Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Knotweed vinegar pickles
Eating at Momofuku really got me hooked on quick pickles. A whole new layer of flavours. And if you haven't already, buy the Momofuku Cookbook.
So, back to my Polygonum cuspidatum kick:
I used knotweed stems about three feet tall for these pickles and peeled off the tough outer skin and discarded the joints (Polygonum means jointed). That is not necessary with younger stalks, when the skin is still diaphanous. Beneath that tougher covering is a very juicy, crunchy and tender vegetable...
For quick pickles (the kind you eat within hours of making) I use less vinegar than I would for those destined to have a long and safe shelf life. Knotweed is also very acidic...
1 cup of peeled, knotweed stems, cut into 1/4 inch slices or thinner
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp hot chile flakes
Put the knotweed into a small bowl. Dissolve the salt and sugar in the vinegar and water, add the chile. Pour over the sliced knotweed, till it is covered. It will be ready to eat after half an hour - good for topping banh mi, SE Asian style broths and stews, or for rev'ing up a salad. If you're keeping the pickles longer than for immediate use pack them into a sterilized jar or sealable container instead of an open bowl, and keep in the fridge for up to a month.