This is another of those dishes that we were served in at the Panda House restaurant. I have tried to replicate this dish before, but I think this one comes closer than my last attempt. In America, we had always eaten our cucumbers either raw or pickled. It simply would not have occurred to me to fry something like a cucumber. However, because of the dangers of using night soil as fertilizer, the Chinese cook almost all of their vegetables—the rest are pickled.
Category Archives: Vegetables
Portuguese salad is a fairly standard Mediterranean salad of bell pepper, cucumber, onions, and tomatoes with a red wine vinaigrette. I had several days to plan this meal, so I thought I would pickle the cucumbers—taking a page from Japanese cuisine. While I am calling these pickles Portuguese, they are more “Portuguese flavored,” as I am using common Portuguese seasonings.
I was making mapo douf for dinner and I decided that a cucumber side dish would be nice. Since the last time I made this dish I discovered crispy chili oil. While using Sichuan chili oil would be an appropriate choice, it is such a production to make that a commercial version is sometimes useful to have on hand.
Napa cabbage and carrot is one of the classic Japanese tsukemono. Even when I have made a dish before there is always room for a tweak or two. I was planning to make hakusai no shiozuke—preserved napa cabbage, in this case with carrots—so I let these vegetables pickle for four days. this time, I made it with crushed Japanese chili and my orange infused sugar.
While you can make this recipe with any turnip, the Japanese turnip—kabu (カブ)—of choice for pickling is the small, white, round, Hakurei. The last time I made Japanese pickled turnips, I used the salt pickling technique. This time, I both briefly salted the turnips and then pickled them with sweet and sour vinegar sauce.
Japanese cucumbers are a common thing to pickle for a Japanese tsukemono—literally “pickled things.” There are many ways that the Japanese pickle cucumbers and I am still trying out different techniques. This time I am using a lot of fresh ginger and marinating the cucumbers for a long time. The difference between a namasu and a sunomono is not in the ingredients, but in how long the vegetables are pickled for—days for the first and minutes/hours for the second.
Japanese cucumbers are a common thing to pickle for a Japanese tsukemono—literally “pickled things.” There are many ways that the Japanese pickle cucumbers and I am still trying out different techniques. This time I am adding wasabi and marinating the cucumbers for a few days—namasu.
As I was gathering ingredients for my Sunday Japanese feast, I spotted kabu (カブ)—Japanese turnips. I thought, “Umm, turnip pickles, those would be good.” While I have made these pickles before, I have apparently never posted them. Today, I chose to salt pickle (shiozuke; 塩漬け) my turnips.