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Japanese foods--tsukemono


torakris
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The recipe is actually for a "healthy" tipple! Here's a recipe for rakkyou (rakkyo). I didn't give it the other day, as I haven't made them in ages - DH is not fond of them.

Rakkyou in Amasu (sweet vinegar) SImplified one-step method.

2 kg rakkyou: wash thoroughly, trim root end and stem end, peel off one layer of skin.

Heat together: 6 cups rice vinegar, 1.5 cups water, 2.5 c sugar, 1 tab salt, 4-5 dried chilis (If using US measurements, either reduce by 25% or use extra mix to dress other dishes). Bring to simmer, dissolve sugar, and allow to cool.

Put rakkyou into a clean dry glass container, pour over cooled amasu mix, weight down with boiled pebbles in a bag, cover with a non-metallic lid.

Mature for 1 month, will keep for 1 year.

Gosh, when I dug out the book, there was a recipe for pink garlic...

300g new-season young garlic (peeled)

1 cup red ume-su (the brine that accumulates when making umeboshi, colored red with shiso - but also available bottled).

Simply pour vinegar over peeled garlic in a glass jar with a non-metallic lid (or sandwich 2-3 layers of plastic wrap. Store for 1 month before eating, will keep about 1 year.

I think this may not get as pink as the commercial product, and may not be as crunchy, but who knows?

Here's the shiso seed pickle recipe while I'm at it.

300g of shiso seed pods

50g coarse pickling salt

Strip seed pods off stems - should be about 200g. Dissolve about 1/3 amount of salt in 1 1 cup of water (3/4 of a US cup), and tip in shiso seed pods. Weigh down with a drop-lid or plate, and soak 2-3 hours. Drain well.

In a bowl, add all but 2 tsp of the remaining salt, mix in well. Press into clean dry glass jar, sprinkle remaining salt over, weigh down with a weight of about 200g (boiled pebbles in a plastic bag etc). Use a non-metal lid.

Keep in a cool place. Will keep about 1 year, but they are very salty, so rinse or soak before use.

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thanks for recipes. it seems to me rakkyou is close, the ume-su brine of course i don'r have,but i can get red plum vinegar - which is probably close.

what mystifies me is the addition of bonito flakes to brine (commercial pink garlic ingredients). that seems quite unusual for pickles. they probably can't be pickled for a long period of time, go bad, no? why, oh why, add bonito to pickles, any ideas? or is it just some bonito flavouring and not actual bonito? or is it like part of brine, like dashi? please, forgive me, if i ask stupid questions ;).

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The red plum vinegar is probably exactly the same as the ume-su brine.

Commercial pink garlic and bonito flakes: You are right, the bonito flakes won't keep. Some commercial pickles are really ready-for-the-tabe preparations made with certain other pickled ingredients. The original ingredients (e.g. the pickled garlic) will keep very well, but once you add things like extra sweetening, sesame seeds, or bonito flakes, you should keep the pickle in the fridge and use it up fairly quickly.

I found this out the hard way when I made takuan with bonito flakes! :laugh: . It wouldn't be so hard with commercially pickled takuan, but I used home-made takuan...

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  • 2 months later...

Can anyone point me to recipes for making shibazuke - those purple eggplant and cucumber tsukemono? They're quite expensive in the market, and it doesn't seem that they should be all that difficult to make at home. I know it calls for red shiso, and I assume the veggies are salted - but other than that....

Monterey Bay area

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I think we need Helen here!

I don't pickle. :biggrin:

I have tried and tried but it is just one of those things that I don't do well (I don't bake very well either), I think it is a problem that has to do with patience....

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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About 200 g Japanese eggplant

1 bulb of myouga (left unsaid: you probably can't find myouga everywhere in the US. consider using 1 or 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger in substitution.)

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ume-su (Japanese apricot (aka plum) vinegar, which is often quite salty, and is very red)

1) slice the eggplant in 5mm slices.

2) remove aku by soaking the eggplant in water for about 30 minutes. You can weigh down the eggplants in the bowl using a plate or something heavy.

3) drain well; gently rub the eggplant slices with the teaspoon of salt.

4) slice myouga thinly and rub with a little more salt. (alternatively, grate the ginger now... salt probably not needed in that case).

5) mix your eggplant and myouga (or ginger) together.

6) Carefully squeeze the moisture out of the firmed up ingredients (discard that liquid)

7) Add the tablespoon of ume-su. You can adjust this to taste.

Not really explained: this will probably taste best after two or three days, from what I can see. As the text indicated, the shelf life will not be extraordinarily long, but it doesn't seem to be an instant pickle, as some of the compounds that make the color blue will work over time.

And here's the translation. Kindof...

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=ht...1&ie=ISO-8859-1

Can someone translate the translation?

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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Thanks for your translation, Jason. :biggrin: I waited until Helen came up with something.

As for myouga (Japanese ginger), I think ojisan would like to replace them with cucumbers. In his initial post here, he described shibazuke as "those purple eggplant and cucumber tsukemono".

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Jason - thanks for translating "The can it is it is lawn soak", and you're correct - I don't recall seeing real myoga at my local Mitsuwa, altho they do carry "young ginger".

Hiro - the stuff I've been buying comes in a plastic bag, and I decant it to a plastic container, so I don't know what the ingredients are. The current batch has eggplant and ginger but no cucumber, and is a deep purple color. I've also bought a version with cucumber (but can't recall if it had ginger) and it was a deep blue color. The next time I go to Mitsuwa, I will make note of the ingredients. Maybe other readers can make note too (Kris?)

I've never looked for it, so I don't recall if I've ever seen ume-su at the market, but I think Tsuji has a recipe for it in his "bible".

Waiting for Helen's thoughts...

Monterey Bay area

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Better late than never :biggrin: .

My "real, genuine, shiba-zuke" recipe is buried somewhere, but I think most people make it as in the following recipe. This way (using water rather than just salt, and adding a little soy sauce) is my preferred method.

QUICK SHIBA-ZUKE (1-3 days).

1-2 Japanese cucumbers – rub in coarse salt, rinse off, slice.

4 Japanese eggplants – cut lengthwise, then slice, soak in water.

3-4 myouga buds. Cut lengthwise, cut out core.

1 lump ginger. Slice thinly.

Coarse salt 40g (4% of weight of vegetables)

50 ml ume-su (sour red brine from pickling umeboshi)

1 tab shoyu (soy sauce)

1 tab sugar

50g salt-pickled red shiso leaves

Place cucumbers and eggplants in a bowl or pickler, mix in 1 tab coarse salt and 140ml approx. water. Weight lightly, leave around 3 hours. Drainb.

Mix red shiso leaves into cucumbers and eggplants. Mix in shoyu and sugar. Weight, and leave overnight, but preferably 2-3 days. Keeps around 10 days refrigerated.

*In the unlikely event that you are using umesu from home-made pickles, watch salt levels carefully - it's much saltier than commercial products.

FAKE UME-SU & RED SHISO LEAVES for use in quick pickles.

250g of red shiso leaves (about 1 bunch)

15g coarse salt (6% of weight of leaves)

1 liter mild vinegar (rice vinegar preferably)

Strip leaves off stems. Wash, drain thoroughly. Massage HALF salt in. Squeeze well and discard juice. Massage rest of salt in. Squeeze again, and place leaves in jar, and pour over vinegar. You should get a beautiful red color. If you use up the vinegar, refill once if there are still plenty of leaves left – you should still get color. Keeps 1 year.

When using real ume-su from home-made umeboshi, be aware that it is MUCH saltier than commercial ume-su, which is similar to this “fake” recipe.

UME-SU MARINADE – for about 1 c of vegetables

If vegetables are hard, either soak in salty water (1 tsp salt to cup of water) or rub in a very little salt and rinse, then squeeze, before proceeding. Alternatively, blanch and refresh in cold water.

2 tab each of water, vinegar, ume-su, and sugar – adjust sweetness to taste. Add a chopped umeboshi (not too small) if desired. Marinade until the vegetables are pink.

YUKARI QUICK PICKLES

Tender young spring turnips, blanched cauliflower, daikon, cucumbers – anything mild-tasting will do.

100g vegetables

Good pinch of coarse salt.

Massage salt into vegetables, or combine with a few spoons of water. Leave until soft, squeeze.

Sprinkle 1 tab powdered yukari (dried salted red shiso leaves) over.

Add a pinch of sugar and 1 tsp – 1 tab mild vinegar if desired. Shreds of lemon or yuzu peel, or a few black sesame seeds, or a small amount of daikon or turnip stems combined with the vegetables make this very attractive.

Edited to remove references to the recipe I decided to leave out of my post! :raz:

Edited by helenjp (log)
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Hiro - the stuff I've been buying comes in a plastic bag, and I decant it to a plastic container, so I don't know what the ingredients are. The current batch has eggplant and ginger but no cucumber, and is a deep purple color. I've also bought a version with cucumber (but can't recall if it had ginger) and it was a deep blue color. The next time I go to Mitsuwa, I will make note of the ingredients. Maybe other readers can make note too (Kris?)

I too buy the stuff in plastic bags, I no longer have the bag from my current bunch but looking at it I see eggplants, cucumbers and ginger. I don't think I have ever bought a version that had myoga in it...

Yukari pickles...

I used to make these quite a bit before I had kids, not really sure why I stopped they are so easy and taste wonderful. I really liked it with celery.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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This recipe suggests that if you can't get ume-su, you can replace it with 2 or 3 umeboshi, vinegar, and shredded red shiso leaves.

Anyway, good luck!

Thanks everyone - it's getting more, uh, interesting...

http://translate.google.com/translate?u=ht...=1&ie=Shift_JIS

OK, rough translation:

Instant shibazuke (2 to 3 servings)

2 eggplants

1 cucumber

2 myouga

Small amount of ginger

2 tbs ume-zu (plum vinegar)

1 Cut the ingredients.

2 Put them in a bowl, let them sit for 10 min., stirring occassionally.

As I said previously, if you ume-zu isn't available, replace it with 2 to 3 umeboshi, vinegar, and shredded red shiso leaves.

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helenjp -- Would you happen to have a recipe for piiman-zuke (pickled minced cucumbers and green peppers). I love that stuff, and would love to be able to make it without green dye and preservatives!

My brunch today was my magnificent new invention: "nori tacos" -- place a portion of rice mixed with House ume-jiso paste on a quarter-sheet of nori, add a slice of maguro, top with shredded daikon and a dab of piiman-zuke, and convey to mouth!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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helenjp -- Would you happen to have a recipe for piiman-zuke (pickled minced cucumbers and green peppers). I love that stuff, and would love to be able to make it without green dye and preservatives!

My brunch today was my magnificent new invention:  "nori tacos" -- place a portion of rice mixed with House ume-jiso paste on a quarter-sheet of nori, add a slice of maguro, top with shredded daikon and a dab of piiman-zuke, and convey to mouth!

I love this idea. Kinda like a handroll, without having to roll it. I will be trying that soon.

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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SuzySushi: Piiman-zuke

Commercial "piiman-zuke" in this photo doesn't actually contain green pepper (possibly why it's so popular with people who hate green peppers :raz: ). This site says it "includes" pickled shiso seeds, ginger, cucumber, and gourd.

I guess that the cucumber, gourd, and shiso seeds at least are already preserved in salt, and that the ginger maybe lightly salted first too. Then they will be de-salted, and re-pickled in a tastier mix such as shoyu and mirin, sugar, possibly calcium etc to keep it crunchy, etc. This is done because the sweetened shoyu "marinade" doesn't keep as well as a regular salt pickle.

However, restaurants and homes often make various kind of quick pickles which are intended to be consumed quickly rather than being allowed to ferment.

One of these types is "kizami-zuke" - finely chopped vegetables which are salted and squeezed. Sometimes green shiso leaves, finely chopped ginger, dried chili, or sesame oil or seeds are added, and sometimes all or part of the salt is replaced with umeboshi or miso or soy sauce. Sometimes sugar or sake are added to make the pickle mellower.

Try this - I made an experimental basic version which lasted 1 meal and one day of lunchboxes, so it should work!:

1 cucumber or about 3-4 oz daikon

Roughly the same amount by weight in green peppers

Other aromatics to taste.

EITHER: 1 tab salt dissolved in 1 c water, OR about 1/2 tsp salt.

Chop vegetables finely, and put them in a baggie with your selected salt ingredient. Massage a little, and leave to shed water. Squeeze lightly, serve.

Edit. leave overnight or 48 hours for a mellower, less obvious "salt" taste.

OR, rinse briefly and squeeze, and toss with (VERY ROUGHLY!!!) 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tab sake, or 1 tab noodle soup base (men-tsuyu), or 1 tsp miso and 1/2 tsp soy sauce

In other words, the basic rate of salt is around 3% of weight of main vegetables, or half that for pre-salting and half for final marinade. (Pre-salting helps get rid of bitterness from the green peppers - I find the salt in water the fastest and most foolproof method, but very frequently use straight salt - 1 small pinch per 100g veges usually).

Edited by helenjp (log)
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SuzySushi: Piiman-zuke

Commercial "piiman-zuke" in this photo doesn't actually contain green pepper (possibly why it's so popular with people who hate green peppers :raz: ). This site says it "includes" pickled shiso seeds, ginger, cucumber, and gourd.

Thanks for the recipe! Will try as soon as we finish the current batch of store-bought!

The package in my fridge says ingredients are cucumber, green pepper (I estimate about 10%), ginger, water, soybeans (soy sauce?? I don't detect any beans themselves), salt, amino acid, citric acid, MSG, some kind of sorbate, and food colorings. I also see shisho buds in the mixture, which are not listed on the label.

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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  • 4 months later...

I have an over abundance of garlic and onions, does anyone have any good recipes that pickles either one? I'd like both to be combined or shine by themselves in a good pickle recipe.

I'd also prefer not to pickle my garlic in miso, because that takes too long.....I'm looking for something that takes less than a week (preferably something that requires overnight pickling)

BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA
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  • 3 weeks later...

When I was in Tokyo, I saw lots of very small tsukemono shops offering perhaps 20 different kinds of pickles. I am wondering about these.

- Were these "artisanal" tsukemono makers? Did they make the pickles there in the shop?

- The tsukemono I tried were absolutely delicious, so much better than anything I've been able to find in the US, and they seemed like they used way less food coloring. Is this quality of tsukemono available in the US? It seems like there would be a demand for it in a market like Los Angeles. I would love to be able to mail order them.

- I bought a bunch of packages from the little tsukemono shops and brought them home in my suitcase, but I was worried the whole time because they were refrigerated at the shop and of course it's a long trip home. We ate them without incident, but was this a wise thing to do? How long can they stay out of refrigeration?

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When I was in Tokyo, I saw lots of very small tsukemono shops offering perhaps 20 different kinds of pickles. I am wondering about these.

- Were these "artisanal" tsukemono makers? Did they make the pickles there in the shop?

Depends on the shop, but it's certainly possible that they are made in the shop. Even most of the "artisanal" shops tend to make them offsite, however.

- The tsukemono I tried were absolutely delicious, so much better than anything I've been able to find in the US, and they seemed like they used way less food coloring. Is this quality of tsukemono available in the US? It seems like there would be a demand for it in a market like Los Angeles. I would love to be able to mail order them.

They may not use less food coloring, or even be particularly, as even expensive Japanese pickles often have added artificial sweeteners, glutamates, and so on. As I've noted before about umeboshi, the less-salty umeboshi tend to be loaded with weird ingredients, even at high price points.

However, many of these companies certainly make better-tasting tsukemono than most of what's available in the US. We can find good Korean tsukemono made by local Korean American shops, but for some reason, not much Japanese pickle-making goes on even in urban areas of the US.

The shelf life of the better pickles in Japan tends to be much shorter than the export ones, but I think the main barrier is cost. Airfreight would cost the importer roughly $4/lb, which means you'll probably pay about $12-16/lb for just the shipping costs at retail if something goes through typical wholesale and retail markup.

Ocean freight, which takes about 30 days transport, would work out to be pennies a pound, but the hurdle in that case is refrigeration, and the 20ft-40ft shipping containers. Without a known customer base that would take the whole shipment quickly, it's a pretty big risk for most importers.

The food importers I have spoken with (I only do it on a small scale) generally don't have much faith in the high end of the market, except for things like seafood which are proven. It'll probably take the success of a Japanese equivalent of the fancy gourmet Italian specialty shop before the better quality items start being imported.

If I were opening a fancy Japanese specialty shop in the US, I'd probably mostly make my own pickles to test the market (and for better margins, except for the few ingredients that are cheaper in Japan).

- I bought a bunch of packages from the little tsukemono shops and brought them home in my suitcase, but I was worried the whole time because they were refrigerated at the shop and of course it's a long trip home. We ate them without incident, but was this a wise thing to do? How long can they stay out of refrigeration?

That depends on the pickle. Some of the "wasabi-zuke" or "karashi-zuke" that Hiromi likes only have about a week or two of life in them once opened, but most vacuum-sealed ones can keep without refrigeration until opened, even if they are stored chilled at the supermarket to extend the shelf life.

Generally, I wouldn't worry about it, unless they packaged them in front of you or sold them in deli-style containers.

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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  • 2 weeks later...
thanks for recipes. it seems to me rakkyou is close, the ume-su brine of course i don'r have,but i can get red plum vinegar - which is probably close.

what mystifies me is the addition of bonito flakes to brine (commercial pink garlic ingredients). that seems quite unusual for pickles. they probably can't be pickled for a long period of time, go bad, no? why, oh why, add bonito to pickles, any ideas? or is it just some bonito flavouring and not actual bonito? or is it like part of brine, like dashi? please,  forgive me, if i ask stupid questions ;).

I would not worry about bonito flakes in the pickle making them keep less. Are you thinking because it's fish it will keep for a shorter period of time? That's actually a falacy. Sure fresh fish goes bad faster than a fresh turnip. But preserved fish - or meats, eggs etc. will keep for a very long time. Just think of pickled herring - or eggs/gizzards in a jar in a local bar.

As long as the pickling brine is salty and acidic enough the bonito will last. I have had Korean pickled squid last for a very long time. And lots of Korean and South East Asian pickles include shrimp or small fish (often called anchovy). A little bonito will not bring things down.

Now as for other pickle types - such as rice bran pickles or miso pickles - I don't think there is enough salt and acid with either of these to pickle fish for a long period - perhaps not even for the short term. It may make a good marinade for grilling though.

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