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Korean Refrigerator Pickled Carrots

typical selection of banchan
I am presently designing a set of banchan (the small plates of delicacies that accompany any Korean meal) for an "open mic" dinner that I am making for a place in Toronto called The Depanneur. I will be serving a version of my BiBimBap Sopes so we are already starting from a Korea meets Mexico kind of place and that means that I want the banchan to reflect that as well. I have been experimenting with replacing some of the more traditional Korean ingredients with things that you might find on a Mexican dinner table with great success so far. For starters, both cultures love to pickle things and since the flavours meld together beautifully, it's been a ton of fun to experiment with different combinations although some have been more successful than others.

Because I am not crazy pants, I am only sharing the success stories with you and trust me, there are often spectacular failures.

The first recipe that I will share is this recipe for pickled carrots. Pickled carrot with jalapeños is quite popular in Mexico so I already knew that this would work purely from a pickling standpoint. I have replaced the peppers with gochugaru, the smoky, red chili powder that is responsible for the colour and heat in kimchi and added some ginger, garlic and soy sauce as well.

Korean Refrigerator Pickled Carrots

i used multi coloured carrots because they are prettier to photograph but by the time they are pickled, they all look the same so all orange carrots are just fine

1.5 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into long strips
1 cup of cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tbls kosher salt
1 tbls sugar
2 tbls korean chili powder
2 tbls soy sauce
2" piece of ginger, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 scallion, slivered

prepare a large glass jar - I just poured boiling water in a clean jar and let it sit while I prepped the carrots because it is going into the fridge but you can boil them like you would for canning if you like.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the carrots for three minutes. Pour them in a colander and run cold water over them to cool them off.

Put the garlic and ginger into the bottom of the jar. Pack the carrot strips into the jar - don't be afraid to really wedge them in, alternating with some slices of scallion.

Bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to the boil and then remove from the heat. Stir in the chili powder and soy sauce, stir and then pour the hot liquid over the carrots, filling the jar almost to the top. Try to leave about 1/2 inch of head space, wipe the jar rim clean and put the lid on. When the pickles have cooled to room temperature you can put them in the fridge, where they will last 3-4 weeks.

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