Vegetarian staples – pickles from around the world

Pickles can be snacks, meal accompaniments or used to pep up something otherwise a little bland (think cheese sandwich or fried rice). These Japanese, Indonesian and Korean pickles can be used in much the same way. Thanks so much to Angie from the Hop Barn for these suggestions!

Japanese Pickles

Eat these as snacks in the summer with sake!

Aubergine Pickle

  • Sesame oil (2tbsp)
  • 2 medium – large Aubergine
  • Soya sauce (1tbsp)
  • Rice wine vinegar or cider vinegar (1 tbsp)
  • Sugar (3tsp)
  • Sichimi togarashi (1 tsp)
  • Sesame seeds (2 tsp)
  • Dashi (2 tsp)


  1. Slice the aubergine into quarter lengthways and
    then into irregular shaped pieces (I like this way
    because it makes it easy to pick up with chopsticks, but
    can just chopped into small cubes too)
  2. Fry the aubergine with the sesame oil on
    medium heat until slightly brown but not fully
    cooked until mushy
  3. Place in a glass Tupperware and let it cool
  4. Mix the other ingredients into a bowl and whisk
    well and then add to the aubergine and let it
    soak for at least 12 hours before serving

Namasu (Daikon and Carrot Salad)

  • Daikon radish (4oz)
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar or cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt


  1. Slice both carrot and daikon into julienned strips
  2. Massage daikon and carrots with salt and set aside for at least 10 minutes or longer.
  3. Squeeze water out of daikon and carrot and place in glass/tupperware.
  4. Whisk the other ingredients in a bowl until dissolved and add to the container
  5. Serve 12 hours later.

Indonesian Pickles

This pickle is ideal served with Indonesian fried rice (Nasi Goreng…click here for a vegetarian version). This recipe is taken from and creates the colourful pickles shown in the image above.


  • 1 medium cucumber (remove seeds and chopped into cubes)
  • 1 medium carrot (peeled and chopped into cubes)
  • 25 birds eyes chillies (or lesser heat as wished by removing seeds, chopped into small pieces)
  • 3 shallots (peeled and halved)
  • 500 ml water
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar or 3 tbsp rice vinegar


  1. Sprinkle all chopped vegetables and massage with salt and set aside for around 10 minutes.
  2. Then wash and the vegetables under running water and strain in a colander.
  3. Boil the water, sugar, vinegar and salt in a pot until dissolved.
  4. Turn off the heat and add all the vegetables into the pot (uncovered).
  5. Once cooled store in glass jars.

Korean Pickles

This recipe is taken from

Oi Muchim

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 spring onion (sliced thinly)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. Cut the cucumber lengthwise in half and then diagonally into thin slices
  2. Add the cucumber into a large bowl together with the rest of the ingredients and mix well till the sugar dissolves.
  3. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

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