Korean Pickled Onion. In Korea, we call it Yangpa Jjangajji (양파 장아찌).
This recipe is simple & straight-forward – a nice stepping stone into the world of Korean pickles.
This tradition of pickling veggies has been an integral part of Korean cuisine.
During the old days in Korea, families would get together to pickle the leftover veggies from a harvest.
This was the only way to have vegetables in long, frigid winters. With the invention of the refrigerator, that tradition has long passed.
But my grandma still insists on doing things the old way.
She lives in the countryside of Jeolla Province. And she has her own farm that she tends to with my oldest uncle. Every fall, she invites (*forces*) all the other uncles to make their way to the countryside and help her pick the veggies.
The youngest uncle has a habit of extending the invitation to me as well. (I think he’s mastered the art of guilt tripping.👺)
So I too, find myself in the countryside every year.
After pulling onions out of the field, I typically help my grandma peel and cut the onions. Within a few minutes, I will have crocodile tears streaming down my face – from all of that potent onion juice.
Last year, I decide to cover my eyes with a pair of sunglasses while cutting the onions. And my uncles cracked up in unison…
When my grandma commented, “Seoul people are weak…” 🤣
My grandma uses a different ratio for this recipe. I recollect her using a 1:1:1:1 ratio of soy sauce, sugar, vinegar and water. Then throwing in some pear extract, along with a few other ingredients.
But I found that ratio to be too strong.
So I tweak’d the recipe – and I am very happy with the result. This new recipe has a nice balance of saltiness, tartness and sweetness.
This banchan can be eaten with anything. It works particularly well with Korean BBQ or meat dishes.
Try it out and let me know how you like it. Perhaps I will introduce a few more pickling recipes!
-Daniel out 🕺
Korean Pickled Onion - Too Easy!
- Onions: 2 large or 3 medium-sized
- Soy sauce - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1/2 cup
- Vinegar - 1 cup
- Water - 1 cup
- Cut onion into bite-sized pieces. Then place all of the onion pieces into an air-tight container (use a Tupperware with an airtight lid or a mason jar).
- Take out a small pot. Pour in the pickling ingredients. Bring up to boil.
- Once it comes to boil, turn it off immediately.
- While the soy sauce is hot, pour it in over the onions. It should be just enough liquid to cover the onions.
- Lock the lid and let the container sit at room temperature for 1 day.
- After 1 day, place the Tupperware into the refrigerator.
- Once chilled, it is ready to eat.
- This banchan will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks
- Cut the onions with a sharp knife to keep your eyes from watering!
- See video below for more details