Japanese sweet vinegar pickles 野菜の甘酢漬け

japanese cake
This is a starter plate we had one evening; crab cake, spinach with creamy black sesame sauce (left and right in the back of the image below) and daikon, cucumber and carrot pickled in sweet vinegar (front).

This is a sort of eclectic combination but it happens often with us depending on what is available. Since we had leftover crab meat after making the California roll, I made that into small crab cakes. I got a bunch of fresh spinach (not a baby kind in a bag), so I made spinach with black sesame sauce. I found a bottle of good vinegar tucked in the back of the pantry and used it to make sweet vinegar. I used the sweet vinegar to make a Japanese style chicken escabeche, which followed this plate. The pickled vegetable dish picture here is another dish I made with the sweet vinegar.

Pickling liquid: In the sweet vinegar (1/2 cup), I added yuzu shoyu sauce (1 tbs, from the bottle) and just a dash of dark roasted sesame oil.

Vegetables: I cut daikon, cucumber and carrot into small batons (about 2 inch long and 1/4 inch wide) as seen above. I blanched the carrot for 1 minute and drained. In a frying pan on high flame, I added olive oil (1 tbs) a dash of sesame oil and red pepper flakes. I briefly (30-40 seconds) sauteed all the vegetables and put them in the pickling liquid while it was hot. After cooling down to the room temperature, I covered the container and placed it in the refrigerator. You need to leave the veggies in the pickling liquid at least 24 hours or up to several days. 

The pickles in the picture are about 2 days old. The color of the cucumbers is a bit off but all the vegetables were still nicely crunchy with a gentle sweet vinegar taste. Compared to asazuke, these are true Japanese pickles and are a very refreshing condiment.

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