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Purple Pak Dong

A thai fermented cabbage, carrots and spices.
Prep Time25 mins
Servings: 24
Author: Amanda Nicole Smith


  • 1 red cabbage
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup beets; shredded
  • 1/2 cup unrefined cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup red onion or shallot
  • 1/4 cup sesame seed
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp spices; *see notes


  • Peel off an outside cabbage leaf to use for pressing the veggies down later.
  • Quarter the cabbage, slice them into thin ribbons and then slice in half again.
  • Shred the carrots with the grating tool on a food processor or with a handheld grater.
  • Dice the garlic and onions.
  • Put the cabbage and salt in a large bowl and start to crunch the cabbage with your hands. The cabbage will start releasing it's juices and will get a bit softer. I like to top off the jar with extra water if needed.
  • Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Tightly pack the veggies into a half gallon mason jar.
  • Add the piece of cabbage leaf you saved from earlier, push down everything below the juices.
  • Top off with extra water if needed.
  • Put a lid on top, you may need to "burp" it from time to time.
  • Leave your jars in a slightly warm area, around 65-75 degrees, let nature do it's thing.
  • Check up on it, you should see air bubbles coming to the surface. That's a good thing! You should not see mold, green, white, blue, brown or really any color that isn't normal. If it looks or smells off toss it and try again.
  • You can taste it after the 3rd day to see at what stage of fermentation your tastebuds prefer.
  • The yeasty flavor will subside only after being kept in the refrigerator.
  • After you hit the right amount of sourness desired, put your jars in the refrigerator. Normally I wait about 3 days but you can eat it at anytime. It's fun tasting the vast differences from start to finish to refrigerator.


*Spices; fennel, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, cardamom, peppercorn, and onion powder.
I put these spices in an old pepper grinder, and grate about a 1/4 tsp and mix it in with almost a tbsp onion powder.
I recommend playing around with different spices, to see what you like!