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. 

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