Adding pickled vegetables to a dish is a great way to enhance the flavor. The sour notes play nicely with sweet and spicy – like topping spicy tacos with pickled radishes/onions and pomegranate seeds. They also lighten up heavier dishes – think of how good that pickle tastes on a juicy burger. I like to make a big batch of different vegetables to keep it in the fridge to add to a variety of dishes. The pickling liquid also makes a great dip for spring rolls to fried chicken – you name it! Once you get into using sour flavors it will really teach you how to balance a dish. A lot of south Asian cooking plays off the sweet, spicy, sour, bitter flavor combination and you can get really creative with this profile in western dishes too!
I like to use Asian ingredients in my pickles rather than the traditional white vinegar, salt and sugar. I think they add a nice depth of flavor and make the liquid itself taste even better!
Watch this space for some of my sour “experiments”!
Quick Pickled Vegetables
Use this base and add whatever vegetables you like!
- 100ml rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 red chili finely chopped
Mix all the ingredients together then add finely sliced vegetables like cucumber, radish, beets or red onion. Place in the fridge and let sit for 30 mins to an hour before using. Keep in a airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.