We have a friend from Sichuan, who makes us these pickled vegetables. Delicious. What they do is use the leftovers from things like white radish, cabbage, peppers - the skin, rinds, everything you usually toss out - and pickle them in a broth of vinegar, rice spirit, peppercorns, and some mystery ingredient that I can't quite figure out. Some kind of floral alcohol, but I just can't pinpoint.
Anyways, it's absolutely delicious. Spicy, with a beautiful balance between being acidic and tingly. The vegetables stay crispy, so long as you store it in a cool, dark place. As soon as the broth turns cloudy, it's done and needs to be poured out. Perfect as an accompaniment to spice up and add some punch to a meal.
I need to know this secret ingredient.DF