Friday, June 4, 2010

Salted (pickled) vegetable 浅漬け

Although I have posted this before, I decided to post it again with more details and a better picture. I make this regularly with whatever vegetables are available but cucumber, daikon, nappa cabbage, and celery are the best. I always use thinly sliced and Julienned ginger, red pepper flakes. From time to time, I add different seasonings such as jalapeno pepper, sliced lime or lemon. This time I had thinly cut dried kelp "Kizami konbu" 刻み昆布 (came in a bag) and I used this as well.

It is not really a recipe; just wash and cut any vegetable into an appropriate size and add salt. I slice "hard vegetables" such as daikon, carrot, and radish into rather thin slices. But I slice cucumber (American mini-cucumber) much thicker. If I use regular cabbage, I make the pieces a bit smaller than for nappa cabbage. The amount of salt is important. By weight, about 2% of salt against the total weight of the vegetables is the standard but I tend to use a bit less. After sometime, you can sort of tell the appropriate amount of salt. So I usually do not even measure. I added the vegetables and salt to a bowl with hydrated thinly cut kelp "Kizami konbu"  (after 5 minutes of hydration), and added ginger (finely julienned), red pepper flakes (just enough) and kneaded the mixture with my hand.

Then I transferred the vegetables to the contraption on the left called a Japanese pickling pot. I put on the lid and screwed down the inner plate so that the vegetables were under some pressure. I placed the pickling pot in the refrigerator. After several hours, you will see water developing above the vegetables. Then, it is ready. If you do not add enough salt, the water may never appear. (This is called "Mizu ga agaru" or "Water has risen"). After this, I transfer the vegetables in a sealable container with its liquid. I drain and squeeze out excess liquid just before serving.

Depending on the saltiness, you could use soy sauce when serving "asazuke". You could try many variations. Depending on the amount of the salt, it will keep at least a week in the refrigerator. We really like this dish. This dish can be served as a small dish which goes well with a sake. You could also serve this as an accompaniment to the rice dish you may serve as a "shime" 締め dish.


Jon said...

Funny, I pickled some uri just yesterday. You don't have uri in America, do you?

Uncle N said...

I have not seen "uri" here and I am not planning to grow it either.