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.
Adapted from Just Bento
Quick Pickled Radishes
1 bunch radish (mine was 7 large radishes)
1/4 – 1/2 white onion
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup ume vinegar (you can substitute with 3/4 cup cider vinegar + 1 tablespoon sea salt)
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups water, cool or room temperature
- Combine vinegars, honey, and red pepper flakes in a microwavable container. Microwave on low setting (30% power) for a minute – just to warm it up. You can also do this step on the stove top. Use low heat – you don’t want it to boil. The heat will make the honey easier to dissolve and bring out the flavor of the red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and add the water. Set aside to cool.
- Cut off radish stems and long tails, then quarter them. Cut onions into 1/2″ thick slices. Add radishes and onions to the bowl with the brine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- Taste after 8 hours and remove from brine if the radishes are getting too acidic.
I love onion so I used about half of a yellow onion. Feel free to reduce the amount or leave it out altogether.
Quartered radishes waiting to be pickled!
I love that I don’t have to can these pickles – I just grabbed the closest bowl I could find and covered it in plastic wrap.
The ume vinegar turns the radishes this gorgeous shade of pink.