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Once you've got bánh mì pickles in the fridge, you've got banh mi fixins anytime!

It’s a book title and more than a suggestion: Ferment Your Vegetables, by blogger and author Amanda Feifer, is one of our favorite back-to-basics guides on all things pickled, fermented and cured. If you’ve got cabbage just itching to become something more, cucumbers that yearn for a brighter, tarter future, or any other vegetable just bursting with sour potential, this is the book for you. 

Although “bánh mì actually means “bread” in Vietnamese, in the U.S., the term generally refers to the delightful sandwich that perfectly aligns many wonderful flavors and textures. Unsurprisingly, my favorite part of a bánh mì sandwich is the pickled mix of daikon and carrot that provides texture, moisture, and loads of flavor. This fermented version is nontraditional, with less sweetness and more flavor than the typical blend found in sandwich shops. If you want the sweeter version on your sandwich, toss the finished pickles with two teaspoons of sugar per cup just before serving.

Although washing vegetables in cool water is great, peeling vegetables for fermentation is a no-no. The majority of the bacteria necessary for fermentation live on the skins of vegetables. A peeled vegetable may fail to ferment, or it may ferment extraordinarily slowly, leading to issues with texture or mold.

Reprinted with permission from Ferment Your Vegetables