Lacto-Fermented Pickled Asparagus

asparagus spears packed into mason jars

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These lacto-fermented asparagus spears add some spice and a probiotic punch to meals and snacks.


Units Scale

For each quart jar:

  • 33 1/2 pounds of asparagus spears per quart
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice or red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons whey or 1/2 package Cutting Edge Cultures Vegetable Starter Culture
  • Salt water – 2 tablespoons sea salt to one quart water, mix well to dissolve


  1. Clean and trim asparagus so the spears will fit into the jars below the neck of the jar. You want to keep them covered with liquid during fermentation.
  2. Put the spices and garlic cloves into jar, then pack asparagus into jars as tightly as possible. The asparagus spears shrink during pickling and will want to float and pop up out of the liquid.
  3. Once you have the asparagus spears in the jars, pour in the whey or prepared starter culture. Add enough salt water to completely cover the spears. Leave one inch of headspace at the top of the jar. 
  4. As the asparagus ferments, the fermentation produces carbon dioxide. Make sure to cover the jar with an airlock lid, or burp the jar daily to release the CO2. I like packing my spears in with the tops down, so the fermenting weight doesn’t crush the tips.
  5. Keep the asparagus covered during fermentation. Use fermentation weights, or improvise other options.
  6.  Keep the jar of asparagus at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. I keep mine on the kitchen counter under a dishcloth. Allow to ferment for 3 days at room temperature. After three days, cover tightly and move to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.
  7. Keep the finished pickled asparagus refrigerated. You don’t need an airlock in the refrigerator, just a standard lid. The finished pickled asparagus will last for several months.