Preservation (Food Theory)

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I decided to make pickled white radish for my preservation project. Pickled radish is a very common Korean side dish. Its tangy, refreshing flavour is used to clean the palate. Often Korean restaurants will serve you pickled radish for free alongside kimchi, seaweed, potatoes, bean sprouts, and others. I’m not a fan of white radish when cooked, but it is delicious when eaten pickled.

Pickled radish is very easy to make. I followed this recipe by Kimchi Chick:

PICKLED KOREAN RADISH

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 pound daikon radish, peeled, cut, and cubed
  • ⅓ cup EACH of white vinegar, granulated sugar, and water
  • ½ tsp salt
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Add sugar, water, vinegar, and salt to pot and and turn on to medium high heat.
  2. Mix and combine until sugar fully dissolves, approx 2-3 minutes
  3. Take off heat and allow to fully cool
  4. Peel daikon radishes and cut into ½ inch round discs. Take each disc and cut into ½ inch cubes and set aside
  5. Place cubed radish into jar and pour pickling liquid over. Seal and place in refrigerator
  6. Enjoy the radish cold!

There were leftover radish after dicing so I julienned the remainders. Now that I think about it, all the Korean restaurants I’ve been to serve pickled radish as juliennes. Maybe that’s the proper way to serve it? It’s certainly easier to prepare than cutting cubes.

I had to adjust the recipe because I had more than a pound of radish. I calculated the amounts according to how much liquid I needed to cover the radish cuts. I needed approximately 2⅔ cups of liquid, so I measured 1⅓ cups each of white vinegar and water (half and half). I also added 1⅓ cups of sugar and 2 tsps of salt (1⅓ cups is 4 times the amount of ⅓ cup, so ½ tsp x 4 = 2 tsps).

After simmering the pickling liquid, I let it cool down. I organized the cubed and julienned radishes into different glass containers and poured the cooled liquid over. I put them in the fridge to chill.

The nice thing about pickling radishes is the whole process doesn’t take long. After a day in the fridge, you can technically eat them. The tangy flavours will be milder inside the radish, but the taste of raw radish makes it extra fresh.

I waited around 2 days of pickling before taste testing. The radishes were refreshing and crunchy, and the pickle juice had a good amount of acidity. However, my family and I thought there wasn’t enough sweetness. I added around 4 more tbsps of sugar to the mixture and it definitely tasted better.

Overall, pickled radish was simple to make. Because it comes down to personal taste, I wouldn’t change the recipe I followed. It’s easier to create a pickling liquid using equal parts white vinegar, water, and sugar. You can then adjust the ingredient amounts after the liquid has cooled down to suit your tastes. For me I prefer a sweeter pickled radish, but another person could prefer a more sour version. Pickled radish is very tasty so I’d like to make it again, this time a whole batch to share with family and friends.

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