Helios Cooking


Yet another easier than pie fermentation experimentation – preserved lemons.

This requires just two ingredients – lemons and kosher salt. While traditionally Meyer lemons are used, I’ve found the garden variety grocery store lemons (4-5 per pint jar) are more than adequate. Scrub the lemons well, soak for a few minutes in a vinegar/water solution then rinse again. And then:

  1. Put a tbsp of kosher salt into the bottom of a sterilized pint sized jar
  2. Slice off the ends of each lemon then cut into quarters without cutting all the way through (keep the base intact)
  3. Gently open up each lemon and rub a tsp of salt on the pulp
  4. Stuff lemons into the jar as you go, leaving 1/2″ of headroom at the top
  5. Sprinkle another tbsp of salt on top then seal the jar
  6. Let the jar sit at room temperature (out of sunlight) for three days; a few times a day give the jar a shake and rotate it (upside down, then right side up)
    — If the juice doesn’t cover the lemons after the first day, add additional fresh squeezed lemon juice to cover
  7. After 3 days, put the lemons in the refrigerate, giving it a shake every so often to distribute juice and salt

The lemons will be ready when the rinds are soft (about 3 weeks). To use, peel off the pulp and wash the rind (to get rid of the surface salt).

Now, how to use these delicious aromatic bursts of concentrated lemon?  Add to soups and stews such as this delicious Moroccan tagine, grain salads like this, salad dressings and more.

And on a sunny Sunday afternoon, what could be be better than a salty collins (made with preserved lemons, of course)!

Pre-Preserved Lemon

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My recent experimentation with fermentation was a great success which lead to new forays into this new (but ancient) world of preserving the harvest. Sauerkraut is easier than pie – cabbage, salt, and optional caraway seeds. Mixing red and green cabbage, adding grated carrots, red or daikon radish or just about any other vegetable you fancy are optional enhancements. Easy recipe for making sauerkraut in a mason jar here.

There are thousands of ways to make kimchi, but the basics typically have Napa cabbage, scallions, daikon radish and a mix of spices including ginger, garlic, fish sauce and gochugaru (Korean red pepper). I was fortunate in finding the gochugaru at one of my local markets, with the help of the Korean manager (who also gave me good advice on making my first batch of kimchi).  The recipe I used as a basis for making kimchi is right here. Once you get your kimchi going, try using it in this quinoa, kale and kim chi recipe, or check out these recipes.

Interested in more fermentation?  I recommend Sandor Ellix Katz’s Wild Fermentation as well as these two books he wrote:   The Art of Fermentation and (somewhat more  practical) Wild Fermentation.

Sauerkraut