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Fermented Rhubarb


Posted by Colleen

Rhubarb is a quintessential spring vegetable, and we are lucky enough to have a large rhubarb plant already growing in the backyard of our new house.  It is perennial, which means it will come back year after year without you having to do much to it, and is often one of the first foods that can be eaten from the garden.  It is quite sour and is a flavor that often is an acquired taste.  I personally love it!

Fermented Rhubarb |

That said, I now have quite a bit of rhubarb on my hands, and when I was looking for ways to use it up, I came across several recipes for fermenting it.  I decided that I needed to try this, of course!  Most of the recipes call for slicing the ribs up fairly small, but I ran across one for ginger rhubarb pickles (from Pickle Me Too) that left them in long pieces.  I loved this idea, so that’s what I based this recipe for fermented rhubarb on.

I also wanted just a little bit of sweetness to it, so I also added a small about of raw honey, plus a few whole cloves and a whole star anise.  I didn’t add any ginger this time, but I’m sure it would be delicious.  When I was putting it all together it reminded me of the fermented cranberries that I made last year for the holidays.

Fermented Rhubarb Recipe



• 5-6 ribs of rhubarb

• 1-2 Tbsp raw honey

• 1 tsp Himalayan salt, or another non-iodized salt (such as kosher or sea salt)

• 3 whole cloves

• 1 whole star anise


Cut the rhubarb ribs into thirds and put into a clean, quart-sized Mason jar.  Add the honey, salt, and spices, then fill with cool water.  Swirl it around a bit to help the honey and salt dissolve.  Top the rhubarb with a weight to keep it submerged under the brine, and cover with a lid and airlock.  A Fermentools Starter Kit works great for this!  Put the jar in a dark and quiet corner of your kitchen for about seven days.  Taste it periodically, and once it’s to your liking, it’s finished!  It will keep in the refrigerator for many months.

If your fermented rhubarb is not sweet enough for you, as rhubarb can be quite tart, you can always add a bit more honey.  The fermentation process itself is likely to take away a good amount of the tartness on its own, however.

I hope you get a chance to make this beautiful fermented rhubarb and happy spring to you!


Colleen has been foraging for wild food and fermenting for many years. She loves all types of fermenting, including making lacto-fermented veggies, kombucha, kefir, yogurt, and sourdough. She also has a special fondness for brewing hard cider and mead (honey wine). Along with her husband Joel, they grow much of their own food and herbs in a permaculture style garden. She makes and sells handmade herbal salves and lip balms in her Etsy shop, CocosHerbals, and writes about all of her adventures with food, gardening and homesteading at

8 thoughts on “Fermented Rhubarb”

  • […] meant I had to start planning my rhubarb recipes immediately.  The first thing I did was make fermented rhubarb, which turned out delicious I might add.  But what I really wanted was strawberry rhubarb jam.  I […]

  • Lyndsey

    What kind of expiration day would you recommend for this recipe? Is it the same as pickling?

    • Colleen

      Since they are fermented, they will last for quite a while in the fridge. Several months for sure, possibly even up to a year.

  • Kathy M Finigan

    I grow so much Rhubarb at home, and I am always looking for new things to do with it! Great idea

  • SB_London

    Hello, I'd like to try this however I'm unfamiliar with the use of the term "ribs" for rhubarb. Approximately how many grams would this be?
    Thank you!

    • Colleen

      Ribs just means individual stalks of rhubarb (it's not a weight measurement). I'm not sure how many grams this would be.

  • Monique


    I bottled some rhubarb about a week ago and just opened up the jar to see if it was ready. However when I opened it the jar released loads of gas and the water fizzed for a while. There were a few pieces on top with white mould in which I have picked out. I have made kimchi before which reacted similarly and I simply picked the mould bits out and it was fine for a few months after that. I was wondering if the same can be applied for rhubarb?

    • Carol

      We don't recommend eating any ferments that mold, Monique. See these posts for more information: and

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