Fermented Red Jalapeño Salsa

It has been awhile since I’ve made a fermented salsa. A homemade salsa usually gets eaten the same day it is prepared or shortly thereafter, but when there is an abundance of ingredients for a larger batch of salsa a short period of fermentation can significantly lengthen its refrigerator life. This is especially meaningful with an ingredient like cilantro which would normally deteriorate rapidly.

There are probiotic health benefits to fermentation as well. The health tradeoff is the amount of salt needed to provide a proper environment for fermentation and preservation. Whey can be used to introduce good bacteria and promote fermentation, lessoning the amount of salt needed.

For fresh ingredients in this salsa I used chopped ripe jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, garlic and cilantro. Before adding the ingredients to the bowl I set the bowl on the weigh scale and set the needle to zero in order to calculate the amount of salt.

ripe jalapeños

fermented salsa




To the chopped veggies I added the juice of half a lime, 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar and coarse sea salt (slightly less than 2 % of the weight of the other ingredients).

fermented salsa

fermented salsa

fermented salsa

fermented salsa


At this point we have what is known as “Pico de Gallo.” This could be fermented as it is, but for more of a salsa consistency I plunged the hand blender a few times rendering it partly blended / partly chunky.

fermented salsa


This could, of course, be enjoyed now as a fresh salsa, and indeed I did enjoy eating what wouldn’t fit in the jar. The jar was left loosely capped on the counter to ferment overnight and much of the next day before being refrigerated. This salsa could keep in the refrigerator for a month or more if not used up by then, which, I assure you, it will be!

fermented salsa

fermented salsa

fermented salsa



14 thoughts on “Fermented Red Jalapeño Salsa

    1. This is a lactobacillus type of fermentation as in the making of yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha etc. The difference in flavor from fresh salsa is more saltiness, a bit more tartness and a more developed blending of flavors.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I know zip about fermentation, apart from the yogurt I have been making for nearly 60 years, but wonder if the whey that seeps out of the yogurt after the curd is broken would be useful to ferment a fruit or vegetable dish.

    Virtual hugs,


    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yogurt whey is a good way to kickstart vegetables fermenting. Lactobacillus and other good bacteria are naturally present on the skins of fruits and vegetables, and the saline environment promotes their growth while inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria. Less salt is needed when whey is used to introduce good bacteria.

      Liked by 2 people

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