Pickled vegetables (jangajji) are a staple in the side dishes (banchan) traditionally served at the start of a Korean meal. The brine couldn’t be simpler, calling for just three ingredients: soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar. The pearl onions can easily be swapped out for other vegetables, such as garlic, radish, cucumber, or Korean green chiles.

This recipe comes from chef Michael Kim of Maum in Palo Alto, CA.

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Soy-Pickled Pearl Onions (Yangpa Jangajji) Soy-Pickled Pearl Onions (Yangpa Jangajji)
These easy Korean pickled onions call for just three ingredients in the brine: soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sugar.
Yield: makes about 3 cups
Time: 24 hours


  • 3 cups white pearl onions, peeled and halved (1 lb.)
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar


  1. In a large jar or heat-resistant plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, add the onions, then set by the stove.
  2. In a medium pot, add the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then immediately turn off the heat and pour the mixture over the onions. Cover with a lid and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 2 days before serving.