Quick pickled carrots with ginger
March 14, 2013 § 5 Comments
Looking back through the archives, it seems that every year around this time pickles make an appearance. Perhaps it’s to do with the lull between winter veg and new spring veg, since I certainly eat pickles year round. But right now, in March, pickled vegetables perk everything up; they’re light on effort and brighten up even the most ordinary vegetables and meals.
I hadn’t made pickled carrots in a while, and so when I’d got everything else ready it dawned on me that I was out of fresh ginger and frozen ginger. But, recalling the jar of candied ginger used in the pear-ginger sugar muffins, I decided to give it a try, subbing out some of the added sugar in my typical carrot pickling mixture for the sugar inherent in candied ginger.
Turns out that it works really well, much better even than frozen ginger, which seems to go mushy in pickles. In fact, despite the nomenclature, candied ginger might be a good sub for fresh ginger in a lot of other savory applications, like roast chicken with soy sauce, as a tiny bit of added sweetness (after all, it’s only a small piece or two of ginger) isn’t going to detract from the meal with all those other strong flavors.
There are two ways I make these pickles, and that depends on meal planning for the week. For a condiment, like as a sandwich pickle or with noodles, I often make these with the shredder attachment on the food processor since it’s fast and easy and can even mangle up the ginger really fast. For making this as more of a true vegetable dish with more crunch — for instance, when served with dumplings — or for when I want them to appear fancier, I julienne the carrots and hand-chop the ginger. The flavors are otherwise the same and really the choice is up to you; I’ve certainly used julienned pickled carrots on noodles and the shredded version with dumplings.
Quick pickled carrots with ginger
Makes two eight-ounce (240 mL) jars with shredded carrots, or three eight-ounce jars with julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) mirin (sweet rice wine vinegar) – increase to 3/4 cup (175 mL) with julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup (120 mL) rice wine vinegar – increase to 3/4 cup (175 mL) with julienned carrots
- Three large carrots, scrubbed clean, about ten ounces (280 grams)
- Two pieces of candied ginger, about 1.5cm square each
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the mirin on high for about a minute, or until very hot. (Alternatively this can be done in a saucepan — bring the mirin to a boil and then immediately remove from heat to cool.)
2. While the mirin is cooling, shred the carrots and ginger in a food processor with the shredding attachment on. Alternatively, julienne (cut into thin strips about two to three inches long) the carrots and then finely mince the ginger.
3. Pour in the rice wine vinegar into the mirin; add salt and sugar to taste. Mix in the carrots and ginger and transfer carrots and pickling mixture to jars. The quick pickled carrots can be served immediately, or for stored in the refrigerator for up to three days for the shredded carrots or up to a week for the julienned carrots.
For the pickled carrot noodle salad, cook enough noodles (rice, buckwheat, wheat, whatever you like) to serve however many you are feeding, top with the pickled carrots, and then add some chopped peanuts and/or cashews and/or sesame seeds. Drizzle over some toasted sesame oil, if you like, along with some fresh herbs: cilantro, Thai basil (even regular basil in a pinch), chives or scallions… For more protein tofu or even a fried egg resting on top is a nice addition.