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Csalamádé is as varied as people are. My grandmother made fermented csalamádé, but then she treated it with borkénpor, stuff I don’t have access to. Other cooks pack csalamádé in jars and refrigerate them. They are probably good for many months, but I don’t have that kind of space in my fridge.

In this method, the hot water bath kills off the yeast that would ferment the vegetables and substitutes the yeast action with a brine. Whatever is your preference, the brine can be mildly sour or stronger. It is important to process the bottles for 30 minutes in a hot water bath to kill off all the yeast. My large dutch oven takes 3 bottles at a time. If you have canning jars that have been around for a few years, start the processing in cold water and wait for 15 minutes before removing the bottles from the hot bath. Sudden temperature change can break older bottles. 

Vegetable Mix:
1 large green cabbage, sliced
4 cups of sliced pickling cucumbers
4 bell peppers, any colour, chopped
4 very large carrots, sliced
8 green tomatoes, sliced
2 medium sized onions, sliced
2 tsp pickling salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 Tbsp peppercorns
1 tsp mustard seeds

vegetable juice [from salting the vegetables]
4 cups water
1-1/2 cups vinegar
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp pickling salt

  • Wash the vegetables thoroughly and slice.
  • Place in a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle with pickling salt, caraway seeds, peppercorns and the mustard seed. 
  • Toss and let stand for 1 hour.
  • Squeeze the juice out of the vegetables, reserving the juice and the spices.
  • Pack the sterilized bottles with the vegetables 3/4 way up.
  • To make the brine, place the reserved vegetable juice in a pot. 
  • Add the water, vinegar and the seasonings.
  • Taste the brine; it should be pleasantly sour. This is a personal taste. You increase the water or vinegar or add more salt or sugar to suit personal preference.
  • Bring the brine to the boil.
  • Boil for 3 minutes.
  • Pour the hot brine in the bottles, leaving a generous head space.
  • Wipe the rims and place the softened lids on top.
  • Cap the bottles and place them in a canner or a large pot.
  • Fill the canner with cold water, and bring to a boil.
  • Process the jars for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the canner from the heat.
  • Wait for 15 minutes before removing the bottles from the hot bath. Sudden temperature change can break older bottles. 


  1. borkénpor => kálium metabisulfit => K2S2O5 => Potassium metabisulfite => potassium pyrosulfite is readily available from wine making supply stores. You can also order it on-line, i.e.

    1. Anonymous20.9.16

      When do you add the bokenpor and how much do you add?

    2. To Anonymous,
      The way I remember my grandma would fill the bottle sprinkle a small tsp on the top.

  2. Wonderful post, Zsuzsa... my former husband would have loved these. Peter says no.

    1. I have great memories eating this. My husband doesn't like it either. :-)

  3. I don't can anymore, but I still like making single, small batches. I can easily see reducing the ingredients for 1 jar of these. I just love pickled veggies and these look great!

    1. In that case why not make it the old fashioned way, fermented, and just keep it in the fridge? Fermented vegetable pickles are out of this world.

  4. I'd love to see a post of how you serve this, what's the portion size, and what dishes does it compliment?

    best... mae at

    1. It is a pickle product so you would serve it much like sauerkraut, pickled beets, pickled peppers etc.

  5. Hi Zsuzsa. I wan't to make a small batch of this the old fashioned way. Do i just use the brine to cover the veggies and then keep the jars in the fridge? How long does the fermentation take?

    1. I am sorry, but that would be a different recipe.

  6. Anonymous10.6.16

    I have recently found your blog and I love it!!! As a first generation Canadian, my mother insisted I focus more on my studies than on cooking. While I can make some basic things (I do make a mean wiener schnitzel and turos gomboc!), I have been craving other dishes lately and this blog fits the bill. When I was in Hungary a few years ago, I was served pickled watermelon and I cannot find a recipe for it anywhere .... Would you happen to have one?

    1. Sorry, I hate pickled watermelon.




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