This Taiwanese Pickle, or 台湾泡菜, feature strips of Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper pickled in a delicious Sweet and Sour medium with Ginger.
These Taiwanese Pickles were inspired by the Taiwanese Pickled Vegetable served to me as a Dim Sum dish at the Palais Imperial Chinese restaurant in Ottawa a few years ago. 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 cases where only a small amount of Vinegar us used, as here, it is sometimes difficult to tell where the process stops being mere marination and becomes pickling. That, however, Is really a bit of semantic quibble only.
Ingredient Notes for Taiwanese Pickle
The Recipe Card below calls for Rice Vinegar, which tends to be a bit milder and sweeter than the White sort. You can, however, use that sort if you prefer.
The Recipe also makes some Dried Red Chili Flakes an optional ingredient. If you look at the picture above, you can see that I did not use them, even though the Palais Imperial version did. I actually meant to and forgot that part. This is probably due to Alzheimer’s, or something, and I am hoping it is just the 24-hour kind. In any event, the addition works nicely so you certainly may wish to exercise the option.
How to Make 台湾泡菜
The first step is to macerate the Cucumber and Red Bell Pepper strips with the Salt. Simply sprinkle the Salt over them, mix well, and allow to sit and soften for twenty minutes or so. Afterwards, you need to pour of the briny liquid thrown off by the vegetables and, if you don’t want a salty pickle, rinse them quickly and squeeze them to get rid of excess water.
Next, simply mix the vegetables with the remaining ingredients and then refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or, better still, overnight. You can let them come to room temperature before serving, if you like, but I find that they are best when very slightly chilled.
The amount produced is sufficient 台湾泡菜 for a single Dim Sum serving, but you can easily increase the quantity of each ingredient to make a larger serving plate, or individual dishes as a starter for guests.
Your Recipe Card:
Taiwanese Pickle – 台湾泡菜
- ½ Cup Cucumber cut into sticks
- ¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper cut into thin strips
- 2 slices Ginger cut into slivers
- ½ tsp. Salt.
- 1 Tbsp. Rive Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. Rice Wine
- ½ tsp. Sugar.
- 1 pinch Dried Red Chili Flakes optional
- Put the Cucumber and Pepper strips into a bowl, toss them with the Salt and let sit for about twenty minutes.
- Drain away the liquid thrown off by the Cucumber and Pepper strips, rinse them quickly, and squeeze out excess water.
- Mix the vegetables with the remaining ingredients and refrigerate overnight.