Hello everyone! Here is our first pickled vegetable dish! A few months ago, H and her family volunteered to serve food for a group of christian North Korean defectors after a church service. The menu was bibimbap with a side of Oi Jang Ah Jjee (pickled cucumber). The latter was made by a local restaurant owner. Well, it was delicious, crunchy, and very fresh tasting! It is also tangy, sweet, and soy saucy…if we can call that a description of the taste. Anyhow, after contemplating on the recipe, H’s mom called and found out how to make this tasty side dish. Surprisingly, it is very very easy to make and fun because you can choose what you want to pickle! We are thrilled to share this with you!
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WHAT YOU NEED: Serves 6-7 people as side dishes
- 1 whole cucumber–doesn’t really matter what kind, sliced into long slices (think baby carrot size)
- 1-1/2 onion (we used yellow)
- ~10 small garlic (we used extra small ones! you may want to slice garlic in half if the taste is too strong
- 1/2 stalk of celery sticks (we love the crunch!!)
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- ***NOTE: the amounts of soy, vinegar, sugar, and water are all pretty relative–everyone makes it differently. Here we use ratio as 1 soy: 1/2 vinegar: 1/2 sugar as well as 1 water. If you want to make a larger batch, use the ratio as a ball park measure.
- OPTIONAL: Asian Green peppers or jalapeno–a very popular one that is used for this dish (we didn’t have any around), Radish….try to avoid carrots. We tried this, and hated the texture.
WHAT TO DO:
It’s somewhat embarrassing to even have a what to do. Get a large container and just pour everything in. Leave in the fridge for a day and enjoy it the next day! Remember to store any leftovers in the fridge.
Like mentioned before, there are several ways on how to make this dish, and people can argue for days on which is the proper way. We say, the one that tastes the best for you is the best way.
Now, most recipes out there actually boil the liquids and sugar and then let cool. Afterwards, pour the cooled liquid into the jar with vegetables–whether to pour liquid when it is completely cooled or not is up to debate. The original recipe lady said that it does not taste as fresh and light if the boiling is done. However, she does recommend boiling the liquid if you want to let the vegetables really marinate and enjoy this dish for months on.
Most recipes do not even include water, but…because we don’t want this dish to be super salty and soy saucy, we use water to make the taste less powerful. We are aiming for a very lightly pickled flavor in this recipe. However, it is your preference. What I would do to taste the difference is enjoy the dish fresh for a couple days and then try boiling the liquid only afterwards and trying it that way…and enjoying the dish for a longer period of time.