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Chinese Mixed Pickles
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(Australian measure). Put the pickling ingredients into a saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat and let cool. (Use an enamelled saucepan if using a metal one.) Thoroughly wash all the vegetables. Discard any bad bits. Peel and cut up carrots, radish into 1 1/2" lenghts then cut into thin strips of around 1/4" (but not less I would suggest). Cut the cucumber lenghtwise, remove the seeds, and then cut up as for carrots and radish. Cut the red and green peppers into 1" squares. Slice the celery and the spring onions (shallots) diagonally into 1 1/2" lenghts. Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices (thinner than the carrots and radish). Bring a large saucepan of water to a brisk boil and add the prepared vegetebles. Immediately remove from heat. Let the vegetables stand for 2 minutes and then drain. Spread the vegetables on absorbent paper over wire rack and let them dry for several hours until dry. When dry, pack the vegetables firmly (but don't overdo it) into clean Glass or earthware jars (for the above you will need 2 jars the size of normal sized pickling jars) and pour the pickling liquid over them to completely cover the vegetables. (The jars do not need to be sterilized - just clean.) When packing the vegetables try and get an equal amount of each vegetable into each jar - this way you won't end up with too much of any vegetable in any one jar. Seal the jars and store in the refrigerator for at least a week before using. (When I've made the above, the vegetables last for weeks stored this way, and taste best after 2 weeks - but that's my preference.)
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