A very short post today, to round off a week that has been dedicated to chilis in various guises. This is a recipe I tested for Leite’s Culinaria a couple of months ago, and I was pleased to see it had made its way to the site. The author of this recipe tells us that these pickled chilis are an example of banchan, which is the name for the small side dishes of a Korean meal. Banchan includes other pickled vegetables, stir fried dishes, soup dishes – there is a great variety. I will admit to not using these little beauties on absolutely everything, as so many of my fellow testers have been, but they have made an excellent snack and they featured in my not-proper banderillos, along with Silver and Green olives and anchovies. They are so easy to put together, and a good way to prolong the life of any particularly fine chilis you see on your travels.
The recipe suggests keeping them for two weeks. Truth? Mine have been in the fridge for a good couple of months, and they’re fine. We all make out own decisions on food safety, and the risk factor here is pretty low from where I’m standing. I am considering trying to seal some of them up properly, but I think I’d have to heat them and this might make them soggy, whereas now they’re lovely and crunchy.
The pickling liquid is a mix of soy, vinegar, sugar, citrus juice and that traditional Korean ingredient, Sprite. Yes, that’s right, the fizzy drink. I would be interested to try out the recipe without sprite, just using more fresh citrus and sugar, but you can’t argue with the novelty value. If you’re already a Sprite drinker, there’s no great hardship in sparing a wee drop of it for these pickles – if you’re not, you could try out an alternative version, I’d love to her how it went!
If you’re not into chili, maybe this isn’t the recipe for you – though you can, of course, de-seed them before pickling. The soy, garlic, sugar and Sprite (yup) make a really tangy marinade and impart tons of flavour to the chili rings. You can serve them on sandwiches or burgers, in omelettes or scrambled eggs, as a side dish with rice, threaded onto skewers with other savoury items, in stir fries – they truly are a multi-purpose pickle.
You can find the recipe here.