(Yo! Media)
  • Stories
  • Food
  • Culture

When You’re In a Pickle…

When in doubt, turn it into a pickle!

Let's talk pickling.

During this pandemic, I have become hyper aware of the things that I have little mentally capacity to do and tolerate, like waiting in line to get inside a grocery store and wasting food. To save my sanity, I have been ordering produce through the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Azay. Whenever I pick mine up, it feels like I'm on an episode of Chopped and have received a mystery box filled with various fresh produce that differs weekly.

As I lean on this alternative grocery service, there are some days where after stocking the fridge I realize I have accumulated the same seasonal produce, and it has challenged me to become more experimental in my cooking. There are days where I am depleted of my creative juice; where the news gets too heavy and results in me being unmotivated to pick up a knife, and the fruit and veggies get a little past their prime.

A variety of flavored pickles created by Erin and I, back in September 2019 for Meat My Friends pop-up.

It's through semi-channeling my inner bachan (grandmother) that I refuse such beautiful, farm-grown produce to go to waste. (I mention “semi-channeling” because my bachan wouldn’t embody my laziness and unmotivated self). Relying on tips and tricks I learned from cooking beside my lovely culinary friends, there is one that I have resorted to repurpose my sad veggies and fruit: pickling.

I'm providing a basic brine, one in which I learned from working at Porridge + Puffs. This is a recipe where you can experiment and throw in whatever spices and flavorings you’d like. Working along side one of my favorite people and culinary mentors, Erin O’Brien (artist and owner of Meat My Friends), we have experimented pickling things that have expanded my palette from Asian pear to cantaloupe.

Erin O'Brien pickling at Porridge & Puffs in 2018. Photo Credit: Minh Phan

In terms of spices and flavors, I have thrown in various ratios of garlic, yuzu juice, pink peppercorn, and any other flavors I'm curious about. Even if I don’t like the flavor in the beginning, I've adjusted flavor ratios or let it ferment longer in the fridge, which can alters the flavor.

The great thing about pickling is that it’s a sustainable experiment where you can just add a bit of that and this with little effort, while knowing you’re not wasting any food.

I dare you to be fearless in your creations, mix and match, and enjoy experimenting!

--------------------

BASIC PICKLE BRINE

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Salt to taste

Bring ingredients to a boil until all sugar has dissolved and let it cool to room temperature.

While brine is boiling, cut vegetables to desired form and salt heavily to bring out additional water. Let it sit for 5 minutes, squeeze remaining water out of vegetables and rinse.

In a jar or tight sealed container, add additional flavorings and spices along with vegetables.

Pour brine over vegetables and let it sit in brine for 24+ hours in fridge.

Notes:

  • These are refrigerator pickles since I worry about botulism. This recipe is not shelf stable but lasts in the fridge in a tight sealed container for a couple of months.
  • I like my pickles on the sweeter side, so adjust vinegar and sugar if it's too sweet for your liking.

Download it!
Article featured in this issue:
Better Together
June 12, 2020

While we're certainly living in uncertainty, the fact still remains that we're better together. Let's explore stories from our lives indoors and learn how we can best grow our communities for a safe and harmonious future.

Sports Astrology

What sport are you?

Discover Now

There's More This Issue

One Japanese Person's Thoughts on Government Responses to COVID-19

Though we have our own thoughts on the U.S. government's response to COVID-19, we were curious about what Japanese people thought about us, as well as their own government's response.

Read More >>

A Crash Course on Holding Difficult Conversations

Having a conversation with someone who doesn't see eye-to-eye with you can be daunting, but we have several tips that may help in navigating discussion surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement as Asian Americans.

Read More >>

15 Things You Have to Deal with as a Student in the Era of COVID-19

As if navigating classes and peer relationships in school isn't challenging enough, we've had to do it while going through a global pandemic. We empathize with all the students out there!

Read More >>

Here's What My Dog is Saying About Quarantine

Woof woof! Read a comic about how quarantine has impacted one dog's life... for the better.

Read More >>

Black Lives Matter Resource Roundup

Explore our Black Lives Matter Resource Roundup, in solidarity with Black communities in the ongoing fight for racial justice. Click through the different resources, bookmark them for later, or share them with your family and friends to help stay informed on issues in the Black Lives Matter movement.

Read More >>

5 Spotify Playlists From Yo! to You (COVID-19 Edition)

Because we’re all sheltering in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to share some curated Spotify playlists to help you get through the day. Choose from Sansei hits, lo-fi beats, songs celebrating Black artists, and more!

Read More >>

When You’re In a Pickle…

When in doubt, turn it into a pickle!

Read More >>

our latest issues

The Great OutdoorsThe Great Outdoors
Published On: 
June 15, 2021
On WellnessOn Wellness
Published On: 
April 30, 2021
All in the GameAll in the Game
Published On: 
April 3, 2021
One Year IndoorsOne Year Indoors
Published On: 
February 27, 2021