Have you ever made a batch of kimchi or kraut that just came out too salty? Maybe you changed measuring spoons, switched brands of salt or followed a new recipe written by someone who just doesn’t share your taste preferences. That always bums me out. There are ways to avoid it (always use the same salt and weigh rather than measure, never switch measuring spoons, etc), but sometimes it just happens. It’s not the end of the world, either. Most overly salted things can be served in small portions with larger portions of unsalted food (rice/grains, salad, eggs, etc) and you’ll never notice. You can also mix in some fresh (unsalted) veggies and let it ferment for another few days to a week. The texture will be uneven, but the saltiness will be diminished.
My new favorite thing to do with over-salted ferments is to turn them into seasoning. Lots of people dehydrate their fermented vegetables and you can get a nice crispy snack out of them that way. There are a couple things I don’t love about dehydrated ferments, though. First, and this may just be a personal thing, I would rather just eat my ferments hydrated most of the time, so it’s not really worth the effort for me. Secondly, the vegetables are incredibly salty once you’ve sucked out the balancing and bulking water element. That’s actually what gave me this idea. If they’re already going to be salty, why not use them as you would salt?
I definitely do this with ferments that have a perfect salt level. It’s still fun and definitely still tasty. It also works well for ferments that have gone a bit soft in the back of the fridge. My very favorite version of this is the one pictured; the one I make with pesto-chi. But there are no bad choices here. Krauts of all kinds, kimchis and pickles of all varieties lend themselves to this process.
If you dehydrate below 110°F (43.3° C), you’ll keep the probiotic bacteria alive (although they won’t be active until the have access to some liquid again). If not, you’ll just be making something super tasty to sprinkle over pasta and soup or use as a meat rub.