Make this simple pickled fermented corn relish recipe to boost the flavor of everything from salads to hot dogs- and boost your gut health, too.
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I always think twice (or three or four) times before putting something like “foolproof” in a recipe title. There are so many variables with cooking, right? I’d never say my famous whole wheat rolls are foolproof because, well, it’s yeast and nothing is ever foolproof with yeast! (Though I’m here to say you CAN have success with it – and a soft homemade wheat bread – but it wouldn’t surprise me if it took a couple tries.)
So you know if I have foolproof in the title that I am confident that anyone can have success with the recipe- every single time. And that is this what this fermented corn relish recipe is. So easy, so yummy, and – get this – so good for you. Don’t you love it when those three things align in a food? #yes
How can I be so sure that anyone can make this? It has to do with these lids I found that make fermenting a no-brainer, and because there’s just a few ingredients to prepare, and that it’s ready to eat in just a few days. Fermented corn relish was the second recipe I tried after these (even easier?) fermented pickled vegetables. I’m here to say, quick and easy recipes like this are a great way to introduce yourself to the world of fermenting (and I’ve just dipped my toes into it so far!).
Remember when I confessed I didn’t know what fermented things would taste like? I thought they’d be all weird and bubbly and was surprised to find they are just pickled vegetables, which I love! The difference? They’re pickled with salt water, not vinegar.
How to use this fermented corn relish? Treat it like any pickled relish and use it on salads, alongside meats, and as a topping for burgers or hot dogs- it tastes great. The beneficial bacteria produced in the fermenting process feeds your good gut flora and helps your digestion work well, which in turn helps your overall health. (Here’s more on fermented foods and gut health if you’re curious.)
5-Minute Foolproof Fermented Corn Relish
So, I haven’t even mentioned the “5-minute” claim that’s in the title yet. I’m just as confident about that, too: 2 to 3 minutes to chop the onion and pepper, a minute to mix it together and another to fill, pour, press, and seal. It really is quick and easy, I promise!
Update: In fact, it’s so easy I even taught Brian to make it since he was eating it faster than I could make it! We made a video to show how anyone can make this delicious, healthy ferment:
The ingredients are basic things you may have at any time in your pantry, fridge and freezer: corn (either raw or cooked is fine), onion, pepper, garlic, sea salt and pepper flakes.
You can make this with fresh, in-season corn or frozen (I’ve also used leftover cooked corn on the cob). Fermenting is actually a great, time-honored way to preserve vegetables, though you do need to refrigerate it versus traditional canning. And the fermentation does continue even when refrigerated, though it slows down a lot.
In addition to the relish ingredients, you’ll also need:
Add your mixed ingredients to the mason jar and press down firmly with the back of a wooden spoon.
Fill jar with water (filtered or quality well water) until all the vegetables are covered.
Add a glass weight to help keep the vegetables submerged (this is optional, but I always use one).
The easy fermenter lids have a date tracker on top that makes it a cinch to remember how many days have passed since day one. For this fermented corn relish, 5 days is perfect.
And that’s it! Simple, real food that’s easy to make and good for you. It’s a theme around here that I’m embracing more and more (though there’s a time and a place for peanut butter chocolate celebration cake, am I right?). Simple is good, and a lot of times, best.
5-Minute Foolproof Fermented Corn Relish Recipe
- 2 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen (if using fresh, cut off cob, scraping ears as you go)*
- 1 small onion diced (or half large)
- 1 small sweet red pepper diced (or half large)
- 2 small cloves garlic minced (about 1-1/2 tsp.)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt**
- ½ to 1½ teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste - we like it spicy at the larger amount, start small so you can see what you'd like
- Filtered room temperature water***
- Quart mason jar + fermenting lid
- Mix all the ingredients - except the water - in a medium bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir and press the vegetables for a couple minutes to start to release the juices.
- Pack the ingredients into a clean, quart jar. Use the back of the wooden spoon to press everything down firmly in the jar 1-2 inches below the rim.
- Pour the water on top, covering the vegetables completely. If needed, weigh them down with a glass weight to keep them under the brine.
- Cover the jar with the easy fermenter lid (or another airlock lid or canning lid, though you will need to burp it if using a regular lid). Mark the date on the lid or jar.
- Ferment at room temperature for 5 days (or until desired flavor), checking occasionally to make sure the vegetables are still submerged. You should see bubbles in the vegetables.
- Once it is done, replace the easy fermenter lid with a regular storage or canning lid and place in the refrigerator for cold storage.
More simple recipes you may like:
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