Peel the carrot (optional) and cut up in any way you like. For New Year's osechi or for bentos, you can cut them out into flower shapes.
Put the carrots in a heatproof container, add about 1 tablespoon of water, cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes at 600 W, or until tender.
※Adjust the microwaving time depending on the size of the carrot and on your microwave.
While the carrot is cooking, put the sugar, vinegar, kombu tea, and red chili pepper, if using, in a zip-lock bag.
Add the carrots with the water to the bag while they're still hot.Shake the bag around to evenly distribute the ingredients. Squeeze out the air in the bag, and zip it up.
When it has cooled down, put it in the refrigerator. If you make it at night, it'll be ready to eat the next morning.
You can cut the carrot out into ume blossom shapes for osechi. You can marinate the little bits cut off when you do a decorative cut, too.
User "Satomirin" made it with Kintoki carrots. Great for osechi. The dark orange color is very pretty.
I made this for 2011's osechi with Kintoki carrots.
Story Behind this Recipe
I like the taste of pickles, as well as the texture of carrots cooked until they're tender, so I marinated cooked carrot in a sweet vinegar sauce.
You can use wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar or any vinegar you like. Its best to use a light colored vinegar for the prettiest color. This is good whether the carrots are cooked until tender, or if they are still on the crunchy side. If you adjust the amount of water added when microwaving them, you can adjust the sourness too.