Ever heard of Japanese pickles? They are an easy and delicious addition to any meal, really.
Unlike their American counterparts, Japanese pickles have no vinegar. The vegetables are cured using sea salt with flavorings added, if desired. Some veggies are cured in miso or rice bran for several months, or you can make a 'quick' pickle that takes as little as 30 min to overnight. This was the method I used.
I had never made Japanese pickles myself, until I was asked to provide them for a private luncheon. I used some local Minnesota vegetables to give them a twist, but the flavor was just right.
Use them as a condiment for any Asian inspired meal, mixed with other fresh vegetables as a salad or to top rice or pasta dishes. I used them for all of these with the extra I made!
You can use any vegetables you desire. Daikon radish, cabbage, cucumbers and carrots are more traditional. The recipe below lists my 'Minnesota Mix'. The beauty heart radishes add a fantastic pop of color!
Japanese Inspired Quick Pickles
makes about 2 cups
1 small head of cabbage (or 1/4 of large), shredded
2-4 carrots, shaved with a peeler
2 beauty heart radishes, peeled, quartered and sliced very thin
2 inches kombu*, wiped down and sliced very thin
2T pickled ginger, chopped
2t sea salt**
1t red pepper flakes (optional for spicy pickles)
-Place cabbage in a large bowl and rub with the salt. You will see the cabbage start to absorb and release water.
-Add the rest of the vegetables and ginger. Toss until combined
-Place in a container with a tight fitting lid, and refrigerate overnight.
-To serve, drain the pickles and squeeze out the remaining moisture
-Will keep in fridge up to 1 week
*Kombu is a dried seaweed that can be found any in Asian Market or in the ethnic food section of most grocery stores. You can make it without the Kombu, but it will have a little less flavor.
**If you can find it, use Japanese Sea Salt. It has a specific mineral content and flavor that makes these pickles stand out. In a pinch, I used a Celtic Sea Salt from France. Turned out great.
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