Naturally Fermented Ajad (Thai Cucumber Relish)
I’ve been really quiet, I know. I have a good reason, well, sort of. Last year around this time, I returned to the world of working outside the home. It’s been a major adjustment. I haven’t adjusted. My heart is in the home, my heart is working on my blog. I won’t bore you to death, but, a few good things did come out of it. I went to a restaurant I would not have gone to had I not made friends who eat regular food. Not that I didn’t have friends who ate regular food before, but…well, you know. Anyway, I went to this restaurant, and I tasted the most delicious cucumbers ever. Thai cucumbers. I always thought I was not a huge fan of Thai food before I tried these.
So, I tried this cucumber dish and I thought, wow, this tastes SO delicious, I need to ferment it! So, I did just that. I have to share the recipe. It’s yummy!
Naturally Fermented Ajad Recipe (Makes 1 Qt)
2 large cucumbers
4 small shallots (or 2 small onions)
1/2 of a chile pepper (use another hot pepper or garnish with red bell peppers if unavailable)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup raw honey
3.5% brine, about 8g salt per cup of water
1. Slice cucumbers thinly, then quarter and add to a mixing bowl.
2. Chop shallots, chile pepper and cilantro, then add to mixing bowl.
3. In a bowl or 2 cup measuring cup, mix 1 cup water with 8g Himalayan Pink salt, then stir in honey.
4. Add all ingredients to a 1qt jar.
5. Stir 8g salt with one cup water and add to jar. Repeat until vegetables are fully submerged.
6. Add a pinch of Caldwell’s starter if you’d like. Mix well.
7. Close jar, and allow to ferment for 12-24 hours. If your house is hotter than 76 degrees, you may want to refrigerate in the day to help retain crispness. Adding oak or grape leaves, liquid or powdered tannins are other options.
You can enjoy these as a side to almost any dish. I love them with chicken mostly. We also eat them as a snack. Yum!