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  • Recipe:

    Lacto-Fermented Sumac Onions Recipe

    Lacto-Fermented Sumac Onions
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Recipe Description:

    I first tasted sumac onions at my first visit to a Persian restaurant. Right away, I was hooked and was putting these sour marinated onions on everything, with extra sumac shaken on. Love that stuff! Since then, I have been wanting to create a fermented version for extra nutrients. Serve with just about any Middle Eastern dish!

    Recipe Instructions:

    Peel and thinly slice onions. I use a food processor. Sprinkle sumac over the onions and stir to coat.

    Firmly pack the onion mixture into 2 quart sized mason jars and leave an inch of head space.

    Mix together a 3.6% brine by adding 2 tbsp unrefined sea salt into 1 quart of non-chlorinated, filtered water. Stir to dissolve.

    Pour brine solution over onions. Press onions down so they are under the liquid. At this point you can cover with a cabbage or grape leaf and weigh down with a sterilized rock or fermenting weight. Keep the 1 inch head space. I am using a homemade airlock system, but it's not necessary. You can just cap them with a canning lid.

    Set out of the way on the counter and cover with a cloth to block out light. Leave on counter for 3-7 days before transferring to refrigerator. Watch for signs of fermenting after a couple days. You should see small bubbles trapped on sides. After 3-4 days, smell to see if has the sour fermented smell. Use a clean fork to test a piece. If not to your taste leave out a few days longer. Will keep 6 months in fridge.

    Note:Ferments happen slower in cooler weather. Also, if you choose to use a starter, such as whey, only use 1 tbsp of salt in your brine and leave on the counter only 2 days as the starter greatly speeds up the fermenting process.

    Comments and Reviews

  • Moe says:
    where do you get your sumac? I love sumac but haven't been able to find since moving from L.A. Reply
    • I used to get it through Mountain Rose Herbs, but they've since stopped carrying it. I can't seem to find it anymore either except in occasional Indian markets. Reply
      • Colleen says:
        I believe that the edible red fruits of Staghorn Sumac can be used for this, and also for the middle eastern spice, zaatar. I have used staghorn sumac in winemaking, and will be experimenting to see how it works with this onion recipe. Staghorn sumac is widespread throughout the northeast US. See here for more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhus_typhina Reply
  • Colleen says:
    The fruit ripens on the tree by the later part of summer. Reply
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