Recipe: Fermented Taqueria-Inspired Carrots  

Inspired by common condiments found at Mexican taquerias, these tangy and spicy fermented carrots can add some zing to just about anything.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Stephanie Thurow

We enjoy fermented carrots as a delicious condiment to top of tacos or nachos. We also use scoop it generously over pulled pork and chicken, and stir it into scrambled eggs. The ways to use fermented carrots are endless. 

Yield: 1 pint jar 


  • 1.5 cups carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch coins 
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced 
  • 3 jalapeños, sliced (or hotter pepper of choice) 
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 tbsp. coarse kosher salt, dissolved in 2 cups water 


Wash and scrub carrots, trim off the ends. No need to peel. The skin on the carrots will aid in the fermentation process.  

Prepare the remaining ingredients and add all to a clean pint-sized jar.  

Mix the brine and pour it over the produce, covering the carrot mixture by at least 1/2 inch. Leave at least 1 inch of headspace so that the ferment has room to bubble without overflowing.  

If you have a small fermentation jar weight, add it to the jar to hold down the produce under the brine. Remove any small pieces of food that float up to the top of the brine, as anything above the brine will increase the risk of mold and ultimately the ferment spoiling.

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Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean dampened towel. Add the canning jar lid and tightly screw on the ring. 

Read more: Here’s what you need to know to get started with lacto-fermentation.


These fermented carrots are a seven-to-10-day ferment. Ferment at room temperature, ideally between 60 and 75 degrees F (15 to 23 degrees C) and keep out of direct sunlight. 

Check on the ferment daily to make sure the brine is covering all the produce. If any produce has floated above the brine level, use a clean utensil to push it back below the brine or scoop it out.  

Burp the jar daily. Unscrew the lid briefly and tighten it back on to allow any built-up gas to release (and avoid possible jar breakage or the ferment from overflowing). 

Once fermentation is complete, transfer the jar into the refrigerator, with the brine and all. 

Fermentation does not stop once the ferment is transferred to the refrigerator, however it does slow the process way down. The taste and texture will continue to change, therefore this ferment is best enjoyed within 12 months. 

Side Notes 

If you do not have a glass jar weight, you can improvise by using an easily removable small food-grade glass dish that fits inside the jar. Or, if you have a smaller glass canning jar that can fit into the mouth of the jar you are fermenting with, you can use that to keep the produce pushed under the brine. 

If you are unsure if your water is safe for fermentation, you can boil it and allow it to cool to room temperature before stirring in the salt to make your brine. 

You may substitute fine sea salt instead of coarse kosher salt if you prefer. The measurement will remain the same for this recipe. 

Consider adding additional herbs to change the flavor of the pickles. Pack them in the bottom of the jar, under the carrots, to assist in holding them down under the brine. 

Through fermentation, the brine will become cloudy and you may see white sediment appear at the bottom of the jar or on the carrots. This is a normal part of the fermentation process. 

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