We love the complexities which a simple lactic fermentation can add to beautiful, seasonal cherimoya, white asparagus or the Spanish kiwi. Lactic acid bacteria is prevalent on the skins of all fruits and vegetables and it transforms the fruit or vegetable’s natural sugars into lactic acid. At the Elect a Chef kitchens, we have a lot of fun with produce found down at the Boqueria market. Primarily, we add 2% natural salt to the total weight of the fruit or vegetable, mix with gloves and place in a sterilized mason jar and seal with plastic wrap, eliminating oxygen flow. Below are recipes and uses for two of our most recent projects, fermented cherimoya and our house kimchi.

Fermented Cherimoya Vinaigrette

Weigh the Cherimoya and measure 2% of the total weight with sea salt. Stir the fruit and salt gently and place in a clean, sterilized mason jar, cover with plastic wrap and loosely close the mason jar. Allow 3-5 days at room temperature for the fermentation to take place. At three days, have a taste – if it is of desired acidity, remove it and place it in the fridge. If you’re after more funky complexity, allow for one more day and have another taste. If it starts to smell ‘rotten’ then trust your nose and throw it away and start fresh. But if it has a pleasant funk like fish sauce, then we’re in business! As a result, we should have the base for our wonderful, funky-fresh vinaigrette. Recipe follows.

100g Minced, Fermented Cherimoya
50g Forum Merlot Vinegar
15g Minced Shallot
150g Avocado Oil
5g Minced Tarragon
5g Lime Juice
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Mix with fresh, organic leaves or with roasted root vegetables for instance. After that, store the remaining vinaigrette in the fridge for up to five days.

Elect A Chef Kimchi

One Full Napa Cabbage Head
2% Of The Cabbage Weight In Salt

Cut the cabbage in half and massage the leaves with salt. Similarly, you can mix the salt with 4 tablespoons water and massage the cabbage leaves. Lastly, leave at room temperature, covered overnight.

Brined Cabbage Head
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
Large Knob Ginger, Peeled and Minced
1 Onion, Sliced
4 Scallion, Minced
1 Carrot, Grated
Half Apple, Grated
1 Cup Kochukaru Chili
1/2 Cup Sugar
5 TBSP Fish Sauce
3 TBSP Oyster Sauce
2 TBSP Rice Vinegar
1 TBSP Soy
1 TBSP Mirin

Firstly, mix all ingredients besides the cabbage, therefore yielding a paste. Secondly, massage paste into cabbage. In other words, put gloves on and apply paste to each leaf. Place cabbage and all accumulated liquid into a sterilized mason jar and lover loosely at room temperature for five days. Lastly, refrigerate for another five days. Above all, enjoy on everything!

Galician Oysters with Kimchi Water and Yuzu Zest

Firstly, Shuck Oysters. Secondly, Strain and reserve kimchi water from the finished kimchi. Lastly, top the oysters with kimchi water and freshly grated yuzu zest.

For more on lacto-fermentation, Harold McGee has produced the quintessential reference in food science ‘On Food and Cooking’.