At Surinamese and Caribbean restaurants you always get some sour with your meal. Sometimes just cucumber, but usually a mix of vegetables that get their flavor from a mixture of vinegar, allspice, cloves and sugar. A hot pepper is often added to the marinade, which gives the pickles a nice, spicy 'kick'.
I'm a sucker for pickles myself. I prefer to have it every day as a side dish on the table. It's also a great way to quickly get an extra portion of vegetables. And be honest... those rainbow colors make everyone happy, don't they?
The trick to cutting long strips of cucumber
What immediately stands out in restaurants and sandwich shops is that the cucumber and carrot are often cut into those beautiful, long slices. At home you might cut cucumbers into slices or slices, but these long, slanted strips seem made for a sandwich. How do you ensure that your pickles are also cut in that shape?
The secret is this: first cut the cucumber (and carrot) in half lengthwise and then at the extreme angle possible. So not into slices that you cut at right angles, but keep your knife at a good angle. This way you get long slices with a lot of surface area. Would they retain the marinade better and would they be ideal for a sandwich, for example with pom of cured beef.
Prefer a video of sour?
In the video below you can see in less than 2 minutes how I cut the vegetables and how I make the sour:
Recipe for sour
Now that you know how to cut the vegetables for pickles, it's time for the recipe! You make the pickled vegetables in the following way:
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 1 red onion, cut in half rings
- 2 winter carrots, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, in strips
- 200 ml of vinegar
- 350 ml water
- 3 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 10 cloves
- 10 allspice berries
- Optional: 1 Madame Jeanette pepper
- Optional: a pinch of Ve-Tsin or E621*
* The Ve-Tsin is not necessarily necessary for the recipe, but it does make your sour taste exactly like the sour you get in restaurants.
Cut the vegetables into slices and place in a large pot. Then make the marinade by boiling the vinegar together with the water, salt, sugar, cloves and allspice berries. One minute is enough. Then add the hot marinade to the vegetables in the pot.
Do you like hot? Then also add the madame Jeanette pepper. The following applies: the smaller you cut the pepper, the hotter the sour will be. Do you want your pickles to really taste like in a restaurant? Then also add a pinch of Ve-Tsin.
Close the jar and shake it well. Pickles taste best when you leave them in the fridge for a day or two. - Enjoy your meal!
Cooperation with WÜSTHOF
The video accompanying this recipe was made in collaboration with WÜSTHOF. This German manufacturer of chef's knives is one of my personal favourites. I use them Chef's Knife from the Classic collection for years and this one is really ideal for cutting large pieces of vegetables in one go.
That is also my advice for when you start working with sour yourself. Always use a good knife that has some weight and is comfortable to hold. WÜSTHOF knives are guaranteed! They are and remain sharp, so that they last a lifetime. Absolutely indispensable in the kitchen for me!