My Taiwanese Pickles
My Taiwanese Pickles

These Taiwanese Pickles were inspired by a dish of ‘Taiwan Pickled Vegetable’ served to me at a Dim Sum Restaurant. That version was also composed of slivers of Red Bell Pepper, Cucumber and Ginger, and the dish was obviously a salt-macerated ‘quick’ pickle. The pickling medium (more of a dressing really), was quite sweet, just a little sour, and had just a faint touch of chili heat…

A ‘Quick’ Pickle, by the way, is one in which the vegetables, or what have you, are not fermented, but are ‘pickled’ by the addition of vinegar. In this case, I have used Rice Vinegar, which tends to be a bit milder and sweeter than the White sort. I have only used a little here, so it is a bit of a stretch to call this a ‘Pickle’ as such, although I do use the technique of ‘macerating’, or softening the vegetables with salt before adding the vinegar.

You can, of course, use any vegetables you like here, but peppers work very nicely along with cucumber. I would, however, avoid using Green Bell Pepper, unless you are only marinating for an hour or two, as these tend to discolor and are not as attractive later.

The Method

Macerating the Vegetables with Salt
Macerating the Vegetables with Salt

Here, I cut cucumber and red bell pepper into batons and tossed them with about a half-teaspoon of salt. I left them just long enough to soften and throw off some liquid (about 15 or 20 minutes) and then I rinsed them well and gently squeezed to remove a bit more liquid.

Marinating the Vegetables
Marinating the Vegetables

I added two slices of ginger cut into fairly large slivers then tossed everything with a tablespoon each of rice vinegar, rice wine, and a small pinch of sugar. I meant to add a little ground chili but I forgot this part … This is probably due to Alzheimer’s, or something. I am hoping it is just the 24-hour kind.

 Anyway, I put everything in the fridge to marinate for about 6 hours (overnight would be fine), and had it as an appetizer. Except for the slight bite of chili in the original, I think I recreated this quite well and the result was very nice.

I had plans to use dried red chili during the marinating process, but I think you could also add a little Sriracha Sauce while macerating with Salt. When you rinse, you would end up with some spicy taste, but not have the appearance of the dish changed too much with the addition of the sauce.


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Comments, questions or suggestions most welcome!