Pickled vegetables are an essential part of any Japanese meal and these quick, simple sides dishes are to be eaten the day of making.
½ cup sushi rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon caster sugar
¼ teaspoon wasabi paste
¼ teaspoon soy sauce
Radish and ginger
4 medium radishes
1 tablespoon julienned fresh ginger
Cucumber and chilli
1 Lebanese cucumber
½ a long red chilli
Daikon and carrot with sesame seeds
5 cm piece daikon radish
1 medium carrot
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted
Put the vinegar, mirin and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 1 minute then whisk in the wasabi and soy. Cool for 5 minutes.
Place the vegetables (not the garnishes) in individual bowls and sprinkle each one with a teaspoon of salt. Leave for 20 minutes then rinse under cold water. Dry with kitchen towels and return to the bowls. Pour a third of the pickling liquid over each bowl of vegetables and leave for 1 hour before serving, turning occasionally.
Radish and ginger: Cut the radishes into small wedges, keeping a little of the green stem on if possible. Add the ginger to the radishes when the pickling liquid is added.
Cucumber and chilli: Thinly slice the cucumber and finely slice the red chilli, removing the seeds. Add the chilli when serving.
Daikon and carrot with sesame seeds: Peel the vegetables and cut into julienne. Add the sesame seeds to serve.