This recipe for Sweet Asian Pickles has a Rice Vinegar brine with subtle hints of ginger along with a balance of sweet and sour.
Sweet Asian Pickles
- 1 Each Cucumber Sliced
- 1 Each Red Bell Pepper Sliced
- 1 Each Onion Sliced
- 1½ Cup Water
- ¾ Cup Rice Vinegar
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 2 Tablespoon Sliced Ginger
- 1½ Tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Pickling Spice
Making the Brine
- In a sauce pot over high heat add Vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Water, and Pickling Spice. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer for five minutes.
- Place thinly sliced ginger in bowl. Then pour the warm brine through a fine strainer over the sliced ginger. Allow the brine to room temperature or cooler before adding sliced vegetables. Using an ice bath can help to speed up this process.
Making the Pickles
- Slice Cucumber, Onion, and Pepper thinly. Make an attempt to have them all the same thickness.
- Add sliced vegetables to a container and pour the pickle brine over them. Add a weight, such as a plate, to fully submerge the vegetables into the brine.
- Place your container in the refrigerator for at least two hours to allow the pickling process to happen. Then remove the weight and serve or store in an air tight container, still in the brine, for up to three weeks.
- You will want to make sure the vegetables are completely submerged in the pickling liquid. Using a plate, ramekin, or any weighted food safe object to push down the fennel works well. After two hours, you can remove the weight and store the pickled fennel in the refrigerator.
- Some pickle or brine recipes will call for half the water to be in ice form. This way you can boil the vinegar and water to dissolve the salt and sugar. Then you would remove from heat and add ice to shock to cool rapidly. Personally, I do not like this method as I prefer to allow the entirety of the liquid to get the opportunity to have the spices time to steep to infuse their flavor. If you are in a hurry to cool down your brine/ pickling liquid, I suggest using an ice bath. For small batches this works perfectly and is more accurate in my opinion.
This recipe for Sweet Asian Pickles calls for rice wine vinegar. Which has a slightly sweet flavor that is less pungent than white distilled vinegar. There are different varieties of rice vinegars, but most grocery stores carry just a basic clear version that will work well for this purpose.
Pickling Spice is typically a blend of Mustard Seeds, Bay Leaves, Clove, Cinnamon, Crushed Red Pepper, Peppercorns, Allspice, and Coriander. Different brands may have different spices or ratios deepening on their recipe. This is the one I typically use at home, but most are just fine and will yield similar results.
This recipe for Sweet Asian Pickles calls for Cucumber, Red Bell Pepper, and Onion. That is not to say that you need to stick to just those three. The brine that this recipe calls for can be used with just about any vegetable you might want to pickle. Carrots, radishes, and other variety of peppers all work well with this brine recipe.
Q & A | Sweet Asian Pickles
What do you serve Sweet Asian Pickles with
These Sweet Asian Pickles go well with a variety of dishes. I enjoy them on Bahn Mi Sandwiches, along side of a stir fry, take out, or even just by themselves.
Do I need to remove the vegetables from the pickling liquid?
No, these pickles should be stored in the brine. It is really no different than when you buy a jar of standard pickles at the store.
How long do the vegetables need to be in the brine until they are considered pickled?
You should wait at least two hours. Depending on the thickness of your cuts this may vary. If you are apprehensive at all, preparing these they day in advance will ensure that the vegetables are properly pickled for serving.
How long will pickled fennel last?
This pickle recipe will safely last three weeks under proper refrigeration. As long as they are stored covered and clean utensils are used to retrieve them there should be no safety issues. Unfortunately, At three weeks you will start to see deteriorating quality and they should be discarded.
Do I need canning jars for this recipe?
No, since this is quick pickle and not intended on being a long-term preservation method, any food grade storage container will suffice.
Does These Sweeet Asian Pickles need refrigeration?
Yes, these pickles are not shelf stable and should be stored refrigerated.