These bracing carrot ribbons are sweet and tart and deliciously peppery. Ginger works as a seasoning here, and it becomes part of the pickle. Both mature ginger and young ginger work well in this recipe. When the latter is available, this is a nice place to try it; you’ll get a zippy brightness with a more mellow heat. These pickles are perfect for packing onto sandwiches, and they make great companions for cheeses and salads. Use medium-size carrots and a nice sharp vegetable peeler for quick and easy ribboning.
1 pound medium carrots, peeled
2 ounces fresh ginger (a knob about 3 to 4 inches long), peeled
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
1 cup distilled white vinegar
½ cup sugar
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 garlic clove, gently smashed and peeled
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons hot chile paste (such as sambal oelek or Asian chile garlic sauce)
10 leafy cilantro sprigs
How to Make It
Using a good, sharp vegetable peeler (I find the Y-shaped kind easiest to use), peel the carrots lengthwise into ribbons. Do the same with the ginger. Place the carrot and ginger ribbons in a large nonreactive heatproof bowl.
In a medium saucepan, toast the coriander over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally until the seeds are fragrant and lightly toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, bay leaves and 1¼ cups of water. Bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, to dissolve the sugar and salt, about 2 minutes.
Pour the hot pickling liquid over the carrots and ginger. Place a small bowl or plate on top of the carrots to keep them submerged. Let cool for 10 minutes, then stir in the hot chile paste. Let cool to room temperature. Add the cilantro springs to the pickle mixture, then transfer the pickles to a 1-quart jar; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The pickles can be enjoyed the same day, but they’re best if refrigerated at least 1 day. They will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks.
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