Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves

Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves

Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves

by Karen Solomon, Ten Speed Press, 208pp., $19.99

It's worth reiterating Abbi Lunde's sentiment that everyone interested in making kimchi ought to try. Enter Karen Solomon's guide: an entire book dedicated to making the addictive flavors of Asian pickles seem doable. Broken into geographically-based chapters – Japan, Korea, China, India, and southeast Asia – this book provides an overview of the regional specialties and a very user-friendly approach to replicating favorites at home. Her writing is engaging and well-researched, the recipes clear and concise with vivid accompanying photographs. Particularly helpful is Solomon's use of fairly standard kitchen equipment and (mostly) easy-to-acquire ingredients.

Solomon's seven kimchi recipes, both fresh and fermented, are simple and appealing: whole leaf, cubed radish, squid, rolled mustard green, stuffed cucumber, summer radish, and a water kimchi. Other intriguing recipes: from China, the chile black bean oil; from the Philippines, banana ketchup; from Vietnam, fermented "cock" sauce; from India, apples in mustard with mint.

My garden had a surplus of jalapeños, so I tried her recipe for pickled chiles with lime, or prik dong nam som, a common Thai tabletop accoutrement. Refresh­ing­ly, the time frame is only one day and requires only seven standard ingredients – including my harvested loot. The recipe did not require a trip to the store ... or cooking, or canning, or any prep outside of cutting the produce. The result: crisp, twangy sliced peppers and pretty purple red onions in a fiery brine – perfect for spooning onto everything I eat.

More by Jessi Cape
Smart Growth
Smart Growth
Logro Farms brings sustainable mushrooms to Austin

July 1, 2016

Getaways Far, Far Away
The Winged Histories
Sofia Samatar's novel of Olondria takes patience, but its characters are intensely complex and beautifully human

June 17, 2016

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)