Today’s recipe is something I call L.A. jangajji, a Korean style pickle popular in the Korean community in Los Angeles. I first tasted it years ago when I visited my mom in L.A. She said all her friends were making pickles that way in those days. Usually Korean jangajji only pickles one vegetable and is salty, but this L.A. jangajji pickles multiple vegetables and is salty, sweet, and sour. I was instantly hooked on the crispy texture and sweet sour salty herby flavor.
When I got back home to Canada, I made this pickle and brought it to work as a side dish in my lunchbox. I shared some with my coworkers, and they loved it. I shared the recipe with them and called it L.A. Jangajji.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and these pickles. It’s totally vegan, and you can make a nonspicy version just by skipping the chili peppers. You’ll probably get hooked on this like me, and start using L.A. jangajji everywhere. I just had them in gimbap today for lunch! Let me know where you use yours!
- 3 to 4 stalks of celery (about 5 to 6 ounces), washed, cut lengthwise into halves, and cut crosswise into 1½ inch pieces
- 2 small Persian seedless cucumbers (Kirby or ½ of English cucumber: about 5 to 6 ounces), washed and cut crosswise into pieces ½ inch thick
- 6 ounces Korean radish (or daikon), sliced into ½ inch x 1½ inch x ¼ inch pieces
- 6 to 7 ounces sliced onion (about 1 cup), cut into ½ inch x 1½ inch x ¼ inch pieces
- 1 green chili pepper (serano, jalapeno, or Korean green chili pepper), sliced into ½ inch pieces (optional)
- 1 red chili pepper, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces (optional)
You’ll need a thick glass jar. I used my 7 cup glass jar.
For the pickle brine:
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup white vinegar
- ½ cup sugar (white or brown)
- 2 cups water
- Combine celery, cucumber, radish, onion, green chili pepper, and red chili pepper in a large bowl. Mix together with both hands.
- Add the mixed vegetables to a glass jar or an airtight container. Set aside.
- Combine soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and water in a pan and stir well. Cover and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. If it boils over, crack the lid open a bit.
- Uncover and boil for 2 minutes.
- Pour the hot brine into the jar, directly onto the vegetables. Let it sit until it cools down thoroughly.
- Close the lid and refrigerate.
Let it sit for several hours, then serve with rice as a side dish.
You can keep it in the refrigerator up to 1 month.