Teriyaki Chicken with Momofuku’s pickled vegetables. Photo Credit: Heather Platt
If you’ve ever dined at any one of the variety of restaurants in David Chang‘s empire, you know that he always does it right. I have had the Momofuku cookbook for many years. And as much as I have treasured it and taken pride in the fact that I frequented the original East Village noodle bar when it first opened around the corner from my apartment, I have been wary of the cookbook. The photographs are stunning but the myriad of new ingredients and daylong preparations, though salivating, had me resorting back to my usual books.
But a recent pickle obsession has made me revisit the lovely wood and peach covered volume. Despite previously embarking on the art of Japanese pickles, I just couldn’t stop thinking about them, or more accurately, how to make them better. Sure enough on page 66, there is a recipe called “Vinegar Pickles, Master Recipe.” For some reason the words “master recipe” just made me SO happy. It’s like I could hear David Chang’s voice speaking to me “Look no further Heather, you have found the ONLY pickle recipe you will ever need.” I felt confident that it would be. And it is.
Teriyaki chicken is not in the Momofuku cookbook. This is my quick and easy weeknight recipe for the busy home cook. Serve it with those Momofuku master pickles and it will not disappoint. The pickles can be made up to a month in advance or served immediately. Chang recommends up to a week for “optimum flavor.”
Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers. Photo Credit: Heather Platt
I absolutely love pickles. Even when I was young, I would beg my mother to buy me a jar of sweet pickles at the grocery store. They were like crisp tangy candies that I couldn’t wait to get home and crunch between my teeth. Years later, as a twenty-something living in New York City, I discovered the Japanese versions of my favorite treat. And for many years, I couldn’t eat at a sushi restaurant without ordering a giant plate of Tsukemono to start.
My favorite place to eat Japanese food, however, is not any of the myriad of NYC spots I frequented over my eight years in the Big Apple. It’s my sister’s house in Massachusetts. She and her husband Takeshi have the most impressive artillery of Japanese sauces, vinegars, spices, and seasonings that an ingredient-hungry cook like myself has ever seen. They also, amazingly, are members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). So on a recent visit, when my sister reluctantly pulled out a huge bag of giant yellow cucumbers they had received from their farm-share, I knew just what to make. We served them Miso-Glazed Cod, white rice and an avocado salad and they were delicious!
Nephew and Japanese Pickles. Photo Credit: Heather Platt
Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers served here with Miso-Glazed Cod. Photo Credit: Heather Platt
Japanese Pickled Carrots and Cucumbers