause, a good dad never goes anywhere without his jack knife) he would skillfully peel, slice, and ration her out right there in the yard. And that is what heaven tastes like; sweet, juicy and crisp, still warm from the sun and smelling of garden earth. I was never close with my father and I don’t have a mountain of warm fuzzy memories like this, so maybe I cling to the ones I do have more closely, or maybe kohlrabi is just that amazing. After all, you can do so many things with her! Pickling, that is to say lacto fermenting, has become one of my favorites.
In this recipe my vision was to reflect classic Asian flavors, like ginger, garlic, sesame, and soy, in the pickle. The end result was so pleasing, I felt the need to share. Fair warning, you need to enjoy garlic for this one. The recipe looks exhausting, but really it goes together quickly after you make your pickles.
Step One: The pickling
- Kohlrabi Jullienned: enough to fill a quart sized jar: I sliced mine on a rippled mandolin blade and then used the ripples as my cutting guide for the jullienne strips.
- 2-4 garlic cloves chopped fine
- 2 T ginger chopped fine or sliced paper thin
- 2 strips of brown kelp sliced small (optional)
- 4 C. of water
- 1 Tbl sea salt
- 2 tsp soy sauce.
Directions: Heat the water enough to dissolve the salt and then add the soy sauce. Wait for the water to cool down to room temperature. Pack all pickle ingredients into the jar tightly, leaving about 1-2 inches from the top. Pour the brine over the contents. I cover mine with a “Perfect Pickler”, but you can just ferment this with a regular mason jar lid. Ferment for about 4 days on the kitchen counter. Kohlrabi loves to be pickled and she starts a bubblin quickly and with vigor, so it is imperative that you watch your jar and let it breath when it needs it.
Step Two: The slaw
- 6 scallions chopped
- 1 green garlic chopped (or sub a couple of scapes or another clove of garlic)
- 3-4 more strips of kelp chopped
- 1/4 Carrot peeled or grated into the salad (just enough for color contrast)
- 2 Tbl Sweet Red Bell Pepper Relish (see recipe) OR sub 2 T of honey
- 2 Tbl toasted sesame seeds
- 1/2 C Olive oil
- 1 Tbl sesame oil
- 1-2 Tbl apple cider vinager
- 1/2 tsp of ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 Tbl of soy sauce OR fish sauce
- 1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes
Directions: Strain the brine off the pickles (reserve the juice for another pickle project if you wish). Mix scallions, green garlic, seaweed, pepper relish, and carrot strips. In a separate jar combine ingredients for the dressing and mix with a hand mixer. Pour the dressing over the mixture and mix well. Top with toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy! This is even better a day later if you can refrain from gobbling down the entire bowl in one sitting. But, if you do happen to eat it all, you can justify your uncontrolled gluttony knowing that this probiotic goodness will nourish your gut and body fully.