Burong Labanos (Pickled Radish)



1 clove garlic

2 small red onions

1 pound raddish

500 ml white vinegar

2 T raw sugar

1 ½ T salt

2 Star anise seeds

¼ – ½ t fennel seeds

dash of ground cloves, don’t go overboard with this

½ t ground black pepper or more, depending on whether you have an asbestos-lined mouth

100 ml water


Utensils and Equipment

Spoon for stirring

750 ml-capacity plastic or glass bowl

Vegetable peeler

Non-reactive cookware, but if you don’t have one, your wok will do

Sterilized heatproof mason jar or in our case, an empty coffee jar. It should be big enough to store the pickles in


Peel the radish and if you have a mandolin, good for you, it’s either you can afford it or you cook for a living. Cut the radish into thin strips using either a mandolin or a peeler, whatever you have handy will do. Wash the radish strips thoroughly, drain well, and put them in the mason jar. You may need to press on them so that they are stacked with minimal air in between.

Chop the garlic and onions roughly and set aside.

Pour all the white vinegar into the glass bowl together with the salt and the sugar, you can add more or less depending on your taste and dietary requirements. You know some doctors are anal-retentive about salt intake. It’s up to you if you want your life to become bland, don’t get me started on doctors who ban butter.

Once the salt and sugar has dissolved, heat up the wok and pour the vinegar mixture carefully, of course. Dump the rest of the ingredients in and wait until everything comes to a rolling boil. Don’t stand watching it, or you’ll just smell like you rolled in sweaty gym equipment all day. Give it about three to five minutes and check on it.

Turn down the heat and let it simmer for five more minutes. Remove from heat and pour the mixture on to the heatproof mason jar. Make sure that all the radish strips are covered by the vinegar mixture. Wait until it has cooled down before covering it. Our stock lasts for about a week or two without refrigeration. I say lasts in the sense that it gets eaten in a week’s time. I don’t know how long it lasts before a new civilization of amoeba grows on it. Enjoy!