Pickled vegetables are a staple in many different cuisines, adding a sour, salty, and slightly sweet crunch to myriad dishes. They are delicious, keep a long time in the fridge, and are thankfully also quick and easy to make.
Consider this recipe a base. It can be gussied up in whatever way you like. Really, all you need is a brine made with vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. That will make fine pickles. But you can also add whatever herbs, spices, and vegetables you want. Here I’ve added just a couple cloves of garlic and a bit of ginger for a more complex aroma, but feel free to throw in spicy chilis, black pepper, star anise, or whatever tickles your fancy. It’s hard to go wrong.
Once you have a jar of these in the fridge you might just notice that they start finding their way into everything you eat. Sure, maybe you make them specifically for one of my upcoming recipes, but what meal isn’t improved by a little burst of acid and salt?
1 lb. vegetables (carrots, daikon, turnip), julienned
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced in rounds
1 cup water
1 cup vinegar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
Slice vegetables into roughly matchsticks while you heat the brine to boiling on the stove. Stir the brine until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved. Remove from heat.
Place the vegetables (including the garlic and ginger) in a heat-tolerant, sealable container (like a glass jar or tupperware). Pour the hot brine over them. Seal, allow to cool on the counter, and then store in the fridge.
Your pickles will be tasty almost right away, but the flavor will intensify over time. Make at least a day ahead for best results.