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Malaysian inspired pickled courgettes

It is that time of year again, when every gardener I know has a bounty of courgettes. Every year, I tell myself not to plant so many, but fall into the trap. So every year, I also try to find new ways of using them up (that is of course after giving them away to my neighbours). This year, I dug my good old recipe books out and found a great one from Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi “the gentle art of preserving”, I really liked their Malaysian style pickled vegetables. I adapted the recipe to my taste buds, they use a huge amount of sugar and salt, which I don’t particular like in a pickle. So here you have it my Malaysian inspired pickled courgettes. Warning this recipe is a 2 day process.

Malaysian inspired pickled courgettes


1 kg of courgettes

50 g of salt

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of chilli flakes

2 tsp of mustard seeds (you could also use coriander seeds)

3 cloves of garlic finely chopped

20 g of fresh ginger finely sliced

2 tbsp of sugar

500 ml of vinegar


Start by cutting your courgettes into little cubes, pop them into a bowl with your salt and mix well, cover and leave it overnight (this is the brining process, your courgettes will render a lot of water that way).

The next day, rinse your courgettes in cold water ( I do this seven times to get rid of the excess salt, you want your courgettes to reach that sweet but not too salty taste). Once that’s done, you also want to drain the excess water. I do this by transferring the courgettes to a colander with a plate over them and something heavy on top. Leave for 5 minutes at least or until no water comes out. Then heat a tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan, add your mustard seeds, when they start popping, add the ginger, the garlic, chilli flakes and the turmeric and stir for a minute constantly as you don’t want your garlic to burn, then pour the vinegar and add the sugar, bring to the boil and turn the heat off, let this cool completely.

Once cooled start adding your courgettes into sterilised jars one layer at a time, then add some of the spices on top, then a bit of the vinegar and repeat this process until the jar is full. This process allows you to have an even distribution of spices, vinegar and courgettes in the jar. If you don’t do that you end-up with all the spices at the top of your jar. That is it!

You can either leave these jars for 6 months or consume after a week with cold meat, sausage roll, ham or even a good old scotch egg. It’s truly delicious!

Last year I went for courgettes fritters you can find the recipe here

Bon appétit!⠀

Corrine x