As I was buying the other vegetables for my stir-fries, I had an urge for pickles. For Chinese meals, the number of dishes you serve is a sign of respect. The greater the number of dishes the greater the respect—but also the greater the guanxi debt that person will owe you. I am making roast pork, a vegetable stir fry, and a mushroom dish for Sunday’s dinner.
Karl’s Sichuan Pepper Pickles
3-4 Persian cucumbers
1 Tbs. Kosher salt
1. Roll cut the cucumbers and toss with the salt.
2. Let the cucumbers sweat for one hour.
Tip: Toss occasionally to redistribute the brine that will form.
3. Rinse the cucumbers and drain well in a sieve over a bowl.
4. Transfer the cucumbers to a quart plastic bag, or a pickle jar.
5. Grind the pepper and chili flakes into a powder.
6. Sprinkle half of the spices over the cucumbers and toss to distribute.
7. Sprinkle the remaining spices over the cucumbers and toss again to distribute them evenly.
8. Drizzle the oil over the cucumbers and toss to coat the vegetables.
9. Press the air out of the bag, seal it, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
Tip: For best results pickle the cucumbers for 2-3 days.
10. Serve chilled.