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Basic Pickles Ingredients

Basic pickles ingredients include vinegar, herbs, spices, vegetable oil, salt and sugar

Before refrigeration and canning processes were invented, people pickled a range of fresh produce in order to preserve them. Some food are good for pickling but some are simply not suitable.

Using basic pickles ingredients in my cooking class in the Tropical Spice Gardens in Penang, Malaysia
Using basic pickles ingredients in my cooking class in the Tropical Spice Gardens in Penang, Malaysia

Therefore, one type of food can end up into many varieties, depending on the ingredients being used like exotic Malay spices. Pickle ingredients and methods were very simple.

The raw materials used as pickling agents were cheap and easy to get. Salt and vinegar are the most basic ones.

all things sambal, cicah and air asam!
Ahh my favorite things, all things sambal, cicah and air asam!

As the industry evolves, many other ingredients and more complex methods are used. However, a lot of homemakers and cottage industries still rely on the old methods to do the pickling.

Now, let us take a look at some of the basic pickles ingredients and the list of common spices used for the purpose:

  • Vinegar : rice vinegar, ascetic acid, black vinegar, apple cider vinegar
  • Herbs : ginger, onion, garlic, dill
  • Spices : mustard seed, chili powder, turmeric, star aniseed, cinnamon
  • Vegetable oil : olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil
  • Sea salt, table salt, iodine salt, pickling salt
  • Syrup, sugar, molasses
  • Alum-this gives pickles its crispiness

Types of food which can be pickled:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Tubular vegetables like carrot, broccoli, cucumber, gherkin
  • Citrus fruits, olives, mangoes, nutmeg
  • Onion, garlic, chilly
  • Shrimps
  • Eggs
  • Raisin, apricot, prune

After determining the kind of pickles you want to make, it is also necessary to prepare a container to store it. Traditionally, glass jars are used but more and more people find it cheaper to use plastic food grade containers for the pickles to mature. It is essential you sterilise the food containers properly before storing the pickles. After that, the pickles can be stored up to five years in cool, dark places before the seals are broken.

Other subjects that will be covered in this web site includes:

  • Exotic Malay spices.
  • Malaysian spices.
  • List of common spices.
  • List of herbs and spices.
  • Low sodium pickles.

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Nazlina's Cooking Class in Penang

cooking class in penang

Attend my cooking class to learn making traditional food.

  • Daily except Sunday @Nazlina Spice Station.

The morning class includes Penang Market Tour.



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To get to Tropical Spice Garden by bus from George Town:

Take Rapid Bus no. 101 from KOMTAR.

One way fare per person: RM3.40

Total traveling time: 45 minutes

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