Archive for the ‘Pickle & Preserve’ Category
This is a re-post of my pickled lime recipe that I shared perhaps 4-years ago? When I redesign my website this recipe is one of a few that did not get transfered.
Pickled lime is a key ingredient when making the infamous Cambodian Pickled Lime Chicken Soup ស្ងោរម៉ាន់ណាំងូវ (Sngor Mon Num Ngov).
Advance preparation is required. The process of making Num Ngow is fairly simple, but it’s the preserving process that is time consuming. Basically you make it and forget, for awhile that is.
Pickled Lime(makes 20 pickled lime)
(Num Ngov) ណាំងូវ
½ cup sugar
1 cup salt
3 quarts water
clean container large to fit
Several weeks in advance rinse limes and let them dry (sit) in the sun for a week or so. Remember to rotate them often so that all sides get their fair share of sunshine. The color will change from green to yellow and eventually tan. It should be ready when the outer skin feels a bit harden to the touch. It will loose it round shape and some will appear to be inflated.
Use a damp towel and gently clean the skin as they might have collected dust while tanning. Arrange inside a clean plastic or glass container.
Set a pot on medium to low heat and add sugar. Constantly stir the sugar until it caramelize be careful not to burn it. The color will turn to a rich brown color.
Slowly add water and salt and stir to dissolve and incorporate. I usually allow the mixture to cool down a bit before pouring into the contained filled with sun-dried limes.
Close the container lid and leave it out on the counter for another week. After that you can store it in a cool dark cupboard. I usually wait at least a month before I use it. The longer you store it the more flavorful it gets.
*This was the only batch (20 limes) I’ve made in the past 4-years. Because of it’s rich flavor a recipe usually calls just for one pickled lime. If you made this much, it will last you a very long time.
As you might have notice I’ve been experimenting with a lot of pickling stuff. Not all goes well the first time so I usually do a small batch first and then adjust things the second time around; that is when I share with you the recipe. My fridge right now it filled with pickled stuff as you can see from the image below. 😀
This year one of the plant that is thriving in my garden is jalapeños. I have like 6-7 of those plants and each is yielding peppers like crazy. 😯 But since it’s one of my favorite vegetable I think I have plenty of dishes that calls for this ingredient such as my Grilled Beef with Pahok Salad, Cambodian Spicy & Sour Beef Soup, Cambodian Stir-Fry Lemongrass Chicken, Sausage & Basil Fried Rice, and my Lotus Root Salad. Pickled jalapeños is very easy to make and keep well in the fridge for months! Even after making this jar there are plenty more in the garden. I think I’m going to show off to my Mother by giving her a jar of pickled jalapeños. 😛 This will prove that not only can I do garden I can cook too, well pickled. When I was growing up I never pay attention to her cooking. I just eat and she would say that I am going to live on burgers for the rest of my life! 😀 Not so, Mother. 😛
Ingredients (makes about 1 quart jar)
25 fresh jalapenos, washed & sliced about ¼ inch thick (you can also pickle whole but stab it with the side with a fork)
2 ½ cups water
2 ½ cups vinegar (plain white distilled vinegar is fine)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorn
3 cloves garlic, peeled
Wash, slice or stab the jalapeños and put them in a preserving jar and top it with garlic.
In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the other ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for five minutes, then pour the brine over the peppers. Place the lid on the jar and let cool. Once cool, store it in the refrigerate. It about 2-3 days it should be ready to eat.
The first batch of Cambodian Sausage (Kwah-Ko ordered had already gone out and some had already received them. Thank you very much for purchasing them. A comment from a buyer wanting to enjoy the sausage with the pickled carrots and diakon as I had pictured prompt me to post up my recipe for Pickled Carrots & Daikon ជ្រក់ក៉ារុតនឹងឆៃថាវ (Jruk Karot & Chai Thao). These pickled vegetable also makes a great pair with BBQ meats.
This is actually my second batch. The first one i made had a strong vinegar smell and taste so the second time around I dilute it with water as you find in my recipe. Also I added sugar for that touch of sweetness which I find helps cut that bitter taste from the daikon. If you don’t like it sweet then by all means, reduce the amount of sugar. Also, if you prefer more carrots than daikon or vice verse, then adjust accordingly.
1 ½ lb carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 ½ lb daikons, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 ¼ cup boiled water (at room temperature)
1 cup vinegar (distilled or rice vinegar)
½ cup sugar + 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon salt
1 quart empty jar
Combine carrots and daikon and sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon of salt all over. Mix well and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes. By doing so, it will draw out the liquids from the carrots and daikon.
Next, do a quick rinse on them and squeeze out all the excess water. The vegetables should be flexible, a bit soft but not soggy. Stuff them into the empty jar. You can also add fresh chilies as well.
Mix water, vinegar and sugar then stir until the sugar is complete dissolve. Add the mixture into the stuffed jar up to the top leaving about ½ – 1 inch space on the top. Sealed the jar store it in the refrigerator until ready to use which to me was the following day.
Many Asian love to eat sour fruits especially in the Summer. Now that the plums are out of line, I turned to my baby (un-ripe) green grapes that’s growing in front to my door step and along the fence. This time around I made note of the measurements so I can share with you.
These were growing right in front of my door steps.
Plucked and washed ready to be load into a jar (1 quart) I reused my empty store bought dill pickled jar. I love the bright green color. It somehow reminded me of the candy I used to eat during my elementary school years. I used to wait in line for the the yellow school bus each morning eating what was called “lemon drops” but those are yellow, so in this case, “lime drops”?
Ready to go. At this point, I just let it sit on the counter (or at a warm place) for several days until the grape changes to a golden olive brown color similar to the pickled green plums. Once it reach my desire taste, I transfer the jar into the fridge otherwise they will lose their crunchiness. I’ll do an update with comments when it’s ready.
Recipe for the Brine
3 cups of water
1/3 cup of kosher salt (use less if you don’t like it too salty)
Bring the water to a boil, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Set aside to cool.
Fill a jar (1 quart) with un-ripe green grapes (or green plums) and cover with the cooled salt water. Allow the fruit to sit for 2-3 days before using. Test by tasting and if you are satisfy transfer it to the refrigerator and store it there. Leaving it out longer will make it more sour but not too long as it will loose it’s crunchiness.
Updated Apr 16, 2010
I’m updating this up with new photo of this soup along with a video cooking tutorial. The recipe is fairly easy and doesn’t require much ingredients but I’ve on a video making spree so thought I capture and show you how I made this yummy soup.
Yesterday I headed to Stockton to drop off some stuff at my parent’s house and also stopped by my sister’s salon to get my bangs trimmed. 😛 Mother always try to pack me stuff every time I visit. My fridge is still stock with kwah ko (Cambodian Sausage) and trey ngeat (Cambodian Sun-Dried Salty Fish) from my last visit so there was no need for more of those, yet. Mother still had other goodies for me to bring back home and this time it was jruk spey ជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Cambodian pickled mustard greens).
My favorite part of jruk spey is the center where the stems are still young and crunchy. I remembered growing up Mother used to make like buckets of jruk spey at a time and us kids would sneak up and pinched the center stem portion of the mustard green then eat them. When it’s time to cook my Mother is left with the outer leaves potion with a hollow center. She would questioned who did it. Of course we pointed fingers at each other and no body dare to admit they were the guilty one. 😀
Jruk spey can be used to make a variety of Cambodian dish as soups, stir-fry, and as a relish/salad to accompany grilled fishes as well as other meats. Today I am sharing with you how I make Sngour Jruk Spey ស្ងោរជ្រក់ស្ពៃ (Pickled Mustard Green Soup). Very few ingredients are called for but this soup yield LOTS of flavor! I am using bone-in chicken but you can use pork as well. Bone-in meats I think tend to yield a more flavorful broth due to long period of simmering. The broth becomes rich and the meats get oh so tender, like fall of the bone goodness. However, if time is tight then opt for meats only (without the bone) and chop into smaller pieces as it will cook faster.
3 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 lb) cut into chunks
3 cups chopped pickled mustard greens
5 cups of water
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon chicken broth mix (or ½ chicken bullion cube)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
chopped green onion or cilantro for garnishing
hot red chili peppers to serve (optional)
Wash and rinse and squeeze as much water from the pickled mustard greens prior to chopping to remove some of the salt content.
Bring water to a boil and add chicken pieces and garlic cloves. Allow to boil for 10 minutes making sure to remove scum that rise to the surface. If you are using meat only this will be less visible. Cover and simmer stock for 30 minutes or longer if have the time, otherwise 10-15 minutes is sufficient.
Add chicken broth mix followed by chopped pickled mustard greens. Continue to cook another 5 minutes. Finish the soup off by adding sugar and fish sauce. Pickled mustard greens can vary in flavor. Some have a very high salt content even after you rinse it while others make them pretty sour. Taste and adjust to your liking.
Once you are satisfy with the flavor turn the heat off and add chopped green onion then stir to combine. To serve, ladle to a bowl and garnish with fresh whole or chopped chili. This soup can be served as is or along with steamed rice at part of a meal.