Bespoke HarvestBespoke Harvest

Fermented daikon radish & pickled octopus salad


1.5kg Daikon radish
2 medium beetroot
30gm salt
1 1/2 Tbs Light Soy
1 ½ Tbs Fish Sauce
2Tbs rice wine
4 spring onions
5 garlic cloves
5 cm ginger
5 coriander root
¼ cup oil
750gm octopus tentacle cleaned
2 tbs  pomegranate molasses
4tbs red wine vinegar
1tsp salt
¼ cup blended vegetable oil
Vietnamese mint and coriander to finish


The ferment will take from 7-10 days.

Chop finely or grate the daikon and beetroot and place in large mixing bowl, sprinkle the salt over the vegetables and mix thoroughly and leave sit for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. The salt will draw out moisture from the vegetables creating a brine which inhibits the growth of bad bacteria and only allows lactobacillus to go to work hence the term Lacto fermentation. It allows the vegetables to ferment whilst preventing certain enzymes from breaking down the vegetables and letting it retain its crunch.

After 10 minutes squeeze as much juice from the vegetables and pack tightly into your fermenting crock or a nice big round glass jar will do perfectly. Once all the vegetables are packied into your jar, pour your brine liquid over the top making sure that the vegetables are fully submerged under the liquid, a weight is sometimes necessary.

Cover your jar or crock with muslin cloth and make sure its fixed tight with a “lacka band “

The fermentation process is a personal preference I like to ferment for 7-10 days as it allows the vegetables to retain some of its former integrity but if you prefer your ferments to be fizzy and acidic try 2-3 weeks.

For the octopus tentacle once you have cleaned up your tentacles place each in its own freezer bag with 1tbs of pomegranate molasses 2tbs redwine vinegar, ¼ tsp salt and half the oil in each bag. Squeeze all the air out of the bag and tie a not in the top. Place into a medium pot ¾ full with water that is at a simmer and cook for 3 hours.

Once cooked place into a bucket of iced water to bring down to temperature quickly and place in the fridge until needed.

Kim chi Dressing, place all the ingredients into food processor or use a stick blender to puree the mix this can take a couple of minutes.

Once you have your fermented vegetables take 500gms and place in a bowl, add chopped octopus tentacle 4-5 tbs of kim chi dressing (more if you like it strong) and ½ cup each of freshly chopped Vietnamese mint and coriander serve evenly between 6 bowls for a light starter or 4 if serving as a main, you could also add some chopped cashews for a nice crunch.

I have purposely made the kimchi dressing and fermented vegetable recipe for way more than is needed as they are two jobs you don’t always want to do in a hurry they keep for weeks and are great to experiment with other dishes.