Fermented Green Sauce

Vegan baked cauloiflower (1)

  Fermented Green Sauce

 I love the way Traditional Chinese Nutrition understands food and how it can nourish or deplete our body and mind.  Fresh coriander is considered warm, pungent, and enters the lung and spleen meridian. It can induce sweating and promote digestion, and help with stomach aches, directing the Qi downward. Some recent studies have indicated strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity and even helping to reduce blood sugar. Use it daily when in season and nourish yourself.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups finely chopped fresh coriander (use the whole herb)

½ cup toasted hulled sunflower seeds or sesame (any nut will do too!)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2-4 cloves garlic, peeled, pressed and chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon (1-2 Tablespoons)

1 teaspoon Himalayan salt or 2-3 teaspoons Shiro sweet white or Kome rice miso to taste

½ package extra-firm silken tofu (170 grams ) blanched and drained

1 teaspoon brine juice from sauerkraut (optional)

water as needed to adjust the texture

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Method

1. Press garlic on a paper bag, chop and let sit for 5 minutes.

2.  Process the sunflower seeds till finely chopped. Then add the coriander, cumin, garlic, lemon or lime zest and juice, salt, brine or miso, and tofu and blend until smooth and creamy. Add water as desired.

3. Serve under, over, or with any vegetable, noodle, or grain dish.

4. Will last 1-2 weeks in a glass container refrigerated.

  • Pressing garlic on a paper bag can help remove some of the strong oils that upset sensitive stomachs

Here I served the Green Sauce with my Cauliflower supreme, Udon noodles, and Bokchoy for lunch.

Can be used as a vegetable sauce, pasta or noodle sauce, or even as a spread on bread or as a dip with crackers.

Vegan Cauliflower & Greens

 

Cauliflower Supreme

Vegan Cauliflower bake1

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 2 Tbsp. Shawarma* or curry powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Marcea’s North African Spice Paste
  • 2 tsp maple syrup or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt as needed

 

*Shawarma

Middle Eastern Street Food Spice Blend

Use it on anything.

  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp cardamom (or cloves)
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2tsp ground ginger
  • 2tsp smoked paprika
  • 2Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Method for Shawarma

  1. Add all the spices to a small jar and shake or stir to combine. Will keep at room temperature for several months.

   

Marcea’s North African Spice Paste

This spice blend is ideal for seasoning things like roasted vegetables, tofu, tempeh, fish, beans and more!

 

  • 4 Tbsp. chopped ginger root
  • 1Tbsp (heaping) cumin seeds or ground
  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 1tsp caraway seeds
  • 4cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp Himalayan salt or 1 Tbsp. Shiro or Kome miso to taste
  • 2Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste or pasta sauce
  • 1/4cup olive oil

      Method for North African Spice Paste

  1. Chop ginger root. If your using whole spices then toast them to bring up the flavour until fragrant.
  2. . Then just add to a food processor and crush into a fine powder.
  3. Next add caraway seeds, minced garlic, smoked paprika, and salt, and mix. Add lemon juice and vinegar and process or blend again until you’ve achieved a paste and then add the tomato paste.
  4. Stream in the olive oil to create a smooth sauce. If using miso blend in here. Add more water if needed to get the desired consistency that you want.
  5. If it’s not spicy enough at this point, you can either add some chilli or more ginger root.
  6. Scoop extra paste into a jar to store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. If storing in the freezer, scoop into an ice cube tray, freezing, and storing in a freezer-safe container up to 2 months. Add cubes directly to warm foods (like stews or cooked sauces). If adding to cold foods (like dressings or dips), let thaw before adding.

Method for putting it all together

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Also fill a small baking pan halfway with water and set on the floor (bottom) of the oven. This will provide steam to help the cauliflower cook more evenly.
  2. Rinse and dry the head of cauliflower and carefully cut off the bottom stalk without removing too much of the core. You want the entire head intact for baking. Peel away any remaining green leaves and place in a cast-iron skillet (i lov
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, water, spice paste, shawarma, maple syrup, and salt or miso.  Add more liquid to adjust texture. Taste and adjust flavor if you feel it needs it.

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  1. Flip your cauliflower upside down and pour or spoon on most of  the sauce. Let the sauce pour down the core, shake it around so it infuses the centre, and then flip the cauliflower over and use a brush to coat the leftover sauce (including any that seeped into the pan) all over the outside of the cauliflower for maximum flavour.

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  1. Place cauliflower core-side down before baking.
  2. Place skillet ( I like solidtechnics cast iron cookware)  in oven and bake for 35-50 minutes (depending on size of cauliflower) or until a knife easily pierces the core. If you prefer softer cauliflower, then bake longer. For cauliflower with a little bite reduce the baking time.
  3. To brown the outside more, increase heat to high and bake 2-4 more minutes, watching carefully as not to burn.

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4. Remove from oven and serve with quinoa, vegetables, ferments and anything else you want. I served it with some quinoa, pumpkin, red and white cabbage sauerkraut, celery, sauteed kale and chickpeas and a green vegetable sauce (see ….)

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Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until hot.

 

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup

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Do you ever have one of those moments when you just don’t know what your going to serve for dinner after a busy day? I opened up the cupboard and there staring me in the face was a can of organic chickpeas. On the counter was a pumpkin, onions and it was  getting later and later. Then it all fell together, Took out the spices, whatever you have will do just fine,  onions sweet potato and the other ingredients and a sweet and spicy soup with sweet potato, coconut milk, and yellow curry powder practically cooked itself.. Creamy and smooth with a slight crunch and heartiness from spicy baked chickpeas satisfied my hunger and cravings at the same time – spicy, smooth and creamy.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium white onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 large sweet potato (cubed)
  • 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle (or cayenne) powder*
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups almond or coconut milk

Spicy Chickpeas

  • 1 ½ cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 pinch ginger powder (or cayenne) powder

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  2. Heat a deep pot. Add the oil and sauté the onions over medium heat in 1/2 Tbsp olive or coconut oil Cook for a few minutes and then add garlic and stir.

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  1. Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and stir (amount salt/pepper as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Add sweet potatoes, curry powder, and stir.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

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  1. Add 1/4 tsp more salt and pepper and the milk Then cover.
  2. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes more.
  3. In the meantime, prep your chickpeas by tossing them in olive oil and spices and spreading evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. Remove and set aside for serving.

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  1. At the end of 25 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. If using miso add it before blending. Then puree Transfer back to the pot if needed and keep heat on low until ready to serve.

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  1. Will keep in the fridge for several days and the freezer for a month or so.
  • Add Kome miso to taste and top with basil and ferments!

 

 

Sweet Potato Latkes

latkes 1

Growing up in NYC, these were part of my weekly yummy Jewish meals, especially in the colder months around  Christmas and Hanukah.    I have kept the tradition and just changed the topping from applesauce or sauerkraut which we had in the winter to berries and other summer fruits, to mark Christmas  “Down Under“. Hope you enjoy!

Berry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raspberries, or other berries fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon rice honey or maple syrup to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • pinch of salt or 1/2 teaspoon Shiro miso

Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. You may need to add some extra water to help it combine.2. Pour mixture into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and stir until thickened, about 3-5 minutes.
  2. Serve with latkes.3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week. It can also be used as a jam on bread or other desserts.

Sweet Potato Latkes

Ingredients

  • 3 cups sweet potatoes * 450 gr. (1 pound) , peeled and shredded with a box grater or a food processor
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion or shallots
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 eggs or flaxseed egg substitute **
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour (any kind is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • ½ cup olive or sesame oil

* If you prefer, you can use regular potatoes instead

Flax egg

  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal (ground raw flaxseed)

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp water

  • Add flaxseed meal and water to a dish and stir. Let rest for 5 minutes to thicken. Add to recipes in place of 1 egg  (triple for this recipe)
  • It’s not an exact 1:1 substitution in every recipe because it doesn’t bind and stiffen during baking quite like an egg does.

Method

  1. Peel and grate the potatoes and combine with diced onions. Save peels and toss with oil and salt and bake for chips.
  2. Then, using cheesecloth or a paper towel, squeeze and remove all the moisture from the potatoes if necessary.
  3. Combine potatoes, onion, garlic, eggs, flour, and salt together in a bowl.
  4. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add some of the oil and continue to heat. You know it is hot enough when you drop a bit of the latkes batter and it starts to sizzle.
  5. Drop large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the oil, and flatten them down to form ½ inch patties. Brown on one side, and then flip and brown the other. Continue till all cooked adding oil as needed.
  6. Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
  1. Serve with berry sauce and/or sauerkraut ***or other fermented vegetables

Winter Sweet Pot Pancakes (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banana Nut Breakfast Cookies

Cookies banana1

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 2 ½ Tbsp. water
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1-2 teaspoons unpasteurized Shiro (white) miso to taste
  • 2 Tbsp  coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • 1/2  cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (ground from raw almonds)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ cup goji berries or any chopped dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup  grated dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao)
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free dark chocolate or carob chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  2. In a large bowl combine flaxseed and water and let rest for 5 minutes to achieve “eggy” texture.
  3. Mash in the bananas until well combined, and then add peanut butter, miso, baking powder, baking soda, melted coconut oil, agave nectar, salt, vanilla and stir.
  4. Add oats, almond meal, oat flour and mix well.

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5.Add the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir until well combined. Refrigerate for 5 minutes to harden.

6.Drop the batter by spoonfuls on a lightly greased baking sheet – they won’t expand much. Try to make them as uniform in size as possible to ensure even baking.

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7. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden brown.

8. Let rest on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

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9. After completely cooled, store in an air-tight container to keep fresh for up to a few days. Refrigerate or freeze for even longer storage time

Cookies Banana 2

 

Fermented Radish, Cauliflower, and Coriander Brine Vegetables

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Ingredients

  • Sliced cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, beets or radishes cut into 1cm chunks (just enough to fit in a litre jar)
  • Capsicums, onions, or garlic to season
  • A few sprigs of parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, or any other herb you have
  • A couple of grape leaves or black tea (to keep them crunchy)
  • 1 litre of warm filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons sea or Himalayan salt

Brine veg.

Method

1. Combine water and sea salt, stir well and set aside.

2. Add a few pinches of herbs and the vegetables of your choice along with the onion, garlic and fresh herbs like coriander or parsley, oregano, thyme to the bottom of a jar.

fer. ingred brine

3.Fill the jar halfway up with chunks of vegetables. Add a bit more herbs and seasonings and fill the jar with more slices up to 2.5cm below the rim.

4. Pour salt-water brine over the vegetables. At this point, you want to weigh the vegetables down in order for it to remain below the level of the brine to ferment evenly. (I like to use a narrow glass weight, long strips of carrots, a sterlised rock, or a smaller glass jar filled with water that fits into my wide-mouth litre jar.  Just press it down until enough brine covers everything in the jar. 

5. Cover tightly with the lid. (if using a glass jar you can use cheesecloth or a towel to cover.  Allow to sit at room temperature, ideally between 15-26 degrees. Check your jars and burp or open them every few days by loosening the lid and allowing some gas to escape. You will also see bubbles rise as the fermentation takes place which is perfectly normal.

6. Allow the vegetables to ferment 5 – 7days, depending on the temperature. Smell and taste and when you think they are ready, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.

NTP Califlower pickle

 

Fermented Indian Sauerkraut

This is by far my favourite sauerkraut in the cooler weather. As a child, we only ate sauerkraut with caraway seeds in the winter and kosher dill pickles with garlic and dill in the summer and autumn time. I must say I prefer the sour taste with a bit of a kick, and the spices do the job.

Turmeric, garlic, mustard seeds, ginger- all into the jar they go and each time the flavour is a bit different but that’s what I love about making your own ferment. Sometimes I let it ferment for 2, 3 or even 4 weeks, and each time the flavour is different. Left in the fridge for months, it keeps on fermenting and the bacteria gets more and more diversified and better for your immune system. What a fantastic transformation to observe and devour.

ferment T. kraut brine

Indian Turmeric Kraut

Ingredients

  • 850-900 grams cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup sliced red radish or daikon (white radish)
  • 6 spring onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 grated apple
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (black or yellow, I use a mixture of both)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon wakame or dulse sea vegetable
  • salt (2% of the weight of all the vegetables)

 Method

  1. Weigh all of the vegetables and then weigh the salt. Slice the cabbage and grate the carrots and apple. Chop the spring onions, radish and crush the garlic. Keep all the vegetables separate.

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2. Mix all the spice ingredients together (except the salt) in a large bowl.

3. Combine the cabbage, apple, radish and carrots into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the salt and knead to release the juices. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

Fer. Grate

4. Press into a 1 litre jar. Be sure that the mixture is at least 2.5 cm/one inch below the top of the jar. The brine should cover the vegetables when you press it down. Cover with an outside cabbage leaf and place a heavy-weight on top such as a sterilized rock, a smaller jar with water that fits into the larger jar, or glass weight.

Fer. squeeze

5. Cover tightly, set aside out of direct sunlight for at least 4-5 days If using a jar inside of a jar, cover with cheesecloth. Have a look every few days to see if the brine has risen. If there are any bubbles, remove them.

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6. If using a sealed jar, check your jar and burp it by releasing the lid and screw it back on quickly. Taste and if not sour enough, continue to ferment. Put it in the fridge when ready.

* In the winter it will take at least 2-3 weeks. Release the lid every few days as needed. After it has achieved the desired taste transfer the Indian Kraut to the fridge.

If you see any foam or beige on the top of the kraut just remove it. It is not harmful.

 

Fermented Chickpea Wraps

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I have a love affair with Chickpeas and especially chickpea flour. It’s so versatile I use it for sauces, to thicken a soup, fritters, and even in savoury muffins. It’s actually used in Europe as a traditional flatbread as it picks up the taste from the fillings and toppings that you use.

I try to ferment almost anything–most vegetables, fruits, grain and bean products whatever will create healthy flora for our gut biome and make it easier to absorb is a bonus to help digest the food that I eat. 

Play around with seasonal toppings and fillings. For summertime, try avocado, rocket, hummus & fresh greens. For wintery warming, load it up with lightly sauteed greens, chopped roasted vegetables, refried beans, herbs and spices.  Virtually anything that you have in the fridge that you want to re-use just warm up with some different herbs and spices and create a whole new taste sensation.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan, chana)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • oil for frying

Method

1. Mix the chickpea flour and water thoroughly in a bowl. Stir through the spices then cover with a tea-towel, clean cloth or wrap.

2. Leave for 24-48 hours. I usually add 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of chickpea flour every day to feed it but you don’t have to do that. In warm weather, you’ll find it ferments fairly quickly, sending a few bubbles to the surface.

3. When the batter is ready, mix through the salt, and decide how you want to cook it:

4. For little bites, heat the oven to 175C and oil the muffins cups well,  pour about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into each hole. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The batter will start to pull away from the edges and may go a little golden.

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5. For bigger pancakes heat a large skillet, (cast iron is best )add a little oil and rub it into the cast-iron skillet, (if using stainless steel don’t rub it in)  Then pour in enough batter to thinly cover the base of your pan. Cook over a medium heat, pile some toppings on top while the batter is still wet and let it cook through.

 

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Fermented Spicy Fruit

Fruit Ferment 1

Ingredients

  • 2 – 3 cups peeled, pitted chopped seasonal fruit
  • 1/4 cup nuts
  • ⅓ cup sultanas or other dried fruit
  • 1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or another sweetener
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 5 mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 – 3 unpeeled lemon wedges, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon grated ginger juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt to taste
  • 1 – 1.5 cups filtered or boiled water as needed
  • Orange slices

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit 15-20 minutes.
  2. Scoop it into a litre jar pressing with a spoon to compact it and bring up the juices so that it covers the fruit. Add more water here if necessary.
  3. Cover the mixture with slices of ginger or orange to hold down any floating fruit. Place a glass weight on top if you have one.
  4. Cover with a lid, tightly and place on a plate to catch any juices that might escape from the jar.
  5. Ferment on a counter away from drafts or direct sunlight for 2-3 days. Unscrew the lid to let the CO2 escape. Taste and if you think it is fermented enough, move it to the fridge if not put the lid back on and ferment a few days longer.
  6. It will last 1-2 weeks before turning into a more alcoholic brew.

Fruit ferment 2

Pickled Eggs, Beetroot, and Onions

Fer. Eggs Finished

 

 There is nothing quite like a group of women gathered around the kitchen bench for a day of fermenting vegetables mixed with lots of laughter and stories. Last year we did this in one of my cooking workshops; it was a cool winter day and we preceded to wash, cook, chop, slice, press, mash and stuff jars with all sorts of edibles.

These quick pickled eggs with onion and beetroot were pickled in apple cider vinegar which is high in acetic acid. Like other acids, acetic acid can increase your body’s absorption of important minerals from the foods you eat. 

Foods like these that are pickled have been preserved in an acidic medium. In the case of various types of pickles you find on the shelves of shops, the pickling comes from vinegar. These vegetables, however, are not fermented (even though vinegar itself is the product of fermentation) and hence do not offer the probiotic and enzymatic value of homemade wild fermented vegetables.

 We also used beet juice, so that the eggs whites turn a beautiful fuchsia pink. You can see for yourself they really are a show stopper.  The longer you keep the eggs in the pickling liquid, the deeper it penetrates into the eggs.   

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2-1 cup water (use more if the water level doesn’t cover the other ingredients)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 tablespoon whole allspice or cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 medium beets, untrimmed and unpeeled
  • 1 medium onion sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4-5 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled

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Method

  1. Wash the beets and trim the stems, leaving about 1 inch of stem. Place in a pot, cover with water and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the beets are just tender. Drain, cool, and peel them. Reserve the beetroot juice.
  2. Combine the sugar, vinegar, beet juice or water, sea salt, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and cool.
  4. Place the onions, beets and hard-boiled eggs in a large jar.
  5. Pour the vinegar mixture over the eggs in the jar, covering the eggs completely. Cover tightly with a lid and allow it to cool.
  6. Store in the refrigerator 2-4 weeks.   
  7. The pickled eggs will be ready to eat after a few days. The longer the eggs sit in the pickling juice, the more the pickling juice will penetrate the eggs. 

Ferm. Eggs 1