Lime Infused Jangajji (Korean Veggie Pickles)

jangajji

What a week it’s been! A lot of new changes have been introduced to my life recently and it’s been feeling a lot of hectic than normal. I thought that now that I had more free time, certainly this blog would have my undivided attention. But here is what I learned this week- no matter what the task or responsibility you may have pending on your to-do list, you can’t put off self-care during times of heavy stress.

I’ve learned all too well throughout the years that one of the most costly mistakes I’ve made in life is not taking enough time to allow myself to process mentally/emotionally difficult moments that occur in life. In the past I would ignore my inner pain or emotional needs and distracted myself away from it. In order for us confidently move on to the next step, we all need time. However there is task, deadline, project or deadline more important than you!

So how does this all tie in to this week’s recipe?

Welp, I told myself I would push out bunches of content this week (and I am also entertaining the thought of starting a Youtube channel) and immerse myself in my blog but let’s get real- it was just my high-functioning anxiety coming at it again. Yes, this is actually a thing and very unhealthy to our mental and emotional well-being.

As I was about to beat myself up about not having done as much as I told myself I would I would, I took a moment to step back. I reminded myself I have a lot on my plate right now. So I did what I always do to cheer me up- find something to cook!

When I opened the fridge though it was kind of a sad sight. In the vegetable bin I found some limes, half a jicama, some daikon radishes and beautiful korean peppers I bought to snack on. The cliche saying of “when life throws your lemons, make lemonade” came to mind when I saw the limes. Wondering what I could do with them, I decided that they would be a great addition to a batch of jangajji made with the vegetables since jangajji requires some form of acid anyway.

Jangajji is a pickle banchan that is tangy, savory and sometimes prepared sweet. The aromatic flavor of lime seemed like it would aid in enhancing and toning down the earthy and pungent smell of daikon. Also, what’s not to love about citrus + soy sauce?

These pickles are great paired with grilled meats and are actually served a lot at Korean bbq restaurants. Personally I love jangajji with grilled pork belly, with just plain white rice and eggs or with a simple rice porridge. However you choose to eat them, these pickles will be great to have around as a refreshing condiment to quickly serve up for heavier dishes!

korean bbq

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Ready to Eat in 1 - 2 Days

INGREDIENTS:

(for the brine)

  • 2/3 cup water

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce

  • 1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar (5% acidity)

  • juice of one lime

  • 1/4 cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons sea salt

(pickling vegetables)

  • 2 cups of jicama sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (~1/2 medium jicama)

  • 3 cups daikon radish sliced into 1/2 inch pieces (~1/2 small daikon)

  • 1 cup korean peppers cut into 1/2 inch pieces (~6 peppers)***

  • 1 cup onion cut into 1 inch pieces (~1 medium onion)

  • 8 halved garlic cloves

  • 1/2 tsp lime zest

  • 4 thai chilies, de-stemmed and pierced (optional)

You’ll also need:

Half gallon sized pickling jar.

Small ramekin.

***You may substitute the Korean peppers for jalapenos or serranos. Really anything goes!

pickle+veggies

How to Make It:

1. Begin prepping your vegetables and place them in a squeaky clean pickling jar. Add in lime zest as well.

pickle veggies

Side Note: I recommend sterilizing your pickling jar but there’s no need to get too serious with it, in my opinion. My mother and grandmother never really went to extreme lengths to sterilize their jars and just hand washed them out very well or swish the inside of the jar with some soju then discarded it. Personally I boiled a full pot of water into my instant water boiling kettle and poured the hot water into my jar that was placed in the kitchen sink. I made sure there was enough water to fill and overflow the jar. With mittened hands, I carefully poured the hot water out and lt the jar cool on a clean kitchen towel on the counter.

2. Prepare your brine. In a medium pot combine water, soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt and give it a nice stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Place the mixture over high heat. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and let simmer like this for one minute then turn off heat.

Fresh lime juice is always best!

Fresh lime juice is always best!

Make sure your mixture is boiling hot!

Make sure your mixture is boiling hot!

3. Immediately take the hot brine and carefully pour it over the veggies in your pickling jar. It is very important to pour the brine over the veggies while it is still very hot. This will ensure better shelf life of the pickles and decreasing the likelihood of spoilage.

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4. Leave the jar on your kitchen counter to cool, unlidded. Cooling down the brine like this will help to maintain both color and crispiness to your pickles. Once the sides of the jar are no longer warm to the touch, place a small and clean ramekin over the top of the pickles; then put the lid your jar.

jangajji

This will make sure the pickles at the top will be completely immersed in your brine. Leave jar at room temperature for flavors to develop overnight or for a full day. However, the jangajji is ready to eat after one hour. Feel free to try out the pickles during this process to see if the pickles have reached flavor to your liking. I let mine sit out for a full day.

5. Once brining is completed, make sure to store the jangajji in the refrigerator. Jangajji has superb shelf life so long as it is preserved in a chilled refrigerator and your jar is kept free of already used spoons or utensils being placed into the jar. So when plating the jangajji, make sure to keep your used spoon out of the jar!

pork belly jangajji
jangajji

I enjoyed my newly made jangajji with pan-seared thick pork belly slices! How will you be eating yours? Let me know!

Happy eating my friends and have a great week. <3

Love,

Song