Home made Pickles

Times of abundance whether it be in terms of seasonal produce of time needs to be utilised well. On this day I had both so set about on a pickle mission so I can have a stock ready to go int he fridge.

A bit of experiementation-salt pickling can be ...well just too salty and then vinegar pickling can be again just to vinegary.But I wanted to set up some pickled chillies for winter when I cant get any at a reasonable price.

Sichuan cooking uses a great deal of pickled chillies chopped up into things to give a good ziny lift. This time of year when there are a tonne of chillies about it is an easy process.

Heat 2 parts white or rice vinegar with 1 part water with the addition of 2 cinnamon quills or cassia bark, 1 star anise a hunk of ginger and 3 or 4 cloves of garlic, 2 T sugar and 1 t salt till it comes to a boil. Take it off the heat and allow to cool at bit before pouring over the chillies. Let sit for 10 mins or so and once cool enought to handle pack into a sterilised screw top jar. Into the fridge for at least 1 month and then they should be ready to rock.

Pickled Beansprouts are a good staple to have on hand as they can top really anything at all-noodles, a simple stir fry or just have on their own as a side dish.

Heat again 2 parts rice vinegar with 1 part water and add beansprouts. Heat till it just comes to a boil and take off the heat.Remove beansprouts immediatley and dress with sesame oil, sesame seeds, spring onions finely sliced, 1 t sugar and a sprinkle of ground Sichuan peppercorn if you like to have a bit of a mouth numbing addition.

The other two pickles on the day were daikon with turmeric and sliced bamboo shoots with Sichuan peppercorn, soy and five spice.



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