Tsukemono (pickled vegetables) are a part of many Japanese meals. Umeboshi (pickled plum) and gari (pickled ginger) are well known examples, but the varieties of tsukemono are endless. Popular vegetables for pickling include bamboo, carrots, Chinese cabbage, cucumbers, daikon radish, eggplant, ginger, gobo (burdock root) , squash, and turnips.
Some common methods for making pickles:
Nukazuke: Rice bran can be used as a pickling medium, but these pickles take days to ferment and must be tended daily.
Shiozuke: For home cooks, the simplest pickles use salt. Vegetables are lightly salted, and weighed down, causing them to release their liquids. The resulting brine then pickles the vegetables.
Shouyuzuke: Vegetables are pickled with salt, soy sauce, sugar and vinegar.
Misozuke: Sometimes vegetables are pickled in miso and sake.
Suzuke: Vinegar pickling.
From “Easy Japanese Pickling—in five minutes to one day”
by Seiko Ogawa
- 3 medium potatoes
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mirin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar (I cut this to 1 tsp.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 to 3 Tablespoons black sesame seeds, toasted
∞ Peel the potatoes, julienne, and soak in water. Rinse well until the water is quite clear.
∞ Mix the vinegar, mirin, sugar, and salt in a jam jar (or a glass that you can heat). Put a large strainer in a pot of boiling water and place the jar in the strainer to warm the mixture enough to dissolve the sugar and salt.∞ Drain the potatoes in the large strainer, place it in the boiling water and stir quickly. Remove at once. Drain well.
∞ In a bowl, combine the potatoes with the vinegar mixture. Cool.
∞ Garnish with the sesame seeds.
Note: sometimes I find some very nice red-skinned potatoes that would look very pretty unpeeled. This is a delicate and delicious side dish.
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