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A Different Kind of Wrap

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    Posted: 17 December 2015 at 17:25
A couple of weeks ago, while shopping in a local Asian market, I found a product new to me: pickled radish.

These were very thin (about 1/8 inch) circles of, I presume, daikon radish, measuring 4” in diameter. In use they’re used like mini-tacos. You put a filling down the middle, pick up the sides, and enjoy.

These, I thought, would be perfect with Thai Ginger Shrimp. And so it turned out. Using 51/60 sized shrimp, four of them fit nicely. A few fresh bean sprouts on top of the shrimp complete the package.

I got to be thinking that jicama would probably work just as nicely. Before I had a chance to put that to the test I was watching a show about Mexican cooking, and the host did just that. Using a mandolin to slice the jicama, she filled it with a mixture of her own devising, and wrapped the sides upwards, just like a taco.

Then I had a chance to pick-up the jicama, and set the slices up to pickle. For that I used a standard Mid-Eastern brine, which is primarily vinegar and salt. I’ve been using those right from day one. After all, they work raw, so various stages of pickling just add additional flavor. In addition to the shrimp, I’ve used those to wrap a fish salad and even a smoked sausage.

Been considering that other root veggies would work well too, to create these finger foods. Rutabaga comes immediately to mind, because of its size. I’m thinking that venison taco meat would be complimented by the rutabaga.

Turnips, too, should work perfectly, albeit for smaller bites. In the Mid-East, pickled turnips are a mainstay. Regular beets might be a stretch, because they bleed so much, and could be messy. But golden beets and chiogga beets ought to work.

Carrots wouldn’t work as a mini-taco. But imagine cutting thick carrots (often sold as “juicing” carrots) into thin ribbons , pickling them, and rolling them around a single scallop or oyster.

With a little thought and letting your imagination go, there are endless possibilities.

Just thought I’d pass this on if anyone want to experiment.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 December 2015 at 05:20
Sounds interesting Brook...how did the jicama work out for you?
Sounds like a perfect appetizer for a summer party out on the deck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 December 2015 at 09:38
Jicama worked just fine, Dave. We started on it the day after it went in the brine, and have been using it since. Basically raw, slightly pickled, and more deeply pickled.

I'd like to try making a large batch and canning it. But I'm afraid the heat would cause it to go limp, whereas you really want that crunch.

This morning I put up a batch of rutabaga. Somehow the platform on my mandolin slipped a notch or so, and the slices are a little thicker than I'd prefer. But they're still foldable. I have high hopes for these.

As to the appetizer idea, I agree. What I'd do is drain the jicama slices and shingle them on a serving platter, surrounded by various toppings. That way guests could assemble their own combinations.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2015 at 02:12
I have various pickles that I use...ranging from thai style to plain old kosher salt and vinegar. I'm thinking the Thai style might be the way to go.
I was thinking I'd slice it about 1/8" on the mandoline Brook, or would you recommend thinner? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 December 2015 at 04:40
1/8th inch is about what I was going for, Dave. Worked perfectly with the jicama. The rutabaga is a bit thicker, more than I wanted it to be.

I tried thinner, with the jicama, and felt it didn't have enough structural integrity to use as a "taco" shell.

Simplest thing is to make a pass or two with the mandolin and examine the slices. Adjust as necessary.

When you say "Thai style," what, exactly do you mean?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2015 at 02:12
There would be some galangal in the pickle Brook, and probably some minced bird's eye chili as well. Other than that a pretty staight forward white vinegar, salt and sugar pickle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 December 2015 at 05:51
Thanks, Dave.

Galangal is hen's teeth around here, so I'd have to sub ginger. Otherwise it sounds good.

Rutabaga is definitely too thick, at least for my store-bought teeth. I'm going to try it again, shooting for about a 3/32thickness. Hopefully, the mandolin will stay where I set it.

Re-examining the jicama, I'd say it was probably closer to 3/32 than to 1/8. I never measured them (I'd feel kind of silly putting a mike on a slice of vegetable, frankly). Merely used the Mark IV Eyeball Detector on the initial slices until they looked and felt right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 December 2015 at 04:59
I find that about 1/8" is a real good size for a quick pickle, so that's probably what I'll shoot for. It's what I always use for cucumber sauce, or even bread and butter pickles. 
Thanks for the inspiration my friend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 January 2016 at 19:18
For some insane reason, I think I've seen these pickled radishes in a store before - and in north-central Montana, no less.

I could be wrong, but I'll check - it could be just what I'm looking for.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2017 at 08:58
So, I recently found---in a supermarket of all places---some super-wide daikon. Don't know how it happened, but, mixed in with the smaller ones, was a root about 3 inches in diameter. Naturally I scoffed it up.

For this one, I sliced thin, as above, but used a different brine; one I had adapted from an 18th century recipe for regular radishes. It's a sweet brine, compared to the others, but works beautifully with both regular radishes (I cut them into roses, first) and the daikon.

Here's the recipe:

Pickled Radishes

2 dozen radishes
1 cup vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbls mustard seed
1/2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp dill weed

Trim radishes. Cut into roses if desired.

Mix all other ingredients in a saucepan. Heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Add radishes.

Keep in fridge until ready to use.

Adapted from "A Colonial Virginia Book of Cookery."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 September 2017 at 13:02
Sounds good!
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