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Jan 9, 2010 11:05 AM

Home made pickles (moved from General Chowhounding Topics board)

And by pickle, I do not mean (just) dill pickles. What do you pickle and how?

Certain vegetables I pickle by fermenting. Put them in a brine solution and leave them to ferment and acidify. Cabbage would be the prime ingredient. Carrots and daikons another.

Some people put hot peppers in a vinegar solution. I particularly like julienned carrots and radishes this way. I add sugar in some form, toss in a bouquet garni of whatever's handy and add a few dollops of some fish sauce.

I make ceviche, but I have never really pickled any fish for long(ish) term storage. Have you?

What's your take? I suspect those of Eastern European and East Asian heritage do a lot more of this.

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  1. Hot peppers - just cider vinegar brine
    Green beans - dried red pepper, garlic, fresh dill
    Bread and butter cukes - thick slices, lots of onion, hot pepper
    Green onions - I think these need to be refrigerator pickles because they had a weird texture that was unappetizing after hot water bath.
    Trying the fermented cabbage right now, but I've also pickled in vinegar.

    1. This year I did a couple of different ones --

      Garden Pickles (plus a spicy version): Zucchini, green beans, sweet red bell peppers, carrots, cippolini onions, cider vinegar, brown sugar, sugar, dry mustard, mustard seeds, hot red pepper flakes, salt, cinnamon, ginger

      Pickled Grape Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes, white wine vinegar, white vinegar, water, garlic, rosemary, salt

      Assorted Hot Peppers (this was a "refrigerator pickle"): assorted hot peppers red/yellow/green, cider vinegar, sugar, salt

      Bruschetta Topping (I guess this really isn't a "pickle"): Tomatoes, garlic, basil, white wine, white wine vinegar, white vinegar, water, sugar, balsamic vinegar, oregano

      Next year I want to do regular pickles and also spicy green beans.

      5 Replies
      1. re: LNG212

        I think I pickled my grape tomates, as my recipe sounds familiar to yours. I also used olive oil in them. But was I supposed to give them a hot water bath? I just put them lid on and put them in the fridge. I don't want to kill any one and am curious if they are still any good.

        1. re: JEN10

          I've never used oil in canning (didn't know you could, actually, because of botulism and all that). But if you put them straight into the frig, then they sound more like "refrigerator pickles" and I think they'd be fine. Maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in here.

          1. re: LNG212

            I can "Italian peppers" in olive oil. I was raised in a small city in NE PA and all the Italians there can their own version of these "Italian peppers". It's basicly rings of banana peppers, garlic, olive oil, dash of vinegar and oregano. They are also referred to as "bread peppers" and are served at home and in the local Italian restaurants with bread or on hoagies, pizza, sandwiches, etc.

            1. re: lynnlato

              Could you post your recipe Lynn? And do you pressure can or water bath the recipe? I miss this stuff since I moved away from Central PA and Upstate NY!

          2. re: JEN10

            I have used this recipe for green tomato refrigerator pickles for several years. It involves olive oil. I don't sterilize the jars, because I am lazy and reckless (I do wash them well, though). I'm still alive, as are the people who've eaten the pickles.


            I am open to the possibility that I'm just lucky, so maybe you should boil your jars.

        2. I have made Japanese style quick pickles with carrot, cucumber and daikon (mostly separately but sometimes in combination) sprinkle with salt, let sit, drain, add 2t soy sauce, 2t rice vinegar, 1/4t sugar, a pinch of red pepper is optional.

          This is from "World of the East Vegetarian Cooking" by Jaffrey; I'd be interested in hearing about other Japanese methods.

          I also often make pickled cucumber: seed and chop cucumber into 3/4 inch pieces, mix with 1t sugar/2t mustard/2 cloves chopped garlic/~cup olive oil/1t red wine vinegar/pinch of salt and pepper. I often add garlic and onions.

          I think pickles are a great additional side for most every meal.

          6 Replies
          1. re: steinpilz

            This past year: ginger in oil/spices; baby mangoes in salt; okra with hot peppers in vinegar (good stuff), watermelon rind (county fair blue ribbon), lemons, garlic in soy/vinegar, turnips, kimchi, umeboshi. Saving up right now to get one of those German crocks with the moat around the top edge -- said to be excellent for sauerkraut & sauerruben (sp.?).

            Can you tell that we like pickles?

            If anyone has had any luck making takuan (daikon pickle) in rice bran, please let me know. I tried three times & was extremely fussy about it & every time it molded.

            1. re: mshenna

              I had no idea what you meant about the moat. But sure enough, you are right. Here is a link to someone selling them...


              I should give your watermelon rind a go. It would never have crossed my mind.

              1. re: Paulustrious

                That's the one -- the Harsch crock (couldn't remember the name when I posted, thank you!). The people who gave a workshop last summer on lacto-fermentation recommended it & had one there for the audience to inspect & samples of what it produced. Wonderful.

                The watermelon rind recipe I use is an old one from the first Sunset Favorite Recipes compilation, which goes in & out of print like a dog at a screen door. It calls for a preliminary soak in a pickling lime solution, which strengthens the cell structure or something -- anyhow, even after considerable cooking in syrup, the rind pieces stay quite crisp. It also calls for inserting a clove in each piece of pickle before putting them in the jars -- I do it, b/c it looks & tastes great, but be warned, you too will be covered in sticky syrup by the end; if your kitchen, like mine, is not air-conditioned, there will be a moment when you swear never never ever to make the stuff again. (Then a few days later you crack open a jar & all resolutions are forgotten.)

              2. re: mshenna

                I'm also curious about whether or not anyone on here has had success with rice bran pickles. I'm planning to start the process tomorrow using the recipe from the Shizuo Tsuji book. I'll let you know how it goes.

                1. re: Condimentality

                  By rice bran pickles are you talking about nukazuke?

                  I finally found a good container and purchased rice bran and am awaiting a chance to begin.

                  If there are 'hounds doing this, perhaps we could have an on going thread to compare notes!

                  1. re: meatn3

                    I was talking about nukamiso-zuke. So more of a rice bran mash, I guess. I would be interested in hearing about everyone's experiences with either kind, though.

            2. I'm lazy so I rarely follow-through with making enough pickles to can.

              I do often make pickled vegetable compotes that're designed to go with whatever dish I'm preparing.

              Pickled watermelon rind is a thing of beauty. So is the sweet/sour daikon/carrot pickle that some Cantonese restaurants put out on the table (Taiwanese, too).

              In the Chinese restaurant, we keep two huge jars of seasoned brine/vinegar mixture going. Into them we toss peeled broccoli stems, bok choy hunks, carrot trimmings and celery. There's one for using, and one for marinating. We switch off week to week. These pickle tidbids are typically eaten on the side, with rice and whatever's for dinner.

              When it's time to put out the antipasto, I make my own giardinara with cauliflower, peppers (hot and red bell), celery, onion, radishes, carrots and fennel.

              1 Reply
              1. re: shaogo

                I love this local sichuan restaurant - they put out this lil bowl of pickled/hot veggies. Is that the same as the one you mention shaogo? These are crisp, and zippy and looks like celery, broccoli stems, carrot, etc. Would you have a recipe for this?

              2. Spicy pickled onions. Pickled beetroot. Picalilli. All are yum.

                4 Replies
                1. re: greedygirl

                  Pickled onions (UK style, Hayward etc) are hard to find in the parts of North America I've visited. Or if they are available they are expensive. You can get the small sweet silver-skin onions, but that's not what I want.

                  1. re: Paulustrious

                    They're really easy to make. You just need small onions, some malt vinegar, sugar and I use cloves, chillies and mace as the pickling spices. And I salt them overnight to draw out the moisture. They're really good - let me know if you want the recipe.