Skip to main content

Daikon and Carrot Pickles

Carrot and daikon awaiting transformation.

My schedule seems to have slowed just enough to make time for making pickles or I've managed to forget something I'm supposed to be doing and have filled the resulting void with pickles and canning. Regardless, it's a lovely time. It could be, too, that I'm slightly homesick and canning is my balm. As I fill jars with sweet marmalade or these spicy pickles I think of my family and friends back home that set me on this path filled with colorful jars and flavorful food. They remain my inspiration.

As does the harvest currently beginning at the farm. While greens like komatsuna are starting to roll in so are the daikon. We're growing two varieties this year - the usual torpedo-sized mammoths that lounge like rock stars in my bike basket and a short fat variety that snuggles in like a cat on the lap. Both are delicious and crunchy and bright and snappy, but the short fatties are ready now. I came home with two the other day, and so decided to try a recipe I'd long had my eye on over at Food in Jars. (Her new book, by the way, looks like a doozy.)

Of course, I tweaked it to fit my cupboard and taste buds and general laziness about finding exactly the right ingredients. And because I'm sometimes slightly inattentive...that's another story. They were a hit at a recent party, and I suspect that as they steep in their brine they'll only get better. I'll be trying them again, too, with more colorful daikon just to see what happens. Someone better send me some jars.....

Lovely carrot slice
Tokyo Carrot and Daikon Pickles
2 small, tubby daikon or half of one big one
3 fat carrots

Brine:
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander powder
500 ml water
500 ml cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pickling salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 anise stars, whole (I just used what was in the entire package.)
1 1/2 teaspoons powdered ginger

Hand slice the carrots and daikon. I could use the arm strength, and ever since reading a review of Bee Wilson's Consider the Fork I have taken the food processor off my list. Set aside. Mix up the brine and bring it to a boil. Taste as you go to match your taste buds. Add the sliced vegetables, give them a good stir and mix, and remove from the heat. Fill prepared jars, wipe the rims, screw on the lids, and process for a good ten minutes. Makes roughly six pints.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Kamakura Farmers Market: Giant Buddhas and Good Vegetables

Kamakura Farmers Market entrance A little more than an hour train ride south of Tokyo sits Kamakura. Like Kyoto and Nara, Kamakura is a former capital full to the brim with temples, shrines, and a bounty of historical sites lining its winding streets. Nestled in a cozy bay with beaches and a giant Buddha tucked amongst the rest, it's a city that invites multiple visits if not at least one. And those seeking a farmers market well-stocked with traditional vegetables, skilled growers ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, along with some nifty prepared foods to rejuvenate themselves after so many temples surely won't be disappointed, either. Kamakura Farmers Market - right side full of signs Started nearly twenty years ago, the Kamakura Farmers Market or Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, runs seven days a week nearly year-round. A ten-minute walk from the station, the market is located in what at first glance looks like nothing so much as a run-down w

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l