A Quick Pickle: Veggies and Ginger

by Jen Wanous

My school’s equivalent of a thesis is a dinner that our class crafts from start to finish for 100 people. In preparation for this event, I have been testing out different pickling recipes for a preliminary tasting at school tomorrow.

I don’t know about you, but for me pickling seemed like this mysterious process that somehow kept things consumable for a really long time and turned out some salty vineagary  goodness.  I wasn’t sure exactly how this happened though.  With a little Googling, I came to find out that it is really quite a simple process and, like most good food, it just takes a little bit of forethought.

Along the way, I also discovered that pregnant women crave pickles for a reason!  It’s not just an old wives tale.  Fermented foods contain a naturally occurring chemical called tyramine that acts as a stimulant for hormonally charged pregnant women.  Also, fermented foods are good for people who are dealing with depression.

Below are two recipes for pickled products.  One is for wasabi pickled veggies and the other is for pickled ginger (which we all know and love from sushi restaurants).  Enjoy these pickled condiments on your next burger, sandwich, or as a garnish for any plate.

Wasabi Pickled Veggies

Equipment you will need:

  • Large pot
  • Glass jars and lids
  • Tongs
Ingredients:
  • Veggies (carrots, radishes, onion, peppers, etc)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • One lime, juiced
  • 1 Tablespoon wasabi powder
  • One bay leaf
1.  Prepare your jars by first sanitizing them.  Bring a big pot of water to a boil and add your glass jars and lids.  Boil for 15 minutes.  Use tongs to carefully remove.
2.  Deseed peppers and slice all your veggies.  Put them in the jar, as full as possible.
3.  Combine the salt, sugar, vinegars and lime juice in a pot.  Bring to a boil, until all the sugar and salt is dissolved.  Add wasabi powder and bay leaf.
4.  Pour over veggies in the jar.  Make sure the liquid covers everything.  Add the lid.  Let it come to room temperature and then store in the fridge.  They will taste best 3-4 days later and can keep for months.  (Just make sure the liquid is always covering the veggies.)  Yields about 14oz.

Easy Peasy Pickled Ginger

Instead of spending $5 on this at the store, make some at home!  This recipe makes a small 4oz jar.

Ingredients:
  • 3 inch fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
1.  Sanitize the jar and lid by boiling in water for 15 minutes.
2.  Peel ginger and slice thin, or cut little matchsticks.
3.  Add the salt to the ginger, toss and set aside for an hour.  Then blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.  Put ginger in the jar.
4.  Bring the sugar and vinegar to a boil until the sugar is dissolved.
5.  Pour liquid over the ginger in the jar to fill to the brim.  Put lid on.  Let it come to room temperature then put in the refrigerator.  Use after 3-4 days and keep for months!
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