One of the challenges I’ve often faced cooking for myself or just two people is having too much leftover vegetables. (That is also one of the most common excuses I hear from my friends who never cook). I started cooking in London where I lived as a student many years ago, simply because it was too expensive to eat out every day. But each time I cooked I had so much leftover vegetables, which all ended up in a bin. I really hated wasting perfectly good food and it didn’t exactly help me save that much money either. So I started to throw all my leftover ingredients in a big pot and make hearty Korean soup or stew like my grandmother used to do. It would keep well in the fridge for at least a few days, and it was a perfect mood booster in one of those rainy chilly gloomy days in London.
But now I live in Hong Kong, where it is too hot for soup or stew 7-8 months a year. And my fridge is barely a half size of what I had in London, (clearly big pot of stew won’t fit in). So I started to pickle instead. I have pickled purple cabbages, peppers, carrots and red onions. I am still experimenting with different veggies, but the red onion with dill pickle is so far my favorite. Not only naturally sweet onion and tangy vinegar is a match made in heaven, it also makes the most delicious pickle juice. And because of that if you are trying to cut down or avoid sugar, you can use less or even leave it out entirely.
Pickled red onion is a perfect condiment for so many dishes, but I love it with my scrambled eggs and rye toasts with cream cheese on Sunday morning. And I always pour a little extra pickle juice over whatever I am having.
- 3/4 cup. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp. sugar, (use less or leave it out if you want)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp. black peppercorn
- 2 small red onions (250-260g/9oz)
- a handful of dill fronds
Mix vinegar, salt, sugar, peppercorns and mustard seeds and set aside. Stir well to dissolve salt and sugar.
Peel and slice onions as thin as possible. Use a sharp knife or mandoline slicer.
Place pickling liquid, onions and dill fronds in a sterilized jar with a tight lid. Close the lid and keep it in the fridge.
It should be good enough to eat after an hour or two, but it will be even better after a week. Enjoy!