A Very Frugal Pickle

Do you or someone in your family always leave the broccoli stalks on the plate at the end of a meal? Next time, reserve the stalk for this simple pickle recipe. The finished pickle has a very addictive crunch and is oh-so-perfect as a summer side dish.

Better yet, it only takes 15 minutes from stalk to table!

You’ll need:

  • stalks from broccoli, cauliflower, or cabbage*
  • salt
  • light sesame oil**
  • sweet thick soy sauce***
  • a little chili paste if you like

Follow these steps:

  1. Peel the skin off the stalks you are using. Try to see if you can make the peeled stalks with your fingernail. If you cannot make a mark, they are too tough to eat but perfect for compost. (If your broccolis etc. are store bough, they should always be tender enough. Home vege gardeners would need to do this fingernail test to see how much stalk are actually tender enough to eat.)
  2. Slice stalks thinly cross-wise.
  3. Put slices into a bowl and mix in 1/4 teaspoon of salt for every cup of sliced stalk.
  4. Cover and leave to pickle for 10 minutes to an hour.
  5. Rince with cold water and drain.
  6. Stir through a little sesame oil, thick sweet soy sauce and chili paste to taste. (You really only need very little of each seasoning – taste as you go.)

* You can also add radishes, daikons, or carrots if you happen to have them. The photo above shows pickled broccoli stalks and radishes.

** Dark coloured sesame oil is stronger and normally used for cooking rather than dressing. But if your store only stock one, just grab it and use more or less depending on your taste.

*** You should be able to get this from an Asian food store. Sometimes they are called “soy sauce paste”. If you can’t find it, substitute with soy sauce and a little sugar to taste.


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