I love my pickles, especially Asian (I stare pointedly at my Korean and Japanese pickles) pickles. Some of them may smell, some of them may look terribly dubious and like something outta the bin but still, they really wake up your tastebuds. How is it possible for me to not love that about them?
After a recent dinner with Su-yin from Bread et Butter, and a (typical of foodblogger-style) chat about pickles, I was really up for making some to have around in the house. Of course, these pickles aren’t the traditional aged type of pickles but a quick one with a pickle-sort of dressing, nonetheless they taste great and is a great accompaniment to any oriental meal. At home, pickles are served on a little sidedish plate to accompany the dinner dishes and rice. Not only do they help with one’s appetite and digestion, they cleanse the palate especially after oily dishes or strong-tasting ones.
What’s so great about pickles is that they’re terribly cheap and easy to make which means it’s totally great for students like yours truly. And because this is a quick pickle, you don’t have to leave it to ferment for days and all that. Think of it as a pickled salad. I find it hard not to snack on this as well when I’m a little bored.
It’s been a busy week and the weather’s been so horrid I think I’m finally breaking. I’m one to love the melancholic grey and rain but recently, my tolerance has just plummeted. That explains my uninspiring ‘banter’ on this post at the moment. Forgive me. But these babies currently waiting for me in the fridge have brightened up my day and blasted a bit of sunshine (albeit temporary because they’ll go so quick) into my life and if you think to make them, I hope they will do the same for you too.
The recipe I’ve used from Everyday Harumi and the only alteration I’ve made is the addition of toasted white sesame seeds to give it a bit more flavour. I thought the dressing was superb but a little flat to taste but that might’ve been because I taste-tested before adding the grated fresh ginger. Nonetheless, I thought the sesame seeds were a great addition.
Recipe serves 4.
Cucumber and Wakame Seaweed in Sweet Pickled Dressing
- 5g dried wakame seaweed
- 400g Japanese cucumber
- sea salt, for sprinkling on cucumber
- 1-2 tbs white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
- 1/3 tsp sea salt
- 150ml rice vinegar
- 2 tbs caster sugar
- grated fresh ginger, to taste
Wash and soak wakame for 5-10mins then cut into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon, then slice diagonally into pieces of 4-5mm thickness. Place in a bowl, lightly sprinkle with salt and leave for 5-10mins. Then squeeze firmly and place in a clean bowl.
Combine the salt, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl and mix well. Add this to the cucumber and wakame. Add the sesame seeds and mix well, careful to coat all in the vinegar dressing. Leave in the refrigerator to chill before serving (about 1-2 hours is good). Don’t leave in the fridge for more than 2 days as the seaweed and cucumber will start to lose its colour and texture.
Serve the pickle in small dishes with some grated ginger on top. Eat with a steaming bowl of rice and accompanying dishes!