Fresher the better but any will do. This takes about 4-6 months fyi.Spicy Frog balls? How are the brussel sprouts pickled?
I trim the stem and peel off any damaged leaves, usually just the outside.
Next, dust with sea salt and let it sit for a few hours. I save the "juice" that sweats out then use to mix up a salt brine. I usually add a healthy dose of fish sauce or salted crab paste,grated ginger and garlic and hot peppers- essentially like making kimchi out of brussels instead of napa cabbage. I'll pack these into my fermenter, sprinkle with a couple Tbsp of white sugar and put them in a dark place for about a month.
If adding other veggies, I'll start after about a month since the whole brussels take so long to ferment. Below is after adding whole greenbeans. Not a great photo but you get the point. This is approx a 2.5g fermenter with a self contained inner lid (see e-jen fermenter).
After 2 months, I will start sampling.1st a small one to see if its to my liking. Its a matter of preference, but I wait until the big ones are still crunchy, but kind of squishy to the bite and it no longer tastes like a brussel sprout - instead it tastes like all of the flavors.
After its to my taste preference, I put them in quart jars and enjoy.