Okay, please indulge me. I just have this urge to write in Spanish because I think ensalada en pepino y zanahoria sounds so much fun than writing cucumber and carrots achara. hahaha.
I have to confess this – I have a thing for pickled veggies! I like the salty ones, the sweet-and-sour ones, the spicy ones, the garlicky ones… name it, I like them all. Not only that they serve as appetizers they also are a great relish and a side dish. No problem, because here in Cambodia, I share with the whole country the same love affair with pickled vegetables. They have bok lahong, which is like a cousin of our very own Pinoy achara, only spicier (with lots of fresh, red chilli) and saltier. There is also the same lahong that goes with an order of nompang pate (Khmer sandwich with meatloaf). In Cambodian wedding banquets, platefuls of pickled cucumber, radish, etc. are also served without fail along with local cold cuts as appetizer. When I was in Japan, I sampled most of their pickled veggies with every meal, including breakfast. I can still remember the colours, the kick of flavours, and the textures of different Japanese tsukemono.
It was very easy to prepare and I was very adventurous when I made mine. No measurements, no nothing. I sliced and diced, sprinkled and stirred, and trusted my senses :) And thank heavens, they turn out edible and good naman. I bottled the achara and chilled in the fridge; the will keep for about 2 weeks at most. Now I have something to go with inihaw or piniritong isda (grilled or fried fish), especially with my favourite piniritong tilapya. Great timing, ‘no, especially that it is the Lenten season.
Speaking of Japan, please let us continue to pray for the country’s speedy recovery. Our hearts go out to the Japanese people and not a day goes by without me thinking about their plight. Let us help in one way or another. Also, while I’m writing this, news came out about the two quakes that rocked Myanmar earlier this evening. No news yet about damage or casualties. We will probably know tomorrow. Let’s also pray for the people of Myanmar.