Author Notes: Welcome in the New Year---this year, 2013, will be The Year of the Snake in the Chinese lunar calendar--- with an easy and elegant pickle. There are only a handful of ingredients and the idea is that each should resemble coins for good luck and prosperity, so we combine a lovely watermelon radish with big, fat slices of leek. This is what has come to be known as a quick pickle. It can be used the same day. But I prefer it a day or two later. This makes a groovy ban shan companion side to Korean type foods such as kalbi, bulgogi, or a kimchi pork stew. - pierino
- 1 big fat leek (white part only)*
- 1 or 2 watermelon radishes, about ½ pound in total weight
- 1 good sized jalapeno pepper (a fatty)
- 5 peeled garlic cloves (slightly crushed)
- Just a few whole szechuan pepper corns; I would suggest 8 as that is a lucky number in China.
- 1 teaspoon Sugar, brown or white
- White vinegar
- Using a tool like a mandolin or else a very sharp knife, thinly slice your watermelon radish
- Slice the white parts of the leek somewhat thicker, reserving the green tops for something else*
- Slice the jalapeno pepper
- Mix the sugar and vinegar together
- In a GLASS container that you can tightly seal layer the radish and leek slices along with the jalapeno
- Add in the garlic and pepper corns and cover with vinegar. Seal the container and refrigerate until ready to use. Give it a shake or two now and then.
- *I like to save the leek tops to use for a bouquet garnie for stock. I picked this up from Thomas Keller. Fill the tops with parsley, bay leaves and so on and tight all up with kitchen string. We are multi-tasking that leek.