Saturday, May 29th, 2010
Cabbage Tsukemono (Pickled vegetables), Fuki Gohan
and Potato and wakame Miso Soup.
Tsukemono-chan. That's my mom's nick name. She loves her picked veggies.
When I was a kid, my mom would spend Saturday mornings, prepping all of her tsukemono for the week. She would make different kinds of tsukemono. Most of the time it was daikon tsukemono and hakusai (nappa cabbage) tsukemono. She would use her tsukemono contraptions, that to kids, looked like something brought to Earth by aliens, and would line them up along the kitchen counter. I distinctly remember my friends coming over and asking me what they were, and I'd shrug my shoulder and dismiss it as some experiment my mom was working on. I was often embarrassed by the weird Japanese things that my mom prepared and wasn't prepared on how to answer questions about strange food and even stranger contraptions. I know there must be a lot of people out there have have also experienced this. A friend from college told me that as a kid he was always embarrassed by the strong smell of curry in his house whenever his friends came over and asked about it.
Anyway I'm over it now and I love answering questions about Japanese food regardless of what the reaction is.
Tsukemono is nothing strange but the tsukemono maker is a little funny looking.
This is the first tsukemono recipe so I'll try to be as detailed as possible.
1/8 small cabbage (about 3 cups of chopped cabbage)
1 medium carrot
1/4 teaspoon of kombu powder or Kombu slivers (1.5 inches cut into 2-3 mm slivers)
Katsuobushi (a sprinkling)
2 teaspoons of kosher salt or nigari salt
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
1/4 teaspoon or a splash of soy sauce.
1) Cut up your vegetables and put the cabbage in a salad spinner get rid of all the water.
2) Add the salt, sugar and kombu slivers (or kombu powder) and massage the vegetables make sure that you mix well.
3) Close the lid on the container and screw shut. (You can leave it out on the counter if it's not too humid for the first 8 hours but refrigerate after).
4) Give the vegetables a stir every now and then taste and add salt if necessary since the water will dilute it.
5) 8 hours later, pull out as much as you want and give it a good squeeze.
6) Give ingredients a rough chop and drop in small mixing bowl.
7) Add a drizzle of soy sauce and a sprinkling of katsuobushi, give it a good mix and serve.
Cut the cabbage.
Cut up the carrots into nice slivers.
Add the kombu powder or add kombu slivers.
All the ingredients are in and ready for a good massage.
Put on the lid and screw down the press until there is some pressure on the vegetables.
If you don't have a tsukemono maker, you can improvise with two bowls and a weight. Put the weight in the top bowl.
Tsukemono and goes great with white rice...mmm