This little appetizer is my take on a dish I had a while ago at a Dim Sum restaurant in Ottawa. It was described on the menu as ‘Taiwan Pickled Vegetable’ and was chiefly cucumber with just a little red bell pepper and slivered ginger. I am not sure about the ‘dressing’… these were obviously salt-macerated ‘quick pickles’ and they were quite sweet, only a little sour, and had just a faint touch of chili heat… Continue reading “Taiwanese Pickle”
I had this pickled Cucumber in Ottawa recently. I have had Chinese pickled cucumber many times before, but generally Sichuan style versions which generally use chili, or chili oil. I recognized the last two characters in the Chinese same as meaning ‘pickled, or steeped, vegetable’ but the first two characters had me stymied for a bit … it was only once I realized that the first character was a phonetic that I guessed that the combination is rendered as ‘Taiwan’ (which proved to be right)… so, it seems that this little dish is a Taiwanese pickle.
Anyway, the cucumber were nicely macerated (using a little salt, I imagine). The result is not salty, though, but a good bit of sugar was added quite obviously, as the pickle is really quite sweet. The red strips are red bell pepper but there was a slight spicy heat coming through so I think just a touch of ground chili must have been included as well. The other addition was ginger cut into very large, thin slivers. This added a lovely flavor and another layer of sweetness. I really enjoyed these and I will make them myself this coming week … I am thinking that just a drop or two of rice wine might go nicely in it too…
Recently, I posted a recipe for a Simple Kimchi, and I mentioned that, in more complex varieties, Korean often boost the umami quotient of the pickle by include things like oysters, brined shrimp, or even fish guts. Today’s recipe does just that using shrimp and scallop except that, in this case, I am using Chinese style dried shrimp and scallops (the latter known as ‘conpoy’. I am also departing from the method I used in the Simple Kimchi recipe by using the slightly more traditional method of making chilli paste from scratch rather than using the pre-made Korean ‘Gochujang’ … Continue reading “Kimchi with Shrimp and Scallop”
When most people hear ‘Kimchi’, they tend to think of the most common variety made with Napa Cabbage. In truth, though, many things are pickled to make Kimchi and, even with the cabbage variety, there are thousands of versions, from the simple to highly complex. Beyond the cabbage, and, of course, chilli, there can be other vegetables added (scallions, for example), and the umami quotient is often enhanced with some sort of sea product. This can be in the form of Korean Salted Shrimp, oysters, anchovy essence, whole dried anchovies, or even fish guts.
Today, I am preparing a very simple cabbage version using just chilli and scallion. I am departing from the most common method of adding chilli, which is usually done by making a paste from powdered chilli, water, and generally rice powder, or even, in some cases, wheat flour. Instead, I am doing what some recipes do, and using Gochujang, or Korean Chili paste, which carries its own umami punch. I will be adding this to my cabbage a bit later than is common for a couple of reasons. First, while I am fairly confident, having regard to the ingredients list, that there are no preservatives in my commercially made paste that will inhibit fermentation, I am not taking chances. Also, the paste is already fermented and the chilli and rice flour don’t need further fermentation to develop their flavors…. Continue reading “Simple Kimchi”
This recipe is built around the Sichuan Preserved Vegetable I featured in a foodstuff post recently. I am going to be cooking it with diced chicken breast and cashews in a hot, sweet, and sour sauce using chili, sugar and vinegar. This particular combination is pretty much ‘ad hoc’ for today’s dish but it is very much in the general tradition of Sichuan cookery… Continue reading “Chicken with Preserved Vegetable”
I had a rather large zucchini leftover from a bunch I bought for other purposes and, being left home alone for the past few weeks while my wife is away, I decided to play around a little. A first, I thought I might do a pickle of some sort based on a minted vinegar (and I still plan to do so sometime), but then I decided to do something spicy in a vaguely Indian type of preparation that could be used as a side condiment, or even a ‘bread and butter’ type accompaniment.
Now, I will say at the outset that, though the result of this experiment was pretty, I did find that some tweaking is necessary. Accordingly, if you are inclined to play around with the basic idea yourselves, you may wish to read my notes at the end of this post… Continue reading “Experiment: Grilled Zucchini Pickle”
This particular foodstuff is something I have bought and used in a variety of different forms. The name on the can label, ‘Preserved Vegetable’ is further amplified in the Chinese script as being a Sichuan specialty, and one might be excused for thinking that the contents are any sort of vegetable that has been preserved in the style of Sichuan. In fact, any time you encounter the name ‘Sichuan Preserved Vegetable’, you are almost invariably dealing with a specific plant, sometimes known as a ‘Mustard Tuber’, which is fermented with salt and then quite heavily spiced, chiefly with chili paste or powder… Continue reading “Foodstuff: Sichuan Preserved Vegetable”
The Pickled Cauliflower I made a little while ago turned out quite nicely and I was interested to see how it might be used as a cooking ingredient. The dish I came up with for today’s post is something of a fusion, incorporating a little of India, China, and the American Southwest. That being said though, I’m going to save you the trouble of scrolling all the way to the end-notes and tell you right away that the result was not quite as good as I hoped… Still, some of my readers might like to see what I did and suggest how it might be improved… Continue reading “Chili Beef with Pickled Cauliflower”
I often buy a commercially made pickle consisting of sections of gherkin, cocktail onions, and cauliflower florets with turmeric as a main flavor component. The cauliflower is my favorite part but I usually find that there are too few pieces in each jar and, with most brands, they are often just a tad too sweet. Accordingly, I made a batch of pickle containing nothing but cauliflower, just a little sugar, and a spice blend to suit my own taste… Continue reading “Cauliflower Pickle”
As a follow up to my basic Brine Pickled Daikon post a few days ago, I am, for today’s recipe, going to use Daikon again. This time, however, I am going to make a variety of the Korean style pickle known as Kimchi. May people will be familiar with Kimchi, at least in passing, but the sorts made with Daikon are not generally as well known in the west as are the cabbage varieties.
As one might expect, there are countless versions of Kimchi… Daikon, Cabbage, or otherwise… but the most familiar combines a main vegetable along with secondary items, chiefly green onions, ginger and garlic, and then these are fermented in a spicy paste of red chili. In Korea, it is also very common to add seafood products which, when fermented, add a rich depth to the overall taste. Oysters are quite common, as is fish sauce, or else the very pungent Korean Salted Shrimp. I am going to be using Dried Shrimp in today’s recipe, but other than that, it will be pretty straightforward… Continue reading “Daikon Kimchi”