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Pickling Spices - That time of year again!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am back on a kick for pursuit of a better than store bought kosher dill. I put together a more complex spice mix tonight, but after I try this out if I don't like something about it I am going to have go back to the drawing board with a simple mustard seed and black peppercorn to get that where I want and then slowly build on it. Eventually given the spices I have accessible to me from working with Indian and Asian cuisine I think I could build some really interesting pickles.. Goan curry pickle anyone?!

 

What are your favorite pickling spice mixtures for doing cucumber pickles?

 

Here's the mix I made tonight:

 

Yellow Mustard Seeds 1 tbsp
Black Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Corriander 1/2 tsp
AllSpice 3/4 tsp
Dill Seed 3/4 tsp
Black Cumin Seed 1/4 tsp
Black Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
White Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaves 2 Med Crushed
Fennel Seed 1/4 tsp

 

post #2 of 15
This is a quick pickle I really like:
 
CHINESE CUCUMBER QUICK PICKLE
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds small Persian cucumber
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 2 tbs corn oil vegetable oil
  • 2 inch peeled fresh ginger
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 - 2 tsp lan yu (Chinese "hot" oil), to taste
 
Technique
Cut the cucumbers into 1 inch pieces, then cut each piece into 6 spears.  Put the cucumbers in a bowl with the salt, toss to coat, cover with cling wrap and set aside for twenty minutes.
 
Meanwhile peel and julienne the ginger.  Heat the corn oil in a pan and briefly saute the ginger just until it becomes fragrant and softens.  
 
Empty the ginger and oil into a glass or ceramic bowl.  Add all of the remaining ingredients (except of the cucumber and salt), stir to mix.
 
Turn the salted cucumbers spears into a colander and rinse the salt out off them, tossing under plenty of running water.  
 
Drain the cucumbers briefly and turn them out onto paper towels to remove any remaining moisture. 
 
Put the cucumber in the spiced oil mixture, and stir to coat evenly.  Cover with saran wrap and store in the refrigerator.  
 
These quick pickles are ready to eat after three hours, and will keep for around a week.  Weirdly wonderful with  CB on Rye.
 
BDL 

 
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Very interesting and certainly a different procedure! This almost seems a marinating application given that there isn't really a brine. Does the sugar end up being sweet or does the vinegar take care of it? Cool stuff bdl.

post #4 of 15

Mildly sweet, mildly salty, and a little bit hot; they're typical of dumpling houses.  I like them quite a bit with barbecue and, as I said in the first post, with sandwiches.  

 

And yes, they're very different from your classic dills. 

 

The reasons I posted the recipe were because we had some while were we out at a dumpling house (Fortune Dumpling in Monterey Park) a week ago, and got to thinking about how well they go with western food as well as with dumplings, so I made a couple of pounds when we got home, we went through them very quickly, and then you posted. 

 

By the way, if you can't get lan yu easily, you can throw a tablespoon or so red chili flakes into the hot oil before sauteing the ginger.

 

BDL

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I have a question, because I checked with my CIA book, and joy of cooking, and googled all over the place. Has anyone come up with a ratio of water, vinegar, salt that is appropriate for a kosher dill pickle? Through just shear averaging I believe a 2 to 1 water to vinegar ratio is ok, but I cannot find any standard on the amount of salt. So if I have say 2 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, what would the right mix of salt be? I am hesitant to go by taste because the brine initially diluted will most likely not taste as salty as I want.

 

I guess I'll find out. I went with 2 cups water, 1 cup white vinegar, a splash of apple cider vinegar, and 1.5 tbsp of salt. Packed two jars with that.

 

I am doing a hot brine, cold pack pickle. Not processing the jars.

post #6 of 15

Eastshores,

 

Google Kosher dill pickle brine recipe and you will find that most do NOT use vinegar!
 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
Reply
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ok.. I may have tread into undesired territory here by asking about kosher dill pickling brine. I must be honest, I'm not sure what about "kosher" makes a pickle kosher.. other than not putting bacon in it. I am not trying for fermented pickles here, more what you might find in the refrigerated aisle called "zesty garlic dill" etc. I have done full sour pickles but found the flavor not really to my liking. I will try again though, I think I approached some things wrong last time.

 

Thanks though for the info, I did see some of the recipes that had no vinegar at all which just baffled me. I even saw one that was 1 cup water to 1 cup salt. Yikes.

post #8 of 15

One is fermented to give it's sharp taste. (lacto)

the other is

Brined to give it's sharp taste...(pickle)

 

both can be accented with other ingredients and arromatics.

 

The first being calcium chloride as it keeps thing crisp...

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelGA View Post

One is fermented to give it's sharp taste. (lacto)

the other is

Brined to give it's sharp taste...(pickle)

 

both can be accented with other ingredients and arromatics.

 

The first being calcium chloride as it keeps thing crisp...


Or horseradish, or cherry leaves, vine leaves and so on.

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 

I've heard about adding leaves traditionally and read that the tannins in the leaves are what keep the crispness, in particular I saw grape leaves (I'm assuming that's what vine leaves are).


Edited by eastshores - 6/23/13 at 7:01pm
post #11 of 15

The cumin and the fennel don't seem right in that pickling mix... and you can do a fast test by boiling your brine, pour it hot over some sliced cucumbers. Into the fridge for a day or two and taste.

post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks MaryB, the black cumin and fennel were very small amounts. I want to eventually incorporate other spices, black cardamon, mace, etc. I am going to let them sit a few days before tasting them but I'll keep the thin sliced in mind for experimenting. I've got a razor style mandolin that would do that well. Here's my first attempt this season, keeping my fingers crossed!

 

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

I tasted the chips tonight, they've had about 24 hrs so they still have a ways to go. I definitely feel like I either have too much vinegar or I don't have enough salt so I did another jar tonight. Maybe I need to get rid of the spices altogether and focus on getting a brine that I like? Usually I am more methodical, and even though I am keeping track of what I am putting into these I probably should cool my jets some and focus on the fundamentals, then build on that.

post #14 of 15

typical brine starts 2 cups water, 1 3/4 cup vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoon salt. I like a saltier pickle and use double that

post #15 of 15

for Asian sweet and sour pickles (shredded carrot and daikon is common) 

 

The ratio is 4 parts water, 2 parts vinegar and 1 part sugar.  

 

There isn't usually any salt added to the liquid rather the veggies are salted and left to drain in a bowl - when you can bend the pieces over on themselves you give them a quick rinse and put in the liquid and keep in the fridge.

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply

----

 


"Plus, this method makes you look like a complete lunatic. If you care about that sort of thing".  - Dave Arnold

 

Reply
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