Isn’t it amazing how the simplest things can make the biggest difference?
For example, when I wake up in the morning and find that my husband has already made coffee. Or when I manage to make the light on my way home from work instead of waiting (impatiently) on my bicycle to cross. Or when someone seems to know that what you needed right at that particular moment was a compliment, a smile, or just the acknowledgment that you are worth their time to talk to. It’s easy to go through a day without fully appreciating these small things. I think it is especially difficult when you live abroad, can’t speak the language, don’t look like anyone else, and feel generally out of place. Yeah, that can make things a little more difficult. You can find yourself resenting the fact that nothing is consistent. People come and go. Life changes at a pace that can be hard to keep up with.
Well, one simple combination that never changes is that of vegetables and vinegar. That pairing will never let you down. Tangy and trustworthy, pickled vegetables are one of life’s truly simple gifts. Here, I’ve taken a beautiful lotus root, sliced it thinly, and submerged it in rice wine vinegar over night. The result is a decorative garnish for anything from a slowly braised dish, like these Asian short ribs with ramen noodles, or as a tangy counterpart to miso soup and sticky rice.
What’s not to love?
Here’s to appreciating the small, simple things in life.
Pickled Lotus Root
1 lotus root, about 6 inches long and not too skinny (you can also use Daikon radish, or any radish variety you can find)
about 1 cup rice wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar + 1 T sugar and 1/4 cup water)
1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the lotus root.
2. Thinly slice the lotus root with a mandoline at the thinest setting you can use without breaking the lotus root.
3. Take the lotus root slices and gently place them in a clean jar or other airtight container.
4. Cover the slices with rice wine vinegar (make sure they are covered completely. depending on the container you are using, you may need to adjust the amount of vinegar). If you are using the apple cider vinegar version, mix the vinegar, sugar and water together before pouring it over the slices.
5. Let sit for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours or overnight.
6. Strain the slices over all but about 1 inch of the liquid. Reseal for later use or use immediately. Will keep for about 4-5 days.