Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Japanese Pickles

Today, I'll tell you about how to make simple Japanese pickles, "Tsuke-mono". We've been eating "tsuke-mono" over generations, and each family has own recipes. It always come together with Japanese white sticky rice and "miso-shiru" (miso soup).

This "daikon" (Japanese radish) is only grown in the area where I live called "Miura Hanto "(Miura Peninsula). The outside color is pink, but the inside is white. Looks so cute! I'd never seen this until I moved to Kamakura. The farmers don't sell this "daikon" a lot, they only sell around their territory, it seems.

The recipe is from one farmer woman I met at the vendor. So simple. Wash the red "daikon" and cut them into one-bite size. This "daikon" is so soft, that's why you don't need to peel off the skin. Put them into a big storage jar, and add rice vinegar and equal amount of white sugar into the jar until soaked. Leave it for a couple days. Voila! Here you can have the "tsukemono".

I know it sounds a bit funny for you to add some sugar, but it's quite common way to cook something in Japanese traditional dishes.


Handmade Girl said...

Does the sugar make them sweet or does the vinegar take the sweetness away? My husband would like these...

Jon said...

Hi Kumi, my name is Jon, I live in san francisco california, I found your page while looking for someone I once knew, she has the same name as you (Kumi)She lived in Kanagawa also. She used to cook me fried tofu with a sweet brown sauce, it was so good. I have tried to find it at restaurants but cannot find it. I have been to a Japanese grocery store popular in san francisco and asked some people and workers and they gave me a package to try but when I got home all the intructions were in japanese.
I miss Kumi

joyce said...

Hi Kumi:
Thanks for sharing the recipe!

*Kumi said...

Hi, handmade girl!
I think the reason to put sugar is to make the taste mild as rice vinegar can be a bit strong for itself.
You don't recognize the taste of sugar when you eat this pickles.
It is mild!
If you have this kind of radish, or "daikon", please try it!

*Kumi said...

Hi, Jon.
I'm not the "Kumi" you're searching. Sorry...
The tofu in the US is a lot different from the one here in Japan, and that makes the taste so different, I guess.
To make tofu, the water is the most essential.
The water in the US and in Japan is so much different, thus the tofu tastes so different!

I hope you can find your "Kumi" one day!

*Kumi said...

Hi, Joyce.
My pleasure!

jon said...

Hi Kumi, my friend lived in a city named Hadano. I met her in san francisco. She had to go back to Japan for personal reasons. Its fun reading your blogs.

Have a nice day

Jon said...

Hi Again, I thought it would be funny to leave a recipe for the dinner I had. I heated up some rice in the microwave I cooked yesterday and I fried some spam. There really is no recipe here. But I would like to try those Japanese Pickles. I really like having the tofu because it was helping me cut down on meat. even though I did cut down on meat with her cooking, I did gain some weight because I ate more often and the food was alot different from what I was used to. I tried to meet Japanese women just to have that dish but my pick up line " can you cook tofu with a sweet brown sauce" did not go too far.

*Kumi said...

Hi again, Jon.
I know Hadano, but never been there.
You're right!
Tofu is a healthy food, and you can eat a lot to fullfill your stomach as it doesn't have strong taste itself!
Lots of people on a diet uses a lot of Tofu and Konnyaku in Japan, too.
Ha ha ha, thanks for sharing your story to meet a Japanese girl who cooks tofu with sweet brown sauce.
I'm sorry, but I have to admit that I laughed a lot!!

nico said...

mmm sounds like to try those cute pink ones you made! the daikon sold near my house is not as pretty ;( its yellow brown color...i love vinegar sugar pickles! its almost the same procedure for magga burro in the philippines pickled green mangoes were my favorite!

*Kumi said...

Hi, Nicole.
Wow, you make the pickeles the same way we do in the Philippines? We share so many things, don't we? Cool! The green mango pickles sound so yummy!! It's so pity that we don't have any green mango here in Japan, only those with orange/pink colored ones...

olcay said...

hii,i live in turkey in a little village. our village is famous its radish:) and we send them all country. but our radish is not tall like yours. it is round. i saw white, tall radish at our street market. That man said they had came from japanese. if something is not ordinary, people thinks it comes from japanese:))
Kumi, i am too happy to find your blog. it is my favorite blog.bye

*Kumi said...

Hi, Olcay.
Where in Turkey do you live?
As I used to live in Bucharest, Romania, I often visited your country while I was there.

The white one you're talking about is called "daikon" in Japan. That's the most popular raddish. Now it's the season to eat it even though we have it all the year.

Everywhere in Europe, you can find Japanese white raddish now. It's so well-known by now, I guess!

It's my pleasure to have you on my blog. Thanks for your visit and make sure to come back again!!

nico said...

oooo kumi check out this insane food blog i found recently : filipina from guam making insane food!

yeah philippine mangoes...drool.