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Friday, April 29, 2011

Overnight Pickled Vegetables

The following recipe was inspired by a newly-opened mom n' pop restaurant a stone's throw from my apartment. Instead of the typical bread and butter most restaurants dish out to customers as they peruse the menu, this place gives you a taste of Far East culture with some roasted & seasoned peanuts and pickled vegetables (and the tastiest bean curd I've ever had, I might add). An avid lover of pickles and vegetables at large, I tried to make my own rendition of this no-cook dish featuring radishes, a springtime vegetable that's oft-forgotten or brushed aside as being too incompatible with other flavors. Their bold taste and spicy bite pairs nicely with carrots, cabbage, and a sweetened brine to make some bite-sized, raw deliciousness. Fewer than 24 hours after making a batch, I'm quite pleased with the crisp and tangy results!

The recipe below includes the approximate ingredient amounts I used to loosely fill 4 pint containers. It can easily be altered for fewer or more ingredients; the general rule of thumb for the brine is 1 part sugar to 3 or 4 parts vinegar (depending on your preference for sweet), plus salt to taste. I recommend making enough brine to fill these containers 1/2 to 2/3 full (that is, the brine should reach 1/2 to 2/3 way full with the veggies already in the container), as the veggies will shrink a bit after soaking; extra brine can easily be made at any point during preparation.

Overnight Pickled Vegetables



Ingredients:
  • 1 small head of white cabbage, cut into 1-2" pieces and separated
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into 1/8" coins
  • 5-6 radishes, sliced into 1/4" coins (Daikon radish works well, too)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
  • aromatic vegetables (optional; I recommend thinly-sliced garlic & ginger)
  • 1/2+ cup sugar
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Prepare all vegetables as noted and gently pack in storage containers. I recommend your standard glass canning jars (pints or quarts) with those nifty plastic lids, but just about any container with a secure cover will do. In a small pot over medium-high heat, stir sugar, vinegar, and salt until the particles have dissolved; taste to ensure the amount of sugar and salt is to your liking. Bring the brine just to a boil and remove from heat. Pour the brine over the vegetables, seal, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the vegetables to soak for at least 24-48 hours for the flavor to settle in, preferably longer. Serve as a chilled appetizer for an Asian-inspired meal or enjoy as a snack.

Rebekah

Recipe and images by Rebekah Carter (2011).

1 comment:

Miss Maggie said...

This is a wonderful recipe! I can't wait to try it! thank you! mrc