What a Fine Pickle We’re In…

Spring might be in the air – I can’t be sure though since we had an April snow storm on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but everything melted really quickly and the sun is back out now. Of course not before I grabbed some “snow day” photos and made myself a little army of snowmen.

Snow day photos

Snowy morning and a few members of the snowman army (Earl, Junior & Bradley)

But snow is not the reason for this post – spring is?! With warmer weather, I start to think about eating less comfort food and moving on to salads, veggies and fruit. One of my new favorite things is pickled vegetables but not pickles like you get in a jar (I hate dill pickles!). These are slightly sweeter and come from Argenplath Mama’s kitchen (so recipe attached!).

Pickled veggies

Pickled cucumbers and carrots, cabbage & daikon

I would not consider this a long pickling process (is it still pickling if you can eat them a short while later?) as you can have the pickled veggies within an hour or so but they are better when they’ve sat for a few hours (cucumbers) or over several days (carrots, daikon). The carrot mix might be familiar to some people as certain Chinese restaurants will use them in those cold platters that have jellyfish in it.

I’ve been snacking on this (especially the cucumbers) instead of other less healthy snacks as I catch up on Shakespeare films recommended by mickyfine. According to Mama, this is supposed to help cut fattiness from foods because of the vinegar and also help the appetite – I don’t know how much of this is cultural “wisdom” passed down from generations before but it tastes good, so that’s all the matters. So how about a recipe or two (I love two for one deals!):

Argenplath Mama’s Pickled Cucumbers (measurements semi-exact)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cucumber (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Directions:

1. Slice your cucumber (Mama’s are diagonal but you can do it whatever way you like).
2. Add the salt to your cucumbers and let it sit until the salt draws out the water from cucumber. No time frame on how long to let the cucumbers to sit – shorter times just mean less crunchy cucumbers.

Cucumbers

Salt should pull water out of the cucumbers like so…

3. Drain the water out of the bowl and give the cucumbers a squeeze to get even more liquid out.
4. Add the sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil to your cucumbers. Mix well and serve or just store it in the fridge (cold tastes better in my opinion!)

Argenplath Mama’s Pickled Veggies (measurements semi-exact)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb cabbage
  • 1 1/2 lb daikon
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp sugar

Directions:

1. Slice your cabbage, carrot and daikon – julienning them seems to work best.
2. Add the salt to your veggies and let it sit until the salt draws out the water from them. Again no time frame on how long to let the veggies to sit – shorter times just mean less crunchy veggies.
3. Drain the water out of the bowl and give the veggies a squeeze to get even more liquid out.
4. Add white vinegar and sugar. Mix well and serve cold or store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Stored pickled veggies

Stored pickled veggies

I find that I prefer to eat the cucumbers on the same day or the next but I don’t store them in a container like the veggies. The lack of vinegar makes them taste blah after a few days as the cucumbers will get bitter. The pickled veggies are closer to being actually “pickled” and they keep for awhile in the fridge – I don’t know how long awhile is but I’ve had a jar in the fridge for a few weeks and it’s still good, if not better. Even as they sit in the fridge, water will continue to drain out of the veggies so just dump that out before consumption.

So What Would Argenplath Pay?

These are great little snacks as you watch tv, read or do whatever. I just put some into a bowl and grab a pair of chopsticks before chowing down. I’ve also used them as side dishes for dinner or tossed them over a salad.  These are not really expensive to produce unless you decide you want to pay huge amounts of money for your vegetables. Most of the ingredients are pretty basic and I think you could make a batch of cucumbers for less than $2 and the veggies for less than $4. These are definitely a staple in the Argenplath fridge because they’re inexpensive, cover a food group (yay fruits and vegetables!) and are easy to assemble (watch out for fingers as you slice and julienne – I almost cut myself – *sigh* knives)!

3 thoughts on “What a Fine Pickle We’re In…

  1. Pingback: Scrumptious Xiao Long Bao at Shanghai 456 | What Would Argenplath Pay?

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