Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Andoh's Quick Fix Pickles: Fruity, Sweet And Sour Daikon (vegan & gluten-free option)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Thunder ~ Lola
Rival Sons ~ Open My Eyes
Stevie Wonder ~ Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Scissors Sisters ~ Take Your Mama
KT Tunstall ~ Saving Face
INXS ~ Never Tear Us Apart
Black Stone Cherry ~ Lonely Train
Dead Sara ~ We Are What You Say
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band ~ Shame, Shame, Shame
Skid Row ~ Piece Of Me
Thunder ~ She's My Inspiration
VAST ~ Can't Say No
Alison Moyet ~ More
The Union ~ The Space Between Us

I recently bought myself a second hand copy of Elizabeth Andoh's Kansha cookbook. It is a cook book that celebrates the vegan and vegetarian traditions of Japanese cuisine. I had been coveting it for a while and knew it would be all the things a good cook book should be. From the moment I held it in my hands I was enchanted. I made a large pot of green tea and sat down with it and read it cover to cover. Visually it's cook book perfection and it is a captivating read. The recipes are on the whole simple and every one I have tested so far have been a little bit of vegan Japanese food heaven. Kansha has quickly endeared itself to me and I would say it's easily one of my most favourite cook books of all time. Its now a treasured possession...

I made these pickles because I was creating some Japanese inspired recipes of my own and had realised I was missing a key ingredient for the meal. Pickles!! Now traditional pickles take time to ferment. I did not have this luxury and turned to the Pickles section of Andoh's book. I found this recipe and seeing the words quick and fix in the title had me rummaging around in my fridge to check for diakon and apples as everything else was stock cupboard items. And 15 minutes later I had sliced diakon and apples in a covering of salt and soaking and a quickly heated stock/brine cooling in a pan. The hardest part of this recipe is the 'not' rinsing the salt off of the diakon and apple when they have had their soaking time and it was amazing how much liquid leached out from them. Giving them a good press and toss really helped as mine held onto their moisture until I started to..well..assist them! In under an hour I had a jar of pickles sat in my fridge awaiting use. Marvellous!

Ann, who was here for the day helping me recipe test, became addicted to these pickles. We divided them up on the day and she ate hers as a snack and I have since made her another jar. It's easy to see why she liked them because the resulting pickles were indeed sweet as the apple brings a great fresh sweetness to the pickles. The diakon is a sturdy texture and takes on the fruitiness perfectly. The brine isn't an overpoweringly salty one which can sometimes be off putting as the salt dissipates into the sweetened brine. We 'blanked' on our day of testing that Andoh suggests scattering toasted sesame seeds. So when I read the recipe through again a few days later I spotted it and did indeed scatter the beautiful black and white sesame seeds I had toasted and sealed in a tiny jar....and On My Goodness...the transformation from a great sweet pickle to exceptional pickle was a foodie mind blowing experience for me. Wow...and I never say that easily...

Andoh's Quick Fix Pickles: Fruity, Sweet And Sour Daikon (vegan & gluten-free)

Andoh's Quick Fix Pickles: Fruity, Sweet & Sour Daikon
(Recipe from KANSHA/Celebrating Japan's Vegan & Veggie Traditions/Andoh)

Sweet and sour marinate:

3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup stock or water
drop of light colour soy sauce (I used Braggs)
1 tbsp sugar (I used brown sugar/stevia blend)
2-3 strips of lemon peel or 1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1" square of kombu
1 small tart apple about 6 oz, quartered, cored and thinly sliced or 1/4 cup 1/2" long matchstick cut apple peels 4oz
1 tsp kosher salt
1 chunk of daikon about 8oz unpeeled, cut into half moons
1 tbsp white sesame seeds, freshly dry roasted (I also used black)

Make the marinade:
Combine the vinegar, stock, soy (Braggs), sugar, lemon peel and kombu in a small saucepan over low heat and heat slowly, stirring, just until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and pour into a one pint glass jar and let cool naturally. The marinade can be made up to one week in advance and refrigerated. Bring to room temperate before using. 

Place the apples in a small bowl, add 1/2 tsp of the salt, and toss to coat evenly. Place the daikon slices in another small bowl and toss with the remaining salt. Let the apple and daikon slices sit for 10 minutes; moisture will form. If your apple has red skin the colour may bleed, tinting the brine. Lightly press and squeeze to encourage further wilting. Drain the apple and daikon slices then press out the excess liquid. 

Transfer the wilted apple and daikon to the marinade. Place the kombu on top to keep the apple and daikon submerged in the marinade. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature (refrigerate if you wish to hold for longer than four hours) or for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator. 

When ready to serve, use clean dry chopsticks or a fork to remove pieces from the marinade. Press out the excess liquid, then mound teepee style and garnish with the sesame seeds. 

Refrigerate and use within one week. 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is going well?


NB: This is not my creation and I take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hard-work and creation of Elizabeth Andoh and hers alone. I thank her for such an inspirational cook book and for sharing her beautiful recipes. ~R~