Sweet and sour pickled white radish 甜酸萝卜, and wish all children in the world are loved

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Sweet and sour white radish pickle

I went to an industry lunch a few weeks ago. A speech was given by a high-up official who spoke about many things, including the children out of home care. The person said, after the government outsourcing the administration services, the children return-to-home rate had increased from 27% to 60%. And they believed the best place for the children was with their parents.

On hearing that, I felt unsettled.

I do volunteer work regularly for a charity in an inner-city suburb. That’s where I met Molly (not her real name). Molly might be in her 40s or 50s. Her face was somehow deformed, and she had no teeth. When she appeared at the charity late in the morning, she talked very loudly as if she was yelling. Her speech was not recognizable. The staff at the charity made her drinks. They told me it was prescribed protein drinks. Molly sat by a table for hours on her own, taking to everyone and no one.

“She was a beautiful little girl, beautiful!” one of the local ladies told us one day. “She was beaten by her father, ended up in the hospital with brain damage.”

I, myself, was a physically abused child when I was growing up. Those days, physically abusing children was perfectly acceptable in China. When I was beaten up, no one came to my rescue, not even my grandmother.

I was lucky. I grew up to be a strong and independent individual. Molly didn’t have that chance.

So I made my favorite childhood snack – sweet and sour pickled white radish. I used to buy them from the street vendors, 10 cents for 3 pieces, a special treat when my friends visited on very rare occasions.

Sweet and sour!

And I wish all children in the world are special to someone, and loved by someone.

Ingredients

  • 500g Asian white radish, sliced
  • 1 cup of fine sugar
  • 2 cups of white vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  • a few pinches of salt
  • warm water

Method

  • We will need a glass container with an air tight lid, large enough to hold the radish pieces
  • In the container, mix sugar, salt, vinegar with warm water; add radish pieces; top up with some more water to cover all the pieces; close the lid
  • Leave in fridge for 2-3 days.  (if insufficient time, the radish will taste peppery, bitter and raw)
  • Serve slightly chilled
Chinese radish
Chinese radish
Sweet and sour pickled Asian white radish
Sweet and sour pickled Asian white radish, being pickled in a glass container

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