Quick Japanese pickles

Adam Liaw
Citrus peel, such as lemon (pictured), adds extra flavour to these simple pickled vegetables.
Citrus peel, such as lemon (pictured), adds extra flavour to these simple pickled vegetables. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy

This recipe pickles vegetables in their own juices. Ordinarily a square of kombu would be used to add umami to the pickling juices, but a dash of fish sauce works just as well.

Ingredients

1 carrot, peeled

1 cucumber, peeled at intervals

¼ Chinese cabbage

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp fish sauce

Method

1. Slice the carrot and cucumber into thin half-moons. Cut each leaf of the Chinese cabbage into half lengthways, and then into 3cm pieces. Combine the vegetables in a press-seal bag and add the salt and

fish sauce. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible and massage the bag gently for a few minutes to distribute the salt and soften the vegetables. As the vegetables soften they will release their liquid. 

2. Squeeze more air out of the bag and place in the fridge with a weight on top for about 20 minutes.

3. Serve with rice.

Tip: If you want to add extra flavour to the pickles, try a bit of ginger, citrus peel or sliced chilli in the mix. Other vegetables that work are radish and even Japanese eggplant.