Monday, December 26, 2011
Daikon, how I love to pickle you
My CSA has daikon. This makes me so happy. I lived in Japan oh--about 15 years ago now--and I really fell in love with daikon there. They pickle it, they shred it, they cut it into long strips to eat with something oily and fried like tempura or katsu don. I love the stuff. Steve from World of Okonomy had made me some pickled daikon a while back. I thought I'd give it a go last week. Both of these are refrigerator pickles; I did not can them.
As you can see in the picture to the left, I did a couple of versions. The one in the old pickle jar (to the left) is something I did on the fly--I put sliced daikon in a jar of vinegar with a teaspoon each of pepper corns and mustard seeds (it had been full but I've been making my way through it). It's good, but wow is it tart--I should have heated the vinegar up with some sugar first. But it's fine, and it goes well in a salad. My parents enjoyed this in their salads for Christmas Eve dinner.
The one on the right--in the canning jar--was pickled carrots and daikon. The recipes I found varied; the one I used called for one parts sugar to be heated with two parts vinegar until the sugar dissolved. Cool the vinegar in the fridge, then pour over carrots and daikon cut into matchsticks, a seeded and chopped Thai chili (or red chili), and chopped cilantro in a jar. Place in fridge; it will be ready to eat in four hours.
I didn't have a Thai chili or any chili peppers, so I used crushed red pepper. I did have cilantro so happily used that. Next time I'll do a proper dice and cut of the carrots and daikon but as I said, I wanted them a little bigger for my salad, etc. It is a delicious condiment.
I think I am going to try my hand at kimchi. I love kimchi but I've never made it myself before. A slightly spicy and tart pickle added to a salad adds great flavor.