Pickles, but not pickles, yet pickles! redux….

spicy pickles celery with shreds of tree ear fungus

One of the things i loved most in Taiwan was something i also loved in Beijing, and Japan, and at Danny Bowein’s Mission Chinese Food (sf)…….vegetable pickles! When i came back from japan i brought with me a whole book on japanese pickles as well as a whole suitcase filled with vacuum packed pickles!

To be honest I love pickles everywhere: in Germany I’m the child of sauerkraut, in Poland I was on national television holding a jar of dill pickles saying, i hope fetchingly, “ogorky kishonie” salt-cured pickles, the great grandfather of new york kosher dills!
but anyhow, getting back to asian pickles, because i am in a bit of an asian pickle phase, yet again, one triggered by each time i go to asia….i’m pickling all the time. but little pickles. short lightly brined vegetables, more than long fermented pickles.
Here is last nights pickle of choice, chosen because i got a HUGE bargain on celery heads at the market on New Years Eve and wanted to figure out a way to use it up before it went sad and soggy.

I loved my Taipei inspired pickles last night, so much, that i ate leftovers this morning for brekkie, and tonight am bringnig a jar to friends for dinner. and that means only ONE thing: i’ll have to make another batch which is so easy, no problem. and i’m still the posessor of a large quantity of bargain celery. (Note: its good without the cloud ear fungus, too: i love the fungus’ texture and i had some on hand; if you don’t, omit. the spicy pickled celery is brilliant without, too). (Cloud ear or tree fungus is available in Chinese grocers/food shops; but it dried, whole or already cut in strips.)

Spicy Pickled Celery and Cloud Ear Fungus
Makes quite a bit; lasts prob up to a week in the fridge, leftovers good with everything!

1 big bunch celery, trimmed and cut into diagonal slices
2-3 teaspoons sea salt
2-3 teaspoons sugar
Several big pinches cloud ear/tree fungus strips
1/2-2/3 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1 tablespoon or to taste, chile bean sauce

1. Combine celery with salt and sugar and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours.
2. meanwhile: combine dried cloud ear fungus with warm water to cover. Leave to sit and when soft but still chewy crunchy, drain; about 30 minutes.
3. Pour off and discard the liquid that has accumulated from the celery; combine celery with the vinegar, chile bean paste, and rehydrated fungus. Leave to sit covered in the refridgerator until ready to eat. If it is too sour, add a little water; too bland add a little more vinegar, salt, sugar, or chile bean paste: getting the balance is up to you. When you have it right, you’ll recognize that happy sigh that comes out of your pickle-loving soul.

me in Polish TV saying: ogorkie kishonie!


  • Wow this is such a neat idea! Sadly, I have enough of an online shopping problem as it is, so I’d best avoid this since I know it’s dangerous! But I’ll gladly live vicarious through your purchases! I hope you share what comes in your second shipment. Gorgeous blazer by the way, it was a wise choice to keep!xo jen

  • http://www./ says:

    This vids make me want to upgrade my gear to FullFrame coz FOV in 50mm and dofAnd now … at last 5D2 though it’s old but it’s good enough for me. And next stop have some fast 50!

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  • Becky says:

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