Carrot-Miso Tsukemono

This quick to make Japanese tsukemono is sweet and salty. Use a light sweet miso for sweeter flavor, a dark strong miso for a saltier vegetable. As with all of this Japanese cooking, I’m not quite sure what I’m aiming for. I made this twice in the past few days: the first time the pictures were terrible. The second time, I sliced the carrots too thin and they got over-cooked and soft, but here are the pretty pictures. The original recipe called for 2 carrots for 4 people, but there was too much dressing (in my mind) for the amount of veg.

Japanese carrot pickles

Carrot Miso Saute

miso saute carrot cookingfrom Easy Japanese Pickling
serves4

  • 3 to 4 carrots
  • 4 Tablespoons miso
  • 2 Tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon sugar (less than original recipe)
  • vegetable oil to saute
  • Peel carrots and slice into thin ovals, about 1/8″ or 1 cm thick. Don’t make them too thin, just because you can slice ultra-thin with a mandoline!
    Combine miso, mirin, and sugar.
    Saute the carrots breifly over high heat.
    Toss in the miso mixture. Let cool.
    Wait for 1 hour to develop flavor.

    miso saute carrot

    Tori Nambon-zuke is a versatile Japanese recipe that can be served hot or cold. This recipe is quick and easy, but allow time for the chicken to marinate over-night. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make it ahead in preparation for a busy day at work, or even better, for a party.

    Spicy Marinated Chicken with Fennel Carrot Stir-Fry

    This recipe illustrates an influence of Portuguese traders on Japanese food: it uses hot red peppers and the combined techniques of frying and marinating.
    The years between 1549 and 1639 are sometimes called the Namban Period in Japan. Chinese and “Southern Barbarians” (Namban) were permitted to trade only through the port of Nagasaki.
    Obviously, this trade affected art, clothing, architecture, religion… but this is a blog about food.
    The Portuguese empire, built for profit and trade, extended to Brazil, parts of Africa, India (Goa), South East Asia, and Japan. This trade brought many new foods and spices from one part of the world to another; of interest in this case is piri piri (small, fiery chilli peppers). The hot red peppers influenced the flavors of many cuisines, including Portugal itself. The small red peppers in Japan are called akatogarashi.
    Eventually (Protestant) Dutch and English traders encroached on the (Catholic) Portuguese trade with Japan. This led Japan to enter a 200 year period of seclusion, retaining the Dutch as the sold Western trading agents. and that is another story…
    Oh, and “zuke” means “to pickle” or “marinate.”

    Japanese Chicken in Marinade

    Chicken in Spicy Vinegar Marinade
    Tori Nambon-zuke
    serves 4
    page 415
    The original recipe is meant to serve 2, but because this can be a planned second meal, I have adjusted it. [original amounts are in brackets]
    The Chicken

    • 4 boned chicken thighs, with skin [2]

    Prick the chicken skin with the point of a knife or skewer. I dusted a little salt over the skin.
    The Marinade:

    • one 3″ square kombu, soaked in 1 1/2 cups water for 2 hours [2″ and 1 cup]
    • 1 1/2 cup rice vinegar (komezu) [1cup]
    • 2/3 cup sugar [same–when I’ve made this in the past, it was too sweet]
    • 3/4 cup soy sauce (shoyu) [1/2 cup]
    • 5 small dried red chile peppers (akatogarashi) [3], seeded and sliced into thin rings or 1/2 tsp. cile pepper flakes

    Remove the kombu from its soaking liquid. Discard the kombu. In a saucepan, bring the kombu stock, rice vinegar, sugar, and shoyu to a very gentle simmer. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and add the chile. Reserve.
    Cooking:

    • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 3 naganegi long onions, white parts only [2], or young thin leeks, or green onions, cut into 1 1/2″ lengths

    Heat the oven to 350°F.
    In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the long onions and cook over medium heat until they are slightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain, and add to the reserved marinade.
    Heat the oil in the skillet again. Brown the chicken on both sides, paying special attention to making the skin nice and golden.
    Remove the chicken from the skillet and drain on paper towels. Transfer the chicken to an oven-safe dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked.
    Marinate:
    Cool the dish until you can add the marinade without fear of shocking the glass (ie: cracking). Or, if you love washing dishes, transfer the chicken to another non-reactive glass (or stainless steel) dish, and pour the marinade over.
    Refrigerate overnight or for as long as 5 days.

    chicken vinegar namban

    To Serve Cold:
    Slice the marinated thighs, arrange attractively in dishes, arrange the onions with the meat, and pour a generous amount of the vinegar marinade over.
    Or:
    Serve the chicken slices over a salad. Plain lettuce, or greens and slices of grilled vegetables. Dress with a bit of the marinade. Or put slices of chicken in baby endive leaves–like a wrap, and dip them in the marinade.

    Or to Serve Hot:
    Reheat the chicken and the marinade (microwave or oven). Serve it with fried potatoes and smooth French-style mustard.

    You can make a similar recipe using fish. or this.

    chicken namban zuke

    Pictured from bottom right: Saikyo miso soup with broccoli, dried ebi, and kamaboko, carrot-miso tsukemono, rice with umeboshi (shiso), tori nambon-zuke, and crisp-fried tofu with garlic tsukemono.

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    Steamed Chicken and Golden Sauce Japanese Chicken in Vinegar Marinade
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    2 thoughts on “Carrot-Miso Tsukemono

    1. Pingback: Tempting! Links to Fabulous Food and Terrific Hints « A Life (Time) of Cooking

    2. Pingback: Ben zum Abendessen « Hey, Mr. Ben!

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