In America, pickles are used for just about every dish around. You can get them on burgers, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, and much more. These salty little vegetables are not popular in Filipino foods, but there are other foods made in a similar manner that can be used for Filipino cooking. If you don't know anything about the pickling process, you may be surprised by just how simple it is. You can pickle just about anything you want, from pickled papaya to pickled chili peppers. Here is a look at how cucumbers turn into standard dill pickles so you have a better idea about what you're eating.
The pickling process mainly involves soaking cucumbers in vinegar for an extended period of time. Think of this as a marinating process, but instead of meat, we're using cucumbers or other fruits/vegetables. Adding the acid to the cucumbers like this will make them last for a long time because the mixture has a pH balance of 4.6 or less. After the cucumbers are soaked in the vinegar long enough, they look like traditional pickles.
Adding different flavors to the vinegar will give the pickles different flavors too. Some people will make their pickles spicy and others will make them sweet. The size of the pickles and the ingredients used to cure them will determine how long a pickle will stay in the vinegar before eating. Some manufacturers have figured out ways to speed up the curing process, but to get the best results, pickles need to be left alone for a long time.
When the pickles have completed their fermentation process, they are boiled in water for 5-10 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria on the pickles. They are usually stored in glass jars, where they can sit on the shelves or in a refrigerator. You can find pickle kits on the market, or you could try pickling using your own recipes. It just depends on how creative you want to get.
We have an array of Filipino recipes that pair well with pickles, so feel free to look around and see what you can create whether you buy the ingredients for the recipes or make them yourself, you should end up with a great tasting dish to feed yourself and your family.