Monday, 19 May 2014

Japanese Pickled Vegetables - leave overnight, then delicious as sides to Japanese grilled meats the next day

These are so simple and quick, and a perfect accompaniment to Japanese grilled / barbequed meats

Pickles are served with almost every meal in Japan, and this recipe will keep for several days in the fridge. You can substitute all kinds of veg, such as red radishes, daikon/mooli, courgettes, celery – whatever you’ve got to hand – and don’t be afraid to add some ginger or chilli to the mix if you want a kick!

If you have a food processor with a slicing attachment these will take just a few minutes to make - and they are delicious served with grilled or barbequed Japanese meat, poultry, vegetables or fish, such as Teriyaki chicken or salmon, Yakatori chicken, Miso-Sesame Grilled Aubergines or Kushiyaki beef skewers.

Serves four to eight (depending on serving size - a quarter of this is a fair amount), 126 calories for all of it (including topping), 16-32 calories per portion (although you may only want a spoonful on the side of your dinner).

6 chinese cabbage leaves, tough stalks removed [16]
1/3 cucumber (about 100g) [12]
3 small-medium carrots (about 150g) [62]
1 tsp salt
½ tbsp sugar (golden caster) [10]
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar [5]
To serve:
1 inch ginger, cut into very fine matchsticks [6] (or 1 tbsp pickled sushi ginger, drained [10])
Bonito flakes to taste (optional, leave out for vegetarians) [2tbsp/2g is 5 calories]
Soy sauce, to taste (use tamari for gluten free) [1tbsp/15g is 10 calories]


Halve the cucumber, scoop out the
seeds (a teaspoon does the job nicely) and slice finely (a mandolin, or slicing attachment on the food processor will make short work of this!). Peel the carrot, and slice finely on the diagonal, or cut into 1 ½ inch lengths, halve, then slice into ‘rectangles’. Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.

Mix all the vegetables with the salt, sugar and rice vinegar in a non-reactive bowl or dish (not metal) and weight it down with a plate on top, and something heavy (e.g. tin/jar). Leave for at least ten hours, or overnight if you can.

Squeeze out the excess liquid, and serve in a small bowl, drizzled with a little soy sauce to taste, with the ginger matchsticks (or sushi ginger) on the top, and a few bonito flakes on top of the ginger.

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