Tosa-Style Cucumbers

I made a nice welcome-home dinner because Mr. Tess is back for a couple of weeks. I had some pretty little cucumbers in the fridge, and while I love cucumbers with just a little salt, he’s not a big fan of them. To make them more special, I found a recipe called Tosa-Style Cucumbers. Without prompting, he told me the cucumbers were really delicious. I started wondering exactly what does “Tosa-style” mean?

Bonito Soy Flavored Cucumbers

In “Japanese Cooking, a simple art” Shizuo Tsuji notes that Tosa soy sauce is basically soy sauce with bonito flavoring, often served to accompany sashimi. Tosa is the old name of the southernmost area of Shinkoku, known for its bonito catch. This sauce is used for dipping raw or cooked fish and grilled or deep-fried vegetables or with tofu cubes. These pickles were so simple to make that they did not even require making the sauce!

Tosa-Style Cucumbers
from “Easy Japanese Pickling
by Seiko Ogawa

  • 2 servings
  • 2 small Japanese cucumbers
  • 5 grams bonito flakes
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

Slice cucumbers into 1/4″ thick diagonal rounds. Place in a plastic bag and sprinkle with the bonito flakes. Add soy sauce. Tie the bag tightly and let it stand for half an hour, shaking occasionally.
Gyuniku no Yasaimaki
Below are two different recipes for Tosa Sauce. I’ve not tried them, but they both look good:

Tosa Soy Sauce 1
from “Practical Japanese Cooking”
by Shizuo Tsuji,
Koichiro Hata, and Yoshikatsu Saeki

* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1 Tablespoon saké
* 1 Tablespoon mirin
* 2 Tablespoons tamari
* 1/4 cup bonito flakes

Combine shoyu, saké, and mirin.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to simmer on low
until the volume is reduced slightly.
Remove from heat add the tamari and bonito.
Let stand for 5 to 6 hours. Strain to clarify.
Tightly sealed, Tosa dipping sauce can be stored for up to 3 months at room temperature.
Tosa Sauce 2
from “Cooking”
by James Peterson

* 1 cup dashi
* 1″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (not traditional)
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1 cup bonito flakes
* 6 Tablespoons mirin
* 6 Tablespoons sake
* 1 green onion, thinly sliced

Bring the dashi to a simmer, remove from heat and add ginger, shoyu, bonito flakes, mirin and sake. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.
Strain. Just before serving add the green onion.
Keeps in refrigerator for a week, or can be frozen.
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Cooking Technique: Pickling (Tsukemono) Tosa-Style Cucumbers Japanese Rolled Beef with Vegetables
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