Many years ago, I dined at the now defunct New York City location of Mission Chinese, a restaurant that was plagued by labour issues and various scandals, the smallest (and least consequential) of which was their “iced Sichuan water pickles,” a dish of seasoned crushed ice. I, along with two other dining companions, ordered the pickles, unaware of exactly what they were.
I’m not sure what we were expecting, exactly, but it was not a bowl of spicy ice, which is was we got. We were disappointed, particularly because a cold, salty, and spicy pickle can be an incredible bite, especially on a hot summer night or balmy afternoon. I may not have liked iced water pickles, but I am obsessed with iced vegetable pickles, particularly those of the cucumber variety.
Icing pickles like oysters may seem a bit much, but imagine eating tepid, room-temp, or slightly warm pickles under the sweltering sun. Personally, I find it unpleasant. (A grilled pickle, however, is a different story.) An icy cold pickle is refreshing, bracing even. It cools and cleanses the palate, offering a welcome reprieve from smoked meats and hot dogs, all while replenishing your electrolytes.
Even when it’s not hot out, a little bowl of chilled pickles, alongside some charcuterie or cheese, feels luxurious and thoughtful. The chill makes the pickles an even more enticing accent to a spread of meat and dairy; if room-temp pickles function as a culinary comma, iced pickles are more of an exclamation point. (Bonus: If your pickles are already chilled, you can plunk them in a cold beer without warming your beer.)
Making iced pickles is easy. All you have to do is put pickles on ice. Crushed and pellet ice work best, but if all you have is “regular” cubes, put them in a freezer bag, wrap the freezer bag in a towel, and thwack the bag with something heavy, like a metal soup ladle, or food mallet. Dump the crushed ice in a bowl and nestle the pickles down in the ice. Serve next to a mess of barbecued meats, a charcuterie board, or — if you’re a true pickle fiend — all by themselves.
The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans
Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.