We Can Phickle That! – Ginger Carrot Pickles

Carrots and ginger

Carrot swizzle sticks in the making

I know I don’t always give you the most traditional combinations in my pickles.  There may have been a cumin, basil, beet pickle, a mustardy rhubarb pickle and some minty turnips in my past.  But today I bring you a totally solid standard of a fermented pickle: gingery carrots.  Now don’t let their status as common pickle type fool you: these guys are amazing.  Zingy, pretty and, of course, loaded with flavor, I highly recommend them.

Most of the ginger/carrot pickles I’ve seen have been done slaw-style, and that is a completely valid option that requires no brine, just salt.  But as with almost all my pickles, I like them in bigger pieces.  My main reasons for that are aesthetics and flexibility.  I like the big pieces because they look like any other kind of pickled vegetable which is to say pretty and tempting.  I also like them because they give me the option to chop them into smaller bits later, if the occasion calls for it.  If I get my hands on big, sweet carrots, I’ll sometimes cut them into long, thick strips and ferment them in a half-gallon jar.  Those make excellent swizzle sticks.  It is possible I enjoy a bloody mary (or bloody carry or bloody kim) from time to time.

Carrot and ginger sticks

If you have the time and interest, you could totally make this pretty. Personally, I just jam them in the jar :-)


In any case, besides deciding which size pieces to use, there are few complications to making these pickles and the 3 minutes of chopping they take is well-rewarded weeks later when you have insane munchables to fulfill your every flavor desire.  For me, these would make an excellent lunch box pickle.


Yields one quart, easily scalable if you’re lucky enough to have abundant carrots

If you’re new to fermented pickling, please check out my basic pickling FAQ.  There might be a thing or two in there for those of you with a bit of experience, too.


  • 8-9 large carrots, unpeeled but thoroughly cleaned, greens reserved for another purpose.  May I suggest carrot green pesto?
  • 3 inches of ginger, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1.5 Tablespoons salt, preferably salt with a high mineral content, such as sea salt or Real Salt brand salt
  • 3 cups of water, room temperature


  1. Chop carrots into halves, or if they’re really long, thirds, not lengthwise.  Cut the resulting long pieces into quarters, as pictured.
  2. Pack carrot sticks into your vessel (I used a quart jar) sliding the ginger matchsticks into empty spots between the carrots.
  3. Dissolve your salt into your room temperature water, and then pour it over your carrot sticks.
  4. Use the method of your choice (I like the cheapo jar method) to ensure that your veggies stay submerged.
  5. Let them sit at room temperature for one to two weeks, and enjoy!
Pickle me this: why are ginger and carrots such a delicious combination

Pickle me this: why are ginger and carrots such a delicious combination


  1. says

    I love picked things. When i was visiting Japan it was interesting seeing all the different things, vegetables etc that they pickled there. I will haev to try this sometime.

    • Amanda says

      I am very excited about getting in to Japanese-style pickling. I have a whole plan to build a bed for them this winter! If you want to go that route, I recommend Karen Solomon’s ebooks on the subject of Asian pickles. Not all are ferments, but I have her Japanese Pickles (it was like $2) and I think it is fantastic!

  2. Michelle says

    I couldn’t agree more about the spears vs. slaw debate in this case. What are your thoughts on adding a little liquid from a ginger but to kick start the ferment? I don’t want it to be weird and carbonated but not sure if that would hapen…? Any idea?

    • Amanda says

      Hi Michelle,

      Great question! I would never add the ginger bug to any pickle or lacto ferment. The ginger bug is more like sourdough (or a SCOBY, even) than whey or another lactic acid bacteria starter. It contains yeasts and bacteria, and if you add yeast to your carrot ferments, you’re very likely to end up with carrot wine, slime or soda instead of carrot pickles.

      I’m so looking forward to the end of our long winter here in Philly! I’m ready to start pickling things from my yard!


  3. Michelle says

    This carrot recipe is one of my favourites. Do you think the left-over brine would make a good base for a salad dressing? If so, any hints/recipes? I really love your website; thank-you for all the invaluable information!

    • Amanda says

      Hi Michelle,

      Thanks so much! Yes, it definitely makes a great dressing (and if you don’t mind killing the good bugs, it makes a killer braise for vegetables, too!). I would mix it with a bit of your favorite oil, chopped herbs of your choice and roasted garlic. Basically, in salad dressings, I treat brine like the acid (vinegar or lemon juice) and salt. Pretty killer stuff. I hope that helps!

  4. Brenda Barre says

    Thanks for your ginger carrot recipe.

    I first found and made your receipt in December – for a daughter-in-law who confessed to being addicted to ginger carrots and used to regularly buy them from a little shop. (She thought they were too time consuming to try to make). So for her birthday, I made up a batch and gave her a jar, and introduced myself to these amazing crunchy bites.

    So today, I am back to start another batch and replenish the ongoing birthday present.
    Another tradition has been borne…


    • Amanda says

      That’s so awesome, Brenda! What a thoughtful gift for your daughter-in-law! So kind of you to share the story with me, too!

  5. Deborah says

    I am so happy to find I can skip the dainty thin slices for a chunkier option of Gingered Carrots. I’m a chunky kind of person and find I avoid the dainty little stacks of any pickle. These will be great gifts! Thanks for sharing!

    • Amanda says

      So glad to hear that! I am also more of a chunk-lover than a bit-lover. I think it’s more polarizing than cilantro! :-)

  6. Philip says

    Is there any significant change or improvement to an extended ferment of these pickles? Is the “juice” drinkable like sauerkraut juice?

    • Amanda says

      Hi Phillip,

      Yes, I drink or otherwise use all my fermented brines. It just depends on your salt tolerance!

      I’m not sure what you mean by “any significant change or improvement.” Fermented pickles are living foods, so they will always be changing. The length of fermentation depends on your flavor preferences. There are different bacteria at play during different stages of fermentation, but as the science on what strains are beneficial isn’t in just yet, I highly recommend using your taste buds as your guide! I hope that answers your question.

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