Well, my couple days off for Frankenstorm turned into a week of mental health for me, but it was totally worth it, I promise. I just needed some time to refresh my brain, and I’m feeling back and better than ever!!
So, meet Citrus Pickled Slaw with Radishes. This is really for a shrimp lettuce wrap taco recipe I hope to have ready by Wednesday, but this stuff is so good it really needed it’s own recipe. There is a bit of a Mexican flare to it, and it can add zip and zing to a ton of different things. Burgers, fish, tacos, it’s pretty versatile. I personally used a prepackaged cabbage mix as well, to save some time. I highly suggest this, but feel free to shred whatever kind of cabbage and go from there. I used an Asian cabbage mix because it’s got lots of textures. There are a few notes about the ingredients in the recipe, so make sure to give the whole thing a gander before embarking on voyage ‘Holy shit this is some tasty stuff’.
– Package of shredded cabbage/ cole slaw mix, or a cabbage, shredded.
– zest of one lime
– Juice of 4 limes
– Juice of 2 lemons
– 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1/4 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
– 3/4 teaspoon salt
– few grinds of black pepper
– radishes (mine were gigantic, so I only used three)
– pile o’ cilantro
Ugh, you know me. Not pictured is the bowl the slaw mix is in (where everything will be assembled, so make sure it’s big enough) and some tongs to toss everything around.
– Small saucepan
– Sharp knife
– Measuring spoons
– Rubber spatula
First, to build the pickling liquid… and by pickling liquid, I’m using that in the loosest possible way, as I’m pretty sure this is all wrong for pickle making, but it was the only term I could come up with to describe this stuff. Whoa tangent. Anyway, to build the pickling liquid, start by zesting one lime into the saucepan.
Cut all the citrus in half…
And juice all that into the saucepan as well.
To round out the sour pickley flavor, add 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. I suppose any kind of vinegar would work here, but I like the way the fruitiness of the apple cider stuff plays with the citrus.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cumin. Cumin is going to add a certain homey warmth to the whole endeavor. Not spicy warmth, but more a nice warm slippers kind of warmth. It’s earthy and delicious. Use it in everything!
Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground chipotle. This WILL add the spicy warmth. I found that 1/2 teaspoon was just right for me, and it was pretty spicy. It can certainly be adjusted, but I wouldn’t omit it totally. Even if it’s just a shake of it, I would add a little in there as it does add not only the heat, but a certain level of smokiness that is just really right in all this.
Stir everything together and put over low heat! The goal here isn’t to boil or reduce but to: a) dissolve the salt, b) allow the honey to melt and combine with everything, c) release the oils in the spices and d) take the raw taste out of all the spices. Just let it go on low for 15 or so minutes.
While the pickling liquid is heating, grab the radishes. Yum! Radishes! I love these things! They add a ton of texture and crunch to this, and another level of spiceyness that is just too tasty to miss. Give them a good scrub, and chop the tops and bottoms off.
Slice them somewhat thinnish, and then slice them again into matchsticks. Don’t go too crazy here, but try and keep them thin and somewhat consistent. (I know the below picture looks like I did this with a butter knife, but some of the little matchsticks stuck together a bit. Worry not, there aren’t any huge chunks!)
Throw the radishes in the bowl on top of the cabbage mixture.
And pour the warm pickling liquid on top. (The liquid should be fragrant and quite warm by this point…). Toss everything together with a handy set of tongs.
NOW! My mom hates cilantro. She thinks it tastes like soap. IF you are one of these people, just skip this bit.
Grab a bunch of cilantro…
Take the stems off and give it a rough chop.
Throw that on top of the cabbage/radish/ liquid mixture, and give it another good toss.
Toss the whole thing occasionally. The longer it sits, the better it gets. It will lose some volume as everything wilts, this is very normal. After a little bit, throw it into a storage container, and just give it a good shake every now and then. It can be eaten as soon as half an hour after making, but for the best results wait several hours, or even better, a day or two before diving into this. Enjoy!