Although chayote originated in the region of Mexica & Honduras, it has swept Asia by storm in recent years. It is frequently referred to as choko in many Asian countries. I have loved and been making both Korean (jangajji) & Japanese (shoyuzuke) style soy sauce pickles for a while and was delighted to experience the results of my choko jangajji. I have tweaked my recipe over some experimentation to deliver what I think is an outstanding and easy recipe.
Chayote is frequently available in mainstream American supermarkets. You may not have given it much notice before, but it’s a member of the squash family and is a light green color. If your supermarket doesn’t have it, it should be readily available at a Latin or international grocer.
The insides (before being cooked or pickled) can feel a bit slippery and the juice can make your skin feel a sort of odd tingly or numb feeling. Don’t worry, it is perfectly safe to eat and you can void that feeling by wearing kitchen gloves when prepping the chayote. Since you’ll be adding some sliced hot peppers to this recipe, I advise the gloves for this recipe anyway.
Now let’s do this!
- Knife & cutting board
- Medium saucepan
- Kitchen gloves
- 1/2 gallon mason jar
- Suggested: canning funnel
- Fermentation weight (as needed)
- 3-4 chayote squash (about 2.5 lbs. before cored; 1135g)
- 1.25 cups water
- 1.5 cups dark soy sauce (Korean suggested)
- 1.25 cups rice vinegar
- 1 cup (packed) brown sugar (~200g)
- 3-4 jalapenos (green or red), sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, quartered
- A few slices of ginger (optional)
1.) Quarter the chayote lengthwise and remove the core (the seedy membrane in the center). Leave the skin on. Cut the chayote quarters into thin 1/4″ slices. Also prep the garlic, jalapenos, and (optional) ginger. Transfer all the chopped produce to the jar using the (optional) canning funnel. Note you can substitute some of the chayote with onion slices or other veggies as desired.
2.) In the saucepan, combine the water, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and brown sugar. Occasionally stirring, bring to a rapid boil over high heat, then remove from heat. Allow to cool for 4-5 minutes, then pour over the veggies. Seal the jar tightly and allow to stand at room temperature for a couple days.
3.) After the allotted time, open the lid of the jar and pour all the brine into the saucepan. Add a 1/2 tsp salt to it and again bring to a boil. Allow to cool for a few minutes and return to the jar. If the veggies are not fully submerged, add a glass fermentation weight. Once the jar has cooled to the touch, transfer it to refrigerator and wait at least 2-3 days before trying the pickles.