Back home whenever mom/grandma makes
porridge/congee, there will definitely be a plate of preserved
A lot of the preserved radish/Chai poh sold in the market are imported, if you read the label printed on the packaging, the ingredients listed include -- “traces of nitrates”, “E211 (sodium benzoate)”, “E975 (saccharine)” and many other ingredients that I can't even pronounce. It is just making one wonders what is the implication of those chemical stuff and how they make their ways into this traditional treat.
The Radishes sold in the Asian market were
really fresh and tasty around end April/May this year, with 29
cents a lbs and plenty of cold/dry air and
I can't help but to bring some home to make homemade preserved radish.
12 磅/5500克 的 新鲜萝卜
165 克 的 海盐
12 lbs/5500 g Fresh Radishes
165 g of Sea salt
1. Clean and cut radish into 5-6 inches in length and 1-2 inches in width, do not need to peel the skin of the radish, preserved radish with skin on will be crunchier and have better texture.
2. Spread cut radish pieces out on a flat bamboo colander and place under direct sunlight for one whole afternoon until radish pieces become soft.
3. Take the radish in door in the evening and
rub 1/3 of the salt on all the radish pieces, leave them overnight
with some heavy stuff pressed on them. This is to help drawing the
water content out of the radish.
Note: I used a stock pot full of water for this purpose, you can use anything that is heavy, make sure you cover the radish with a piece of clean plastic sheet before placing the heavy object on it.
4. By the next morning, you’ll find that the
radish have released a lot of water, remove the heavy object and
throw away the water.
5. Spread the radish out again on bamboo
colander and place under direct sunlight for a day. Bring it in at
night and rub 1/3 of the salt in again, cover with clean sheet and
place heavy object on it to release
6. Repeat the earlier steps of layering, salting (with remaining salt) and pressing on 3rd day, leave it again overnight to draw out even more moisture. This will be the last round of salting the radish.
7. We only need to place the radish under direct sunlight during the day and bring it in at night from 4th day onwards until the radish reaches desired dryness. Mine took around 7-8 days.
8. Clean and sanitized a large jar, place the preserved radish in it and press it down as much as you can, cover with lid and place the jar in cool dry place for 3-6 months before consuming.