Korean Pickles - pickles, pickles, pickles!
In Korea, vegetables that are pickled in soy sauce are called Jangajji (장아찌).
You can make Jangajji with just about any vegetable - some of course, tasting better than others.
The most commonly used vegetables for homemade Jangajji are onions, cucumbers and green chili peppers.
Restaurants will also use garlic cloves, garlic scapes, broccoli stems, and radish - equally as delicious!
(Note: If I had garlic on-hand during this video shoot, I would have added it to the pickle jar!)
Jangajji comes from necessity.In the old days of Korea – pickling was the best way to minimize waste from the spring harvest and guarantee that you had vegetables on the table during the winter.
The sodium in the soy sauce preserves the vegetables for months - preventing any bacteria or mold from growing.
Now, I think Jangajji tastes best (in terms of texture, color and flavor balance) when it is consumed within 2-3 weeks. But of course, it will stay edible for months.
The key flavor variable in Jangajji is the Flavored Soy Sauce.
I find that many restaurants in Seoul make their Jangajji too salty or too sweet. It’s hard to find that delicate balance.
But today, I’ll share with you a masterfully balanced sauce that delivers just the right amount of salty, sweet, tart and tangy.
Now, pick out a handful of vegetables from the list I mentioned above. You don't have to stick to the script. If it suits your palate, gift a pickle jar to your friends or family members!
Cooking Notes for Korean Pickles:
You may think that adding boiling-hot soy sauce over the vegetable pieces will make them wilt. But it does not! The vegetables retain their crunchy texture and taste delicious!
If you plan to keep it in your refrigerator for an extended period of time, don't forget to properly sterilize your jars! This is a crucial step to prevent any mold or bacteria from growing.
When serving, don’t stick your used fork or chopstick directly into the sterilized jar. Instead use a clean pair of chopsticks (or spoon) to scoop out a portion. This is to prevent cross-contamination and introducing bacteria into the jar.
Good luck making your first batch of Korean pickles - and send us a photo on IG if you do. We love flipping through your pics in the morning!
Did I mention, these pickled veggies taste great as a palate cleanser when eating cheesy pizza?! 🍕
-Daniel out! 🕺
P.s. If you're cooking (or eating alone) at home - don't get too lonely! Play our latest discussions in the background and enjoy some food-for-thought 🙉:
- 2 whole onions
- 2 whole cucumbers
- 4-5 whole Cheongyang Chili Peppers (Jalapeno work too!)
Infused Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Soy Sauce
- ½ cup Vinegar
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 1 & ¼ cup Water
- Cut the onions into bite-sized pieces. Cut cucumber into medium-sized rounds. Chop chili peppers into small bite-sized pieces.(Reference video for sizes.)
- Take out a mixing bowl. Put-in equal handfuls of sliced cucumber and onions. As well as the chili peppers. Toss it together.
- Place-in the mixed veggies into a sterilized glass jar. Don't fill the veggies all the way up to the top (leave a little bit of room). Set aside.
Make Soy Sauce
- Take out a pot. Place in Soy Sauce (½ cup), Vinegar (½ cup), Sugar (¾ cup), Water (1 & ¼ cup). Give it a mix and stir-it well so the sugar is evenly mixed through. Bring it up to a boil.
- Once it comes to boil, count to 10 seconds. Then turn off the heat. (If you see any bubbles or residue left on the surface, skim it off.)
- Then pour the boiled soy sauce directly into the jar - pour enough to submerge the vegetables.
- Close the lid on the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- The next day - place in the refrigerator. Once it's chilled down, it's ready to eat!
- Fry-up an egg. Pour a bowl of rice. And finish off with a pickle - or two. Bon Appetit!