Pickling usually involves soaking vegetable in brine solution and letting it naturally ferments for several days to several weeks. Natural microflora carry out the tasks that adds new set of flavors. Followed by discarding the brine and replacing it with sweet and sour or sweet pickling solution. Omitting the first stage makes a quick pickle, a quick okra pickles.
Okra or ladies finger. A vegetable belonging to cotton family. Cotton last for almost eternity but okra only last for seven days when in good condition, handled properly, and stored in room with temperature of about 10ºC and 90 to 95% relative humidity. Pickling is a great way to salvage excess produce and those that failed to reach market in time.
Here it goes…
1) Get fresh okra. No bruises and damage. Should be firm and succulent. Wash in running water to remove adhering dirt.
2) Cut off the base. Make it slanting in case wanted to arrange up side down in sleek jar. The cut will allow faster absorption of pickling solution. Arrange in jar, vertically if using a small sleek jar, horizontally if using a large container.
3) Prepare pickling solution, 30% sugar and 30% vinegar for sweet and sour, 30% sugar and 5% vinegar for a sweet pickle. Add spices of choice like ginger, black pepper, chili and herbs.
4) Bring the mixture to boil. Allow to cool for five minutes and pour to container with okra. Place a bag of water on top to prevent okra from floating – use polypropylene bags. Cover. Let stand for two days before eating or adding to vegetable dishes. Keep refrigerated after opening.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.