I’m so excited to announce two things. The first things is that my first attempt at making Japanese pickles (Tsukemono) failed miserably. The second thing is, that I’m creating a second blog just for Japanese food and above all, Bento! Sounds pretty ironic, doesn’t it? Especially after my epic Tsukemono fail and my initial intention not to split nekoblog..
Isn’t the colour beautiful?
Anyway, the food entries, recipes and Bento have already been copied to my new blog and I can’t wait to show it to you and fill it with funny, creative and hopefully inspiring food entries. As usual, it was a pretty spontaneous act but I think that it was the right decision. My Bento and Washoku entries just seemed so lost in all the different topics… Now they have a place for themselves.
Now I’m going to show and tell you what I did to get such disastrous pickles so you won’t make the same mistakes as I did..
Japanese eggplants (take any vegetable that is convenient for pickling such as carrots, cucumber, cabbage, radish etc.) Rice vinegar Salt Sugar Jar
The recipe says to cut the vegetables in thin slices but since I’ve never eaten nor seen a thin sliced Tsukemono I decided to cut it normally, that means about 1/6 of an inch.. (yeah.. you know that I’m not a good recipe follower..). First of all let me explain you what I love about Tsukemono. Basically there are three different types of Tsukemono: Shiozuke are with salt, Misozuke with miso and Nukazuke with rice bran. While Miso- and Shiozuke are pretty easy to prepare, Nukazuke are “a bit” more complicated to prepare but those are the ones I love! As usual I was so impatient to try out the recipe in the book I found at home that I didn’t even read about Tsukemono in general and thought that this recipe would get me the yummy, crunchy and vivid coloured Nukazuke pickles I wanted… but I was wrong.
The pickled eggplants after two days in the fridge…
To read about the recipe and see more interesting pickle pictures, read on!
This is just after I poured the rice vinegar, sugar & water mix over the eggplants..
Ok, so the recipe is very simple but it won’t get you even close to real Japanese pickles. If you just want to try pickling something this recipe could be a nice start nevertheless.
1. Cut the veggies (for example 2 carrots, 1 Daikon, 2 small cucumbers and four cabbage leaves) in thin slices and put them in a bowl with about 3tbs. of salt. Make sure everything has some salt on it and let it rest for about one hour.
2. Take the vegetables out of the bowl and drain them well under cool, running water to remove the salt. Slightly pat the vegetables dry and put them in a jar. Some recipes I found on the internet stop here but the one I used goes one step further.
3. Mix together and bring to a boil 2tbs. of sugar, 1/2 liter of rice vinegar and 1/4 litre of water. Pour it over the vegetables and close the jar. Let them rest for about two days before consuming them. They should last about one week in the fridge. The thing about this procedure is that you loose the beautifully intense colour of the vegetables and that they won’t get crunchy so cutting them thick like I did was stupid..
The eggplants tasted ok but not very different from common gherkins. The rice vinegar is obviously milder than wine vinegar so the vegetables won’t taste as pungent as when pickled with wine vinegar but next time I‘m hopefully going to show you beautiful and vibrant Nukazuke.