I’ve recently developed a love for pickling things. It’s so easy! You just make a brine and throw your veggie right in. Let it sit overnight and presto! Pickles! I’ve never bothered with canning or jarring things – it seems too complicated and you have to buy all this specialized equipment that I just don’t have any space to store. My pickles won’t last for years in jars, but that’s OK because I make small batches and eat them up very quickly. The great thing is you can pickle in any glass or ceramic container covered in plastic wrap.
This recipe uses ume plum vinegar, which is a beautiful garnet colored Japanese vinegar. It’s used to pickle umeboshi plums and the red color comes from shiso leaves. It’s acidic, as vinegar should be, but it’s also very salty. That’s why this pickling brine doesn’t call for any salt itself. If you can’t get your hands on ume plum vinegar, a good substitute would be an equal amount of cider vinegar and a tablespoon of sea salt.
The pickled radishes and onions are crunchy, sour, salty, and sweet. They could be good as a side to a hot and spicy dish, but I like them as a snack on their own. They only require a couple of hours to pickle and they last for about a week in the fridge. Taste them after about 8-10 hours. If they are starting to get very sour, remove them from the brine before they become too sour.