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Recipes for Tangy, Tart, Sour Food with Much Zing, please . . .?


As evident from the title, I love tangy, even sour, flavors. After large meals, I peel a lime, halve it, salt it, put the halves together again, chew, and swallow. Very meditative. I snack on tamarind (not the sweet kind, of course) as often as I can. The vinegar/citrus to oil ration in my vinaigrettes is way off, nearly half and half. And I add mustard. And I love tangy pickles. I actually prefer plums under-ripe.

If you know of any recipes, or just ingredients, fresh or processed (e.g. a premade sauce), that you think fits the sort of flavor profile I'm after, please share, and I'd be grateful.


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  1. Sour Cherries, either sugared or in pie

    1. Piccata = white wine, lemon, capers, parsley, butter.

      Also, the caper & lemon vinaigrette April Bloomfield makes http://www.gourmettenyc.com/2012/04/2...

      1. Only thing that comes to mind are lemon bars, retro lemon chicken, or lemon meringue pie. I bet you would also like your adjustment for hot and sour soup. lol!

        I must admit, you are the first person I met that likes lemons/sour more than my mom. She could eat a bowl full of lemon wedges if you let her.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Crockett67

          If your mother is so fond of lemons, you should present her some underripe grapes (the stuff they make verjus from). They're divine with salt. Also, salt and lemon sprinkled and drizzled over cucumbers or sour apples. Stuck in the library dreaming of these

        2. A lot of Southeast Asian cuisines are promiscuously sour. Filipino adobo, meat braised with vinegar, garlic, pepper and bay leaves, is a good example. Green papaya salad is also another recipe worth trying.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JungMann

            That adobo sounds great, thanks. Never tried it before but will make tonight.

            1. re: david_ipse

              Use apple cider vinegar if you like it sour, but bring out its complexity with a little sugar and soy sauce. More tips here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/619604

          2. ceviche, tom yum soup, sinigang (a filipino sour soup), green mango salad come to mind.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ctl98

              I was going to suggest green mango salad, too. Evidently when I was a baby, I'd eat green mangoes dipped in vinegar and sprinkled with salt until the acid would turn my lips white. Completely freaked out my parents. ;-)

            2. Poached egg on English muffin with lemon and salt in lieu of Hollandaise.

              1. Like your salted lime, I learned in Hawaii as a child to dip lemon quarters into soy sauce, then suck. And you'd probably like this:

                1. I recently made this crabapple jelly: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mary-wyn... and it turned out wonderfully sour. I replaced the cinnamon stick with a large pinch of dried lavender. They key is to find really sour crabapples. They also make a great, sour applesauce which is very nice with pork, if you are looking for something more savory. I've also been thinking about making a crabapple curd.

                  Preserved lemons are another sour ingredient that can be added to many dishes/veggies/dressing etc.

                  For someti

                  1. Umeboshi

                    Chinese sour plums -- either as is, or as cold sour plum juice drink

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      This is what I came on here to post, about the umeboshi.

                    2. sweet and sour cabbage (prefer red)

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Chowrin

                        What an awesome idea ... kimchi for dessert!

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          i was thinking more the german kind -- which would make a delightful dessert!

                      2. I know this post is a few months old but if you are still checking this thread, I just made a soup tonight that you might like. I based it off of a posole verde. The sorrel is not critical but does add another sour flavor which I like.

                        Tomatillo and hominy soup
                        1Tblspn olive oil
                        6 cloves of garlic, minced
                        1 tsp granulated garlic (optional)
                        ½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
                        ½ tsp cumin (optional)
                        ½ tsp ancho chile powder (optional)
                        2 lbs green tomatillos, husked, washed and cut into 1 inch pieces (usually quartering or 1/8th is enough)
                        1-2 bunches of sorrel, leaves cut into ribbons, stems discarded or saved for other use
                        Juice of two limes (or more if you like)
                        6-8 cups chicken broth (you can also use vegetable broth if you have one that isn't too sweet)
                        29 oz can of hominy
                        Salt to taste
                        salty cheese like cotija or feta (optional)

                        Add oil to heavy bottomed stock pot (or enamel-lined dutch oven). Heat pot over medium high heat. Saute garlic for a few seconds (don’t let it burn). Add in the spices and let them sizzle a few seconds in the oil. Add in the tomatillos and cook until they soften, stirring often. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Don’t let it burn. Deglaze the pan with a splash of the chicken broth and then pour in the rest of the broth.

                        Bring to a simmer and simmer until tomatillos are almost totally softened about 10-15 minutes. Add in the sorrel and lime juice. Taste and add more lime juice, salt or spices as you prefer.

                        Puree soup with a hand mixer or very lightly in a blender. Return to pot and add hominy and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes.

                        Serve with a sprinkle of cheese. I like to eat it with a big spoonful of rice at the bottom of my bowl to make it heartier.

                        Hope you like it!