A review of Asian Pickles by Karen Solomon. Post may contain affiliate links.
As you can tell by yesterday’s post – Zucchini Pickles – I love pickles! So, I was extremely excited when I was offered a copy of Asian Pickles to review! Just looking at the cover alone is enough to make swoon!
Asian Pickles: Sweet, Sour, Salty, Cured, and Fermented Preserves from Korea, Japan, China, India, and Beyond by Karen Solomon begins with an introduction about pickles and pickling. For those of you that do not like to can, this book is for you! As she explains, most of these recipes are not for long term storage. These pickles age and ferment either on your counter or in your fridge. But they look so good, I don’t think trying to keep them for a long time is going to be an issue.
The recipes are divided into 5 sections: Japan, Korea, China, India, and Southeast Asia. At the beginning of each section, she explains the basic pickles of that area and how they are served.
Japan: The Japan section is further divided between Traditional Tsukemono (the Japanese word for pickles) and Inspired Pickles (her twists inspired by Japanese flavors and ingredients. I’ve marked to try: Miso Pickles, Pickled Ginger, Pickled Mustard Greens and Pickled Asian Pear with Lemon.
Korea: The Korean section of course begins with an intro on Kimchi. I’ve marked to try: Whole Leaf Kimchi, Summer Radish Kimchi, Marinated Bean Sprouts, Pickled Cucumbers, and Spinach with Sesame.
China: These pickles are a far cry from the standard Chinese takeout food we get at our local restaurant. I’ve marked to try: spicy Blackened Sichuan Pickled Peppers, Salt-Preserved Eggs with Star Anise, Pickled Shallots, Five Spice Pickled Carrots, and Shanghai Cabbage and Chili.
India: I have to admit that Indian food is not one of my favorites, but I did find a few pickles that sound intriguing. I’ve marked to try: Cauliflower, Onion and Carrot Mixed Pickle, Apples in Mustard with Mint, and Pickled Chickpeas.
Southeast Asia – With my last disclaimer on Indian food, I also must admit that Southeast Asian is my favorite, so I will probably try all of them in this section. I’ve marked to try: Pickled Bean Sprouts, Pickled Chiles with Lime, Cucumber and Shallot Pickles, Thai Pickled Cabbage, and Javanese Carrot and Cucumber Pickle.
The book concludes with a very useful glossary and a resources section.
All in all a great book with which to explore pickles from Asia. I almost don’t know where to begin. It seems like almost all of the regions have some version of pickled cucumbers or some version of pickled cabbage, so I will probably start there. It would be fun to have several versions prepared and sample a bit from each one to compare.