Japanese Pickles Recipe. Kim Chi and Regular Pickles Variations
Posted on 15th of August, 2011 by Lévana
You will find this recipe and much much more in my New Cookbook.
You’ll love ’em! My pickles have a small fraction of the salt and the vinegar of their commercial counterparts, and ten times the flavor. Crunchy and pungent with just a hint of sweetness, and really good for you too, like all fermented foods. I whip my pickles out anytime I need a quick fix but can’t afford anything too caloric, like after dinner when the kitchen is closed. The simple secret here is to force the mixture into a wide-mouth glass jar or a pickle press (see below) so it disgorges its juices and you are left with a reduced and powerfully condensed bowl of pickles.
Scroll down for a Kim Chi Variation and regular pickles variation.
For regular pickles: This is the way we eat them in Morocco. No forcing the vegetables down. Place all ingredients in a large jar, add your favorite spices in a small cheesecloth bag (peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic slices etc), add water to cover, and shake vigorously to combine.
½ small head green cabbage, diced about 1 inch
2 large carrots, diced about 1 inch
1 medium purple onion, diced small
4 Kirby cucumbers, or one long seedless cucumber, unpeeled, diced about 1 inch
1 large turnip, diced about 1 inch
6 ribs celery, peeled and diced small
½ cup brown rice vinegar, or unfiltered apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons salt
3 tablespoons wasabi powder (For Passover: grated fresh horseradish)
3 tablespoons sugar
Place all the vegetables in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Whisk the vinegar, salt, wasabi, and sugar in a cup. Pour over the vegetables and toss thoroughly. Force the mixture into clean glass jars or in a pickle press (see page 38 about how to use). Allow a few hours to pickle. Store refrigerated up to two weeks. Yields about 3 quarts.
Variation: Kim Chi:
This great crowd pleaser is exactly our condiment above, with some added sliced garlic cloves and red pepper flakes and some sliced fresh ginger if desired. Proceed just as above.
For Regular Pickles: This is the way we eat them in Morocco. No forcing the vegetables down. Place all ingredients in a large jar, add your favorite spices in a small cheesecloth bag (peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic slices etc), add water to cover, and shake vigorously to combine. For this variation, allow 2-3 days to pickle.
Japanese Pickle Press:
This nifty, inexpensive round or square box is the secret of professional-tasting pickles and kim chi easily made in your own kitchen. Mine is 3½ quarts and is easy to order online. It is equipped with a vise that comes down on the seasoned vegetables you are pickling. Place your seasoned vegetables in the press, press down hard to lock the press, and turn the vise down as low as it will come. You will be amazed how the vise will compress the veggies, separating the liquids from the solids. After a couple hours, the pickles are ready: You are left with a fabulous handful of pickles. Transfer the pickles to a glass jar with only enough of the pickling liquid to cover them completely, discarding the rest of the liquids. Or simply leave them in the pickle press, liquid and all.