Advance Praise for Asian Pickles (My New Cookbook…YEAH!)

I am BLUSHING from head to toe…these are some kind, kind words from my fellow compatriots in the pickle business. Look for their sweet gushings on the back cover of Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond, my print book out in June, 2014. And, please also support their kitchen-critical efforts by visiting their blogs and buying their books! APCoverTiny

“I love this book! Karen Solomon has spent years exploring the remarkably varied pickling styles of Asia. This is among the very best books I’ve encountered on pickling, and it goes beyond pickling itself with recipes for foods used in or served with pickles. Karen’s descriptions of technique are clear and crisp, and her personal tone made me feel as if she were whispering encouragement in my ear.”

Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation

“In this culinary passport to Asia, Karen Solomon helps you discover the delicate flavors and complex spices of pickles you didn’t know existed. A delicious roadmap for pickle lovers everywhere!”

Lauryn Chun, author of The Kimchi Cookbook

“With this book, Karen Solomon has forever updated the American pickle canon. Featuring both truly traditional Asian pickles and her varied and inspiring adaptations, it is required reading for all home preservers.”

Marisa McClellan, creator of Food In Jars (and the forthcoming Preserving by the Pint)

“There’s much more to the world of pickles than cucumbers and carrots. Thoughtfully exploring techniques less known to most American picklers and highlighting the diverse and vibrant ingredients of each region, Karen Solomon delivers a pan-Asian relish tray of crunchy, tart, sweet, and spicy bites for novice and experienced picklers alike.”

Sean Timberlake, founder of Punk Domestics

Paneer-Stuffed Pickled Chiles — Recipe from Asian Pickles

Paneer Stuffed Pickled Chiles,jpg

I am no stranger to spicy food, but I once ate one of these that was so hot I had to lie down. Why? Because I was being macho and I didn’t remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers. I have also, of course, eaten many that were just the right degree of spiciness. No matter what hap­pens with the heat, you will deeply enjoy the sweet (dates), pungent (onion), and bracing (vinegar/ginger) aspects of these perfectly peppery pickle bites. Oh, and if Indian paneer cheese is not available, you can make do with another very mild, low-salt milk cheese like queso fresco, haloumi, or a firm quark.

Makes 8 to 10 stuffed peppers 

TIME: 6 DAYS

  • 4 or 5 green jalapeño chiles
  • 4 or 5 red Fresno chiles
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about ½ small yellow onion)
  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro
  • 2/3 cup finely diced paneer (about 3 ounces)
  • 5 dates, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground fenugreek
  • ¾ cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, smashed

Bring a small covered saucepan of water to a boil.

Use scissors or kitchen shears to cut the stems off the peppers, leaving the pep­pers intact.

When the water is at a rapid boil, slip in the peppers and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until soft enough to be malleable. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking.

While the peppers cool, combine the onion, cilantro, paneer, dates, salt, and fen­ugreek in a medium mixing bowl. This is your stuffing.

Now it’s time to stuff the peppers. Using a paring knife, start at the stem end of a pepper and make a long slit, lengthwise, down almost to the pepper’s tip. Pinch the pepper together like a change purse to open up the incision you just made. Unless you truly enjoy extremely spicy food, I suggest you use a spoon to gently scrape out as many of the seeds and membranes as you can, leaving the pepper intact. Follow suit with the remaining peppers.

Stuff the peppers with the stuffing until you can’t fit anymore inside without splitting the pepper. Lay the peppers on their sides, cut side up, in a shallow con­tainer with a well‑fitting lid that is just big enough for all.

To make the brine, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small covered saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a sim­mer for 15 minutes. Pour the hot brine, complete with the ginger and garlic, over the peppers to cover them completely. (If your storage container is rather large, and you need more liquid to cover the peppers fully, you can double the quan­tity of brine.) Secure the container with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Move the peppers to the refrigerator and let them sit for 5 days. Serve the peppers whole or carefully sliced into bites. Kept refrigerated, these peppers will last up to 2 weeks.

This recipe is from Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond from Ten Speed Press.

Onion and Cilantro Chutney – from Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon

 

Onion and Cilantro Chutney,jpg

This simple, refreshing chutney takes its flavor from a mellowed onion, but by all means feel free to skip the step of blanching it if you like more of a raw bite. The lime and the cilantro make it bright and as pleasing to the eye as it is to your stomach. And versatile? Uh-huh. Its subtle sea­soning makes it equally at home with roast chicken and potatoes as with vindaloo and rice.

Makes about 1 pint

TIME: 15 MINUTES

  • 6 ounces red onion (about ½ large onion)
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 2 limes)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin

Bring a small pot of water to a boil while you slice the onion into ¼-inch-thick strips.

Blanch the onion by boiling it for 20 seconds, then immediately draining and running it under cold water; toss it with your hands to cool it down and stop the cooking. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a small mixing bowl along with the cilantro, salt, and lime juice.

In a small skillet, combine the oil with the cumin and let it toast, stirring con­stantly, until it turns medium brown and becomes fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let it cool slightly and scrape cumin and oil into the bowl.

Toss completely and serve immediately. Cover and refrigerate any unused por­tion. This chutney will keep up to 3 days.

This recipe is from Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond from Ten Speed Press.

Asian Pickles India E-Cookbook Release!

It’s here!

Asian Pickles: India: Recipes for Indian Sweet, Sour, Salty, and Cured Pickles and Chutneys

APIndiaCover

My latest e-cookbook, the fourth in a series, is now available with a click and a wink. Just three measly dollars for 15 recipes, and you don’t even need an iPad or a tablet! Recipes include:

  • South Indian Coconut and Cilantro Chutney
  • Mango Pickle
  • Lime Pickle
  • Tomato Tamarind Chutney
  • Sweet Red Pepper Murabba
  • Hot Carrot Pickle

 

 

Salt Cured Long Beans – Recipe from Asian Pickles China

Salt Cured Long Beans (1)It could be that long beans – the long and skinny green beans found in Asian markets – are not available near you, and that’s totally fine: straight-up skinny green beans make a fine substitute. However, if you can find long beans, they’re a lot of fun in this pickle, with their lighter texture and fresh snap. These preserved beans are in more of a marinade than a brine; thus, instead of a canning jar, I suggest you make them in a shallow, flat food storage container where the beans can lay in a single layer. Snack on these like potato chips, or chop them and either toss with beef or shrimp in a stir-fry or stir into congee.

Time: 1 day

  • 10 ounces long beans, or 12 ounces green beans
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 (2/3-inch) piece ginger
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

Trim the beans, discarding the ends, and chop into 4-inch lengths. If you’re using green beans instead of long beans, be sure to cut off both ends of the beans (don’t just snap the stem) to allow the flavors to penetrate.

Lay the beans in a single layer in a flat, shallow dish. Cover them with the salt and let them sit for 2 hours, rolling them occasionally. Rinse the beans, discarding any extra salt or residual liquid, and pat them dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Mince the ginger and finely mince the garlic (or press it in a garlic press) and combine them with the sugar and soy sauce in the bottom of a clean, shallow container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the beans and toss them well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Your beans are now ready to eat, though you should stir them before eating. Kept covered, they will keep at least 3 weeks.

Makes 1 cup.

This recipe is from Asian Pickles China.