Quick Pickles

, from Issue #50. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Quick Pickles

Pickled vegetables are an essential part of any Japanese meal and these quick, simple sides dishes are to be eaten the day of making.


Pickling liquid
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.