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Variations of Tsukemono


Prepare nukadoko, the rice bran used for pickling vegtables:

  1. Put 2.6 liters of water in a pot, add 300-400 grams salt. Bring to a boil, then cool.
  2. Put 2 kilograms of nuka (rice bran) in a large, clean container, little by little, add salt water, mixing well until nuka is the same consistency as miso.
  3. Mix in 6-8 slices of ginger,4-5 red peppers for flavor. Let nukadoko set over night.
  4. The next day, mix completely again then add vegetables for fermentation. Let all of this set over night again.
  5. Repeat step (4.) for about two days.

How to keep nukadoko:

  1. Mix from the bottom daily. This allows air to circulate.
  2. When nukadoko becomes watery, add roasted nuka that contains 5% salt to the nukadoko to thicken it back to miso consistency.
  3. Flatten the surface, cover with breathable paper or cloth. Tightly cover with lid. Keep in a cool dark place.

Vegetables preparation and pickling time:

  • Eggplant (nasubi);
    After washing, eggplant should be rolled in salt on palm. Cut a slit vertically 1/3 the length in the eggplant to let the nukadoko flavor absorb evenly.
  • Cabbage;
    It can be prepared 3 ways, rolled individual leaves, cut in half or quarters, or whole with core removed. (pickle for 1 day)
  • Cucumber;
    Roll cucumbers in salt on palm. (ready in 4 hours for light pickled flavor)
  • Uri (Japanese gourd);
    Cut uri lengthwise, remove seeds, roll in salt on palm. (3-4 hours)

*Other vegetables to try include daikon (raddish), carrots, green peppers, Chinese cabbage, pumpkin, ginger root, lotus root.

Chinese cabbage pickled with salt.

  1. Split 5 cabbages in half (or into 4-6 pieces if large) from the bottoms with your hands. Score bottom with a knife.
  2. Dry pieces inside up on a cloudy day in the shade for 1/2-1 day.
  3. Prepare container for pickling by sprickling salt on bottom. Tightly pack Chinese cabbages inside up next each other. Sprinkle top with salt and red pepper. Place next layer in the opposite direction, alternate layers. (Use 200 grams of salt and 3 to 4 Red peppers per 5 cabbages.)
  4. Put a heavy stone on the inside lid to press it down.
  5. When the water rises over the top decrease weight by half. It will be ready in 3 days.

*Prepare turnip, gourd, leafy leaves in the same way.


Prepararation for misodoko, miso mix for pickling vegetables:

  1. Mix together 500 grams of miso, 100-130cc of mirin, sugar, optional.
  2. Add red pepper, chopped sesame seeds, grated ginger to desired taste.

Prepare vegetables for misodoko:

Uri should be cut in half lengthwise, sprinkled with salt to take out water. Daikon should be prepared peeled. Other vegetables pickle in salt before pickling in misodoko.

How to make and keep:

  1. Alternate layers of miso and vegetables. Put the inside lid on and press down. Keep in a cool and dark place for about 2 months.
  2. To keep longer, miso should be changed metioned in above.

Instant Shibazuke

  1. Cut 4 eggplants lengthwise in half. Cut halves diagonally 7mm width hangetsugiri, Soak in water and strain water.
  2. Cut cucumbers wagiri diagonally into 7mm width pieces. Cut myoga into thin slices, Chop finely 50 grams of red shiso from umeboshi.
  3. Mix 1 and 2, add 3 tablespoons of pickled shisonomi (seed from shiso), massage vegtables and squeeze out water.
  4. Place this into a container and sprinkle 1 tablespoon each of sugar and salt over it. Weigh down for 1 to 2 days.

*Instant pickle makers are sold.

Kasuzuke (sake-curd pickles)

Prepare nerikasu (kasu mix).

  1. Crumble 1kg sheet of kasu into fine pieces. Grind it while little by little adding shouchu (distilled sprits), 2 1/2 tablespoons of mirin. Mix to the consistency of miso.
  2. Keep in a cool and dark place for 4 to 5 months to allow ripening. Do not let it dry out.

Prepare vegetable for kasudoko.

Use vegetables already pickled in salt before pickling in nerikasu. Cucumber, uri, eggplant, daikon, Green paprika can be pickled

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