Pickled beets get a face-lift from Chef David Chang of Momofuku. Instead of cooking the beets beforehand, Chang pickles them raw with a couple of pieces of kombu for an interesting Asian twist.
Special equipment: If you have a mandoline and are comfortable using it, this is a perfect time to pull it out because it’ll help you get uniformly thin slices.
What to buy: Kombu is a broad, thick form of seaweed that is an essential ingredient in dashi, a Japanese broth. It can be found in Asian markets and online.
Game plan: The pickled beets need to be made at least 1 day in advance, so plan accordingly. Any leftover beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
- Yield: 1 quart
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 10 mins, plus brining time
- Active: 10 mins
- 1 pound medium beets, tops trimmed, peeled, and sliced paper thin
- 2 (4-inch-by-2-1/2-inch) pieces kombu
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- Place the beets and kombu in a 1-quart jar, leaving at least 1/2 inch of room at the top of the jar.
- Make the brine: Place the vinegar, sugar, water, and salt in a small saucepan, whisk to dissolve the sugar and salt, and bring to a rapid simmer.
- Immediately pour the brine over the beets, making sure to cover them completely but leaving 1/4 inch of room at the top of the jar. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Cover the jar with a tightfitting lid. Shake the jar or turn it upside down to evenly distribute the brine, then place it in the refrigerator for at least 1 day and preferably 1 week before using. (The pickled beets can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.)