Podcast Guest’s Recipes: Alex Lewin’s Fermented Carolina-Style Slaw


  • 1 lb. green cabbage
  • 1 large onion (red, yellow, or white)
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1⁄2 apple (optional)
  • 1⁄4 lb. celery root, or 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 4 tsp sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup honey (or less, if you have included an apple)
  • 6 tbsp oil (a mixture of sesame, coconut, and olive oils works well)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 piece ( 1⁄3 inch) ginger root, peeled and grated (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Large cutting board (wood is ideal)
  • Large knife (a chef’s knife is ideal)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 2 mason jars (1 pint each) or similar glass jars with tight-fitting lids
  • Colander or strainer


  1. Thinly slice the cabbage,onion,and bell pepper.
  2. Cut the carrots into coins.
  3. Grate the apple, if using, and celery root, if using.
  4. In a large bowl, sprinkle the cabbage with sea salt and toss well
  5. Allow the mixture to stand for 10 minutes, then gently massage cabbage until a light brine forms.
  6. Add the peppers, onion, apples, and celery root and toss to combine.
  7. Pack the vegetable mixture into a mason jar, pressing firmly down to remove air bubbles and keep the brine level above the surface of the vegetables.
  8. Secure the top of the jar with a fermentation airlock and set on the counter to ferment at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for about a week, or until the desired level of sourness is reached.
  9. Once the vegetables are fermented, drain them in a colander set over a mixing bowl and press the liquid out with your hands, reserving the liquid.
  10.  Combine 1⁄2 cup  of the liquid with the honey, oil, dry mustard, and ginger, and mix well with a fork, whisk, or blender. Add salt and pepper, or additional kraut liquid as needed. The leftover fermentation liquid can be saved to mix with oil and spices to use as a salad dressing. It’s also excellent all by itself, as a shot in the morning, or before meals, to stimulate digestion.
  11.  Mix the dressing into the slaw mixture to taste and season with salt and pepper if desired and serve at room temperature.

This recipe was provided by Alex Lewin. Alex writes the blog Feed Me Like You Mean It. He’s the author Real Food Fermentation and Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond, which he co-authored with Raquel Guajardo. His books provide photos and simple recipes for fermented foods and drinks, respectively. Alex also serves on the advisory board of The Fermentation Association and is an advisor to Dr. Hops Real Hard Kombucha.

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