Fermented Corn (Maize) Kernels

I initially made fermented corn as a way to create a lactobacillus-rich neutral flavored brine I could use to inoculate other dishes (like legumes).

This recipe uses a 5% brine (by weight). You could go as low as 3% brine because it is a short (less than a week) ferment.

Fermented corn has a sweet and sour taste. Simple as can be to make, now I keep a jar of fermented corn on hand all the time. It’s great to sprinkle a few tablespoons over some greens, into a salad, or mixed in with your favorite guacamole recipe!

summer salad with cornjar of fermented corn


Fermented Corn (Maize) Kernels
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 pint
  • 2 ears sweet corn (about 1 cup/ 250ml)
  • 8 oz/250 ml filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons/10 ml/ 12.5 grams fine sea salt
  1. Cut kernels off corn ears.
  2. Dissolve salt into water in a pint or quart sized mason jar.
  3. Add kernels to jar.
  4. Cover container with a tea towel or clean dishcloth to keep dust and flies out, and secure with twist ties or a rubber band. OR if using small batch fermentation kit, apply the fermentation lid per the instructions.
  5. Ferment 3 to 6 days (until you see it bubbling and has a sour aroma and taste).
  6. If there is any surface yeast or mold, skim it with a spoon or a paper towel. Stir the contents of the jar.
  7. Remove airlock lid and replace with metal lid.
  8. Store in refrigerator. Keeps in brine for up to 2 months.


Baked Tortilla Chips

Feeling irritated at the lack of snack chips (particularly tortilla chips) made with healthy fats, I created a technique and recipe for homemade baked tortillas that are as good as any fried version. They’re better in fact, as you’re no longer slowly poisoning yourself with rancid, uber-processed vegetable oils (sunflower, corn, safflower, canola)  that about every chip on the market is still fried in!

Start with round tortillas. My go-to is organic yellow corn tortillas from 365 Everyday (the Whole Foods brand). I use coconut oil as my fat, but you could use any healthy fat– lard, tallow, avocado oil, ghee, etc.

Another benefit of making your own chips in small batches is that you are more likely to savor them, as they are the fruits of your labor. While it is simple to make, it still takes effort. Rather than mindlessly plowing through a seemingly bottomless bag of store-bought, mass produced chips, you might slow to appreciate the hand crafting and care taken with each chip. That’s what I call mindful eating!


Baked Tortilla Chips
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 8 oz
  • 8 oz (wt.) corn tortillas, about 12 6-inch tortillas
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or other nutrient dense fat (tallow, lard, schmaltz, avocado oil, ghee, etc.)
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. If the fat you're using is solid at room temperature, Heat up ½ cup water, or run a silicone spatula under hot water for 20 seconds. Dip heated spatula into the fat of your choice. this will allow the fat to be worked more easily. I use coconut oil.
  3. Spread a thin layer of fat on one side of each tortilla.
  4. Stack the tortillas (up to 4 at a time). Cut them into 8 pieces (they will take on the same shape as, surprise, tortilla chips!) Repeat until all tortillas have been cut.
  5. Lay chips head-to-tail on a single layer on two half-sheet pans lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  6. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until they just start to curl up and just start to brown.
  7. Remove from oven and pour into a bowl.
  8. Add salt to taste (while they're still hot!)


Cannabis Kombucha



I’ve tried some delicious cannabis kombucha brands here in California, where adult use of cannabis is legal. Commercial brands mix a THC-infused emulsion into kombucha that’s already brewed.

I hadn’t heard of anyone including cannabis in the fermentation. I wasn’t sure what would happen. Would the SCOBY be okay, or would it get paranoid and climb out of the jar? Would it ferment? I used vegetable glycerin to emulsify the THC into the simple syrup. I read that glycerine is bacteriostatic (a compound that freezes the metabolic action of bacteria, without killing them). Would this throw off the fermentation in any way? Only one way to find out!

UPDATE: After experimentation, I concluded that it’s preferable to simply infuse the cannabis syrup into a secondary kombucha fermentation. See notes at bottom of this post for the original experiment.

I found that the secondary fermentation with cannabis syrup is slower than with other adjuncts I commonly use (fresh squeezed fruit juice, dried or fresh herbs, ginger), so I adjusted the length of time to reflect that.

add a little ginger along with the syrup for a bright flavor that complements the subtle terpenes

The syrup I made used some old trim for which I did not know the THC content, so I had to estimate the THC content.

STEP 1: Make Cannabis Syrup

You will first need to create cannabis-infused simple syrup.

STEP 2: Make Kombucha (primary fermentation)

Follow our classic recipe for kombucha.

STEP 3: Make Secondary Flavored Cannabis Kombucha

The recipe below creates a finished kombucha with about 10mg THC per 8 ounce serving.

Cannabis Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 24 oz. 750 ml
  • 24 oz. (750 ml) mature kombucha
  • 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. (25 ml) cannabis syrup
  • 15g fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • swing-top bottle
  • funnel
  1. With a funnel, add cannabis syrup to a clean glass bottle (either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Add ginger pieces to bottle.
  3. Top with plain kombucha. Leave no more than ½" of head space in the neck of the bottle. Close tightly.
  4. Ferment 4-14 days, burping occasionally (over the sink) to release gas buildup.
  5. When you like the flavor and carbonation, move bottle to refrigerator.
  6. Before serving, gently rock (DO NOT SHAKE) the bottle by inverting it a few times. This will allow any sediment to be better incorporated into the beverage when you pour it.
  7. Serve chilled to reduce the chance of the bottle overflowing with carbonation. Enjoy responsibly.


Initial Experiment

Kombucha (primary fermentation) with cannabis syrup

In order to test whether the fermentation affects THC content, I tried a scientific-ish experiment. I tasted a spoonful of cannabis syrup mixed in with regular kombucha, and then studied the effects. Then I tried an equivalent amount of syrup in the fermented-with-cannabis batch. The effects of the fermented batch were indeed more mellow. So it appears that the fermentation process reduces the THC content at least a little.

The effects of the cannabis when it’s been fermented in with the kombucha are noticeably more subtle than when consuming the syrup without fermentation. The finished kombucha has a really nice aroma (subtle terpenes), and is quite tasty. Many testers report that they couldn’t detect any flavor of cannabis. I’ll keep working on the recipe. Most would therefore argue that it’s not a good technique because it is loses potency during fermentation. That could well be true. I still enjoy drinking the kombucha and its light effects. I will continue the experimentation again using more and stronger syrup.

Always store scobys used in this recipe separately from other “non-cannabis” scobys. Best is to store them in their own jar (always at room temperature– never in the refrigerator!) in a little of the reserved liquid from the last batch you make. Keep a cloth lid on top of the jar to keep out flies and allow the scoby to continue to breathe. It doesn’t need much liquid to hang out– just enough to keep it submerged.


  1. Meet the Cannabis Kombucha Guru, herb.co. Accessed Mar. 20, 2018
  2. Cooking with Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites. Wolf, Laurie.
  3. How to Calculate Edible Potency, keytocannabis.com. Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.
  4. How to calculate THC dosage in recipes for marijuana edibles, thecannabist.co. Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.
  5. Dosing Homemade Cannabis, Cooking with Cannabis, Part 4. Leafly.com


Hoppy Hazy Kombucha

Satisfy your hop fix– Hangover-free!

Eager to hop on the hops bandwagon, but not wanting to suffer the consequences of drinking beer (which my body has, in not so subtle ways, recently told me to give up), I wanted to see if kombucha could be hopped in a similar way to beer.

I use whole leaf, dried hops so far and have had great results. Hops is also sold in “nuggets”, whereby the flower is compressed into pellets or nuggets. I have not yet used these, mainly because I like the results from using whole hop flowers.

After a few experiments, I found that the flavors indeed work well together.

You can customize the hoppiness to just your liking.
Mild variation. 5-10 hop flowers per quart. Ferment at room temp 3-4 days.
Hazy AF variation. Double the amount of hop flowers (20 flowers per quart of kombucha). After fermenting at room temp 3-4 days, bottle condition another 3 to 5 weeks in the refrigerator. Aromas are dank, lemony, piney. Flavors are bitter, sour, chalky, hoppy.

Check out that haze! (this is the 30 day hopped variation.)


Hopped Kombucha
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 quart
  • 1 qt/liter ripe (or slightly sweeter than ripe) kombucha
  • MILD: 5 grams hops flowers or nuggets, any variety
  • HAZY: 15-20 grams hops flowers or nuggets, any variety
  • ¼ cup (60ml) grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed, about 1 medium sized grapefruit)
  1. If fresh squeezing, slice grapefruit in half and juice through a strainer sitting inside a funnel, to catch seeds and pulp, into a swing top or tightly sealable bottle (or add about ¼ cup juice).
  2. Add hop flowers to bottle.
  3. Top with kombucha until there is only ½" space from the top of the bottle.
  4. Ferment at room temperature 2-5 days, (less time in hot weather, longer in cooler weather).
  5. Carefully let out pressure by slowly uncapping over a sink.
  6. Refrigerate bottle.
  7. MILD: Serve chilled. Pour through strainer into glass (to filter out hops petals).
  8. HAZY: Let sit in refrigerator from 3 to 5 weeks.
  9. Serve chilled. Pour through strainer into glass (to filter out hops petals).


Bok Choy Kimchi

Bok choy is a green in the cabbage family, and is common in Asian cuisine. It has a delicate flavor and slightly softer texture than other types of cabbage. I prefer young (baby) bok choy in this recipe, but the more mature variety will work fine, too.

The finished product is packed with vitamin C and other nutrients created during the fermentation process.

Bok Choy Kimchi
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 quart/1 liter
  • 1 lb. (500g) bok choy
  • 2 quarts/liters filtered water
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) fine sea salt
  • 8 oz (by volume) "Make-ahead kimchi paste", OR Remaining Paste Ingredients
Paste Ingredients
  • 5 scallions (green onions)
  • 1¾ ounces by weight (50g) ginger
  • 2.5 ounces by weight (75g) garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbsp./15ml tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp./30ml by volume /1 ounce by weight (15g) red pepper powder
  • (Optional) 1 tsp. fish sauce
Mix Brine & Soak Veg
  1. Dissolve 6 tablespoons sea salt into 2 quarts/liters of water.
  2. Rinse dirt off bok choy.
  3. Slice in half lengthwise, preserving the stem so the leaves stay together. If using full size bok choy, cut into pieces 4 to 5 inches long.
  4. Place bok choy into a container large enough to hold brine. Add a weight on top. Slowly pour brine until it covers bok choy. Soak in brine for 2 hours.
Make Paste
  1. Peel garlic and clean any dirt off ginger. Chop both roughly.
  2. Cut stems off scallions, and slice them (white and green parts) into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, and scallions to work bowl of a food processor, along with red pepper powder and tamari.
  4. Start the food processor, and mix together until a thick paste forms and it "rolls" together when the machine is running. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. You may adjust with a splash of tamari or soaking brine to get the right texture.
Pack and Ferment
  1. Drain bok choy from brine, reserving ½ cup (200 ml) of brine.
  2. Wearing gloves to protect hands from being burned by hot pepper, coat the bok choy with paste.
  3. Pack pieces into a wide-mouth quart-sized or larger glass jar or crock, leaving at least an inch or so from the top rim of the jar.
  4. Add remaining paste to jar/crock.
  5. There should be enough brine to completely cover the contents when weighed down.
  6. Apply small-batch fermentation tools (add weight and secure jar with airlock).
  7. If not using fermentation tools, add a weight on top of the veggies which will keep the contents beneath the brine.The goal is to keep veggies submerged under brine during fermentation.
  8. Cover container with a swatch of cloth (not cheesecloth), a dish towel or tea towel to keep flies and dust out. Secure with a twist tie, elastic strap or rubber band. If using mason jar, you can secure the cloth with the metal ring.
  9. Initially, there may not be enough brine to cover entire contents. The bok choy will continue to soften during the first day. Check after 1 day. Add reserved brine as needed to completely cover the contents.
  10. Ferment for 14 days.
  11. Remove weight and lids and transfer to a jar with a tightly closing lid. Store in refrigerator. Enjoy within 1-2 months.


Kale-Scallion (Irish) Sauerkraut

This sauerkraut variation is inspired by ingredients common to Irish cuisine– kale and green onions. We made it around St. Patrick’s Day, so there’s a li’l green theme going, too! Serve with corned beef, on pastrami sandwiches, or enjoy over salads or straight out of the jar!

Kale Scallion Sauerkraut
Recipe type: Fermented vegetable
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: About 2 quarts/2 liters
  • 4 lbs./2 kg green cabbage (about 1½ medium or 2 small heads)
  • 2 Tablespoons/35 mL sea salt
  • 3 scallions (green onions)
  • ½ cup chopped kale (about 3-4 large leaves)
  • 1 tsp./ 5ml caraway seeds
Prep & Season Veg
  1. Clean vegetables to wash dirt off. Remove any dark green tough outer leaves from cabbage and compost or use for another purpose.
  2. Slice a cabbage head in half lengthwise, so that stem keeps each half together. Shred each half into ¼” ribbons using v-slicer, mandoline, or chef’s knife.
  3. Add shredded cabbage to a large mixing bowl. Brine will form as salt draws water from cabbage.
  4. Chop onions into ⅛" slices, discarding the roots/stems. Add to bowl.
  5. Remove spine of larger kale leaves. Roughly chop leaves and add to bowl.
  6. Add caraway seeds.
  7. Squeeze or pound the mixture with clean hands or a kraut pounder for about 5 minutes to break more cell walls and encourage more water to come out of vegetables.
  8. Add mixture to glass jar(s) or a ceramic crock.
  9. Make sure to get every last drop of brine that has formed in bowl!
  10. Pack down contents so that surface is even and submerged in brine.
  1. If using a crock, place an inverted plate that fits inside the diameter. If using jars, add a weight such as a glass bottle filled with water, or even a zip top bag filled with water. Or use small-batch fermentation weights and lids to secure the jar(s).
  2. There should be enough brine to completely cover the contents when weighed down.
  3. If not using fermentation tools, cover container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep out flies and dust. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties or elastic strap. Stash it in a cool, dark place– a cellar, under the stairs, or under the sink in the kitchen.
  1. Check on it every few days. Mold may form on the surface. Remove weight and lid, and wash them with warm soapy water. Scoop out any surface mold, getting as much as you can. Don’t worry if you don’t get it all. Then stir the contents and re-pack the surface. Any residual mold will quickly be killed in the acidic environment of the brine. The contents are safe under the brine.
  2. Cabbage will start to ferment within a few days. It’s up to you how long you want to keep it fermenting. Fermentation time varies with the seasons and the climate.
  3. When taste and texture are to your liking, move to the refrigerator (aka "fermentation pause button"). Sauerkraut will last in the refrigerator several months.


Looking for something more traditional? Try our Slow Sauerkraut recipe.



Cannabis Simple Syrup

Cannabis has been coming back into its rightful and honorable place as sacred plant medicine, after having been outlawed for most of the 20th century in most of the world. It has begun its slide towards decriminalization and/or full legalization (9 states plus DC and counting!) in earnest. To celebrate, we want to provide you with a lovely suggestion on how to enjoy your probiotics and cannabinoids at the same time!

You can use almost any bud, from top-shelf flower to old shake. Edibles like this recipe are a great way to use trim (leaves and stems other than the flower, which still have a good amount of trichomes, the sticky resin which contain the active ingredients). Near zero waste! The syrup I made used some old trim for which I did not know the THC content, so I had to estimate that. [2]

This cannabis-infused syrup can be used as a sweetener for cocktails, a way to relax with a cup of hot tea, or really any recipe calling for sugar, including making a secondary fermented cannabis kombucha!

♪ Just a spoonful of medicine helps the sugar go down! (wait, is that how it goes?) ♫

You can customize the potency of the syrup to your liking. Try out our handy canna-calculator below.

Notes & Assumptions

  • Cannabis is legal in your state or jurisdiction, and/or it is legal for you to consume (you are over 21 and/or have a medical registration card to legally possess).
  • To maximize the effects, decarboxylate cannabis plant matter first (by low roasting) before making edibles with it. This converts THC-A into THC and increases the psychoactive effect significantly. Decarboxylation is not necessary if you are beginning with oil or concentrate.
  • It is believed that extraction efficiency (the rate at which cannabinoids and terpenoids are retained) is 50% for fat-based infusions (THC levels drop from plant form to syrup by 50% during the infusion process). We hold the same assumption for this syrup-based infusion. Calculations incorporate this assumption.[4]


Cannabis Simple Syrup
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 cups/500 ml
  • 12 fl. oz or 375ml (300g by weight) raw organic sugar
  • 12 fl. oz or 375ml filtered water
  • 23ml (1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp.) vegetable glycerin (we like this brand)
  • 13g cannabis trim (assumes 3% THC potency, for 10mg THC per 8 oz. of finished kombucha-- see calculator below to modify potency)
Decarboxylate Cannabis
  1. Preheat oven to 225F.
  2. Spread cannabis on an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Break into small nuggets or roughly chop.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven, let cool.
Create simple syrup
  1. Boil water in a saucepot. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  2. Add decarboxylated cannabis to the pot and stir gently.
  3. Cover and reduce heat. Let simmer 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in vegetable glycerin. Reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat and let mixture cool.
  6. Strain through cheesecloth into a heat proof mixing bowl. Let syrup cool down and drain from solids, about 30 minutes.
  7. Squeeze cheesecloth into a ball to extract last drops of syrup.
  8. Store syrup in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. Lasts up to 3 months.



  1. Cooking with Cannabis: Delicious Recipes for Edibles and Everyday Favorites. Wolf, Laurie.
  2. How to Calculate Edible Potency, keytocannabis.com. Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.

  3. How to calculate THC dosage in recipes for marijuana edibles, thecannabist.co. Accessed Mar. 12, 2018.

  4. Dosing Homemade Cannabis, Cooking with Cannabis, Part 4. Leafly.com

White (Sweet) Miso

Miso is an umami-rich paste made by mixing beans (historically, soybeans), salt, and koji, a grain (usually rice) which has been inoculated and fermented with a mold, Aspergillus oryzae. The flavor and complexity of miso is unmatched even compared to other fermented dishes. It is at once savory, sweet, salty, and powerful.

White miso is lighter and sweeter than its more popular and traditional cousin, red miso (akamiso). That’s due to the shorter fermentation time, and higher ratio of koji (which is carbohydrate rich and produces a sweeter finished product). Many modern commercial white misos are “cooked” rather than fermented, creating a finished product in a matter of days, not weeks.

Aspergillus oryzae under microscope

The easiest way to start making miso is to buy pre-made dried koji, grains (rice or barley) which have been inoculated with the A. oryzae mold culture. Local Asian markets usually carry dried “firm granular” koji. You can also find online merchants like this one.

The making of miso…

White Miso Recipe Calculator


White Miso
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 2 quarts/2 liters
  • 10 oz/ 284g (by weight) dry beans (lentils, chickpeas, adzuki, black beans or other legumes)
  • 1 tub 20 ounces /567g (by weight) dried firm granular koji
  • 2.5 oz/70g (by weight)
  • filtered water
  • (Optional) 1 Tablespoon/15 ml mature miso
  • 2 quart-size or 1 half-gallon or larger glass or ceramic vessel
  • For ceramic crock: jar or wine bottle which fits inside mouth of vessel
  • dish or tea towel
  • rubber bands or twist ties
  • OR Small batch fermentation kit with airlock and weight
  1. [All beans other than lentils] Soak beans in filtered water overnight (up to 24 hours).
  2. Drain beans from soaking liquid. Rinse well.
  3. Bring beans and enough filtered water to cover beans to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
  4. Cook beans for 45 to 60 minutes, or until done.
  5. Drain beans, RESERVING 2 cups/ 600ml of the cooking liquid.
  6. Add beans to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Mash the beans, leaving them somewhat chunky (almost as smooth as refried beans).
  8. Dissolve salt in reserved cooking liquid. Let brine mixture cool to 100°F/38°C or below.
  9. Add mature miso to the brine. Stir until incorporated.
  10. In a separate bowl, add brine and then stir in koji.
  11. Add koji-brine mixture into beans. Mix well.
  12. Pack the vessels with the bean/koji mixture, ensuring there are no air bubbles in the mixture (they can breed bad mold!) Use sauerkraut pounder or tap vessel on a towel or wooden cutting board several times to ensure that any air bubbles in the mixture come to the surface.
  13. Add a weight such as a glass bottle or plate to the top of the mixture. This will weigh it down and allow the tamari to rise to the surface.
  14. Or use small-batch fermentation weights and lids to secure the jar(s).
  15. If not using fermentation tools, cover container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep flies and dust away. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties or elastic strap. Stash it in a cool, dark place– a cellar, under the stairs, or under the sink in the kitchen.
  16. Store it in an unheated space (like the garage) for 4 to 6 weeks.
  1. Carefully unwrap the vessel. Drain the tamari (if any liquid is formed on the top) into another bowl and then into a bottle. Cherish this!
  2. Remove the weight. Scoop out any funky mold from the top surface.
  3. If fermented in a crock, transfer miso into glass jars. To store, use a layer of parchment or wax paper between the metal lid and the lip of the jar (miso corrodes metal).
  4. For longest life, store in the refrigerator.




Kimchi Cheese Dip (“Kim-cheezy”)

Let us not kid ourselves. This ain’t a daily or weekly recipe, folks. It is a super indulgent (yet nutrient-dense) cheese dip, usually made for parties, and it’s a real crowd pleaser.

This recipe demonstrates a great use for older kimchi, which softens and loses its crunchy texture as it ages. I notice the texture of my kimchi start to get soft after about a month and a half in the fridge.

Note that cooking fermented veggies and kefir (above 140F) will kill their probiotic content. But you will still enjoy the digestive enzymes and vitamins in the kimchi; those survive cooking.

Kim-Cheezy Dip
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 1 qt
  • 8 oz./250g (1 brick) cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ lb. (225 g) sour cream (maybe homemade or even kefir sour cream?)
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts (about 8 to 10), drained of brine
  • 4 oz. /125 g (wt) blue cheese, crumbled
  • 4 oz./125 g (wt) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz/125 ml (by vol) kefir
  • ½ cup (by vol) finely chopped kale (about 3 large leaves), any variety
  • ½ cup (125ml) kimchi, any variety
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Blend artichoke hearts and kimchi in a food processor until it reaches a uniform consistency (something like chunky applesauce).
  3. Combine pulsed kimchi mixture and all ingredients except cheddar cheese into a 1 or 2 quart oven safe dish. Stir together with a fork or a potato masher until smooth. It will take some elbow grease to break down the cream cheese. Even out the top of the mixture.
  4. Sprinkle shredded cheddar evenly across top.
  5. Bake in oven 20 minutes.
  6. Turn on broiler to low, and broil another 5 minutes or until cheese on top begins to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Serve with sourdough baguette slices, crackers, sliced veggies, or tortilla or potato chips (cooked in a healthy fat like avocado or coconut oil).
  8. Refrigerate unused portion. Keeps about a week in refrigerator. Reheat before serving.


Recipe references: homemade sour cream , kefir sour cream, traditional kimchi


Umeboshi Hummus

Looking for ways to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet? Middle
East meets Far East in this mashup of hummus with umeboshi.

Umeboshi Hummus
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 3 cups
  • 8 oz./225 g dried chickpeas
  • filtered water
  • ¼ cup plain kombucha or pickle brine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 to 1½ lemons (enough to make 5 Tablespoons freshly squeezed juice)
  • ⅓ cup tahini, stirred well
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 umeboshi, with shiso leaves
  • ¼ cup umeshu (plum vinegar)
  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Add kombucha or pickle brine to soaking water.
  2. The next day, drain, rinse and cook beans on stove, simmering 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Drain cooked beans, and let cool.
  4. Add beans, salt and garlic to the bowl of a food processor. Take it for a spin.
  5. Add lemon juice and umeshu. Take it for another spin.
  6. Remove pits from umeboshi and dice finely, along with shiso leaves.
  7. Add tahini, umeboshi, and shiso. Process until it starts to become smooth.
  8. Drizzle olive oil into food processor while spinning.
  9. Transfer to a bowl and serve. Due to the high protein content, these are relatively perishable (compared to most other recipes on this site!) Will keep for refrigerator for 3 days. It will get funky (NOT in a good way) after that!


First I soaked dried chickpeas overnight and then cooked them.

The base hummus recipe is based on Alton Brown’s “Hummus for real” recipe.

Then I added them to a food processor along with some fresh diced garlic and salt and gave it its first spin. Then I add water and fresh squeezed lemon juice and gave it another spin, then tahini gave it another spin, and then I begin to drizzle olive oil into the food processor.

Now this is where we get to add the umeboshi, a Japanese salted pickled plum dish packed with umami and used to flavor other dishes. It is often fermented a year or longer; this batch was from two years ago. I’ll chop up the plums removing the pits and I also pulled some shiso leaves which fermented along with the plums. Then I add these to the hummus and then give it another spin until it’s incorporated. I tasted it along the way and decided I could add one more plum then I felt like it needed a little more flavor, so I added umeshu, which is the brine that the umeboshi expressed when they were being processed and salted prior to fermentation.