The month of April has been great so far and that includes the latest Food In Jars Challenge – Quick Pickles. This was a fun one for me since I really had to pause and think about how I would proceed with this challenge. For the last two years my canning has predominantly been focused on making sure items were shelf stable (so nothing was quick, they all needed to be canned in a water bath) in order to be able to transport and sell them. I got very excited because I really do love all sorts of pickles and all of a sudden the idea of being able to enjoy them within days of making them (instead of weeks) was making me a tad giddy!
I then found a container of organic fresh ginger at Costco and it hit me – Quick Pickled Ginger! And then, at the local Farmer’s Market one of the farm vendors was selling fresh carrots that he had had in the root cellar since November. They were quite large so I was hesitant to eat them fresh, but they would be perfect for Quick Pickled Asian Carrots! And since I was able to find a lot that were straight they would be an ideal way to test out my (somewhat) new Spiralizer. Let the creating begin!
What should I eat these with you ask? Sushi, of course or served alongside pan seared fish or teriyaki chicken. The carrots are fantastic tucked into sandwiches or put onto salads. I also love the ginger on a bowl of rice with a sprinkle of furikake. My favorite application is to use a bit of both on top of poke rice bowls. It adds a nice vinegar punch and a bit of very flavorful heat.
Some tips for Pickled Ginger:
- Ideally, use fresh, young ginger. It is easier to peel and not fibrous like mature ginger. However, young ginger is not as readily available so when using fresh, mature ginger (which I did for this recipe) make sure to cut it super thin against the grain (into coins, essentially) to avoid it getting tough and fibrous.
- The pink color of commercial ginger is mostly dyed. Ginger does contain pigments that will cause it to obtain a pink hue over time, just not as intense. Young ginger will turn more pink than mature.
- Peeling and slicing ginger, especially mature ginger, is quite time consuming. So stick to small batches – I know I will!
PICKLED GINGER – America’s Test Kitchen, Foolproof Preserving
Yield: (2) 1-cup jars
- 14 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 6 T. cane sugar
- 1 T. pickling salt, 1.5 T. Morton’s Kosher Salt, or 2 T. Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
Wash (2) 1-cup jars and keep warm by placing in a bowl of hot water.
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, add sliced ginger to the pot and boil until slightly darkened and softened, about 40 seconds. Drain ginger in colander, then spread out over paper towels.
Bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil (empty the water from the pot in the previous step and use it for this step). Stir occasionally to dissolve sugar.
Shake jars dry and pack ginger tightly into warm jars. Pour hot brine over the ginger to cover, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Let jars cool to room temperature, then wipe rims and cover with lids.
Refrigerate for at least 4 days. Ginger can be refrigerated for at least 6 months and the ginger flavor/heat will mellow over time.
Some tips for Pickled Asian Carrots:
- Cut the carrots into julienne strips, use a spiralizer (like I did) or just peel strips with your vegetable peeler. You want thin pieces like this in order for the quick pickling process to work effectively. These options are also the best sizes for serving the carrots on salads or poke bowls or tucking into sandwiches.
- This recipe is equally delicious using beet stems or swiss chard stems!
PICKLED ASIAN CARROTS – Foodie with Family
Yield: (3) 1-pint jars
- 1.5# carrots, julienned or spiraled
- 1.5 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 3 whole star anise
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 1 T. red pepper flakes
- 3 T. fresh ginger, minced
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Wash (3) 1-pint jars, keep warm in a bowl of hot water.
Bring all ingredients (except carrots) to a boil, stirring often until sugar dissolves. After the brine boils, remove star anise and set aside.
Add carrots to the brine, bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
Shake the jars dry, add one star anise to each jar. Pack the carrots into each jar, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Ladle in brine to cover carrots. Use a chopstick to release bubbles, add more brine if needed.
Let jars come to room temperature. Wipe rims and cover with lids. Refrigerate for at least 4 days. Carrots will last for up to 6 months in the refrigerator.