Pickles in Japan

By ayr March 6, 2018

Japanese pickling is so different from what I’m used to in the USA. We visited Kyoto where pickles are one of the most important regional items. Pickles were everywhere. In the US almost 100% of pickles we consume are made from vinegar brine. If you’ve ever had a true “sour” or “half-sour” pickle, that’s salt brine, as is true kraut (but not all kraut, some commercial kraut cheats). In Japan it’s common to use many more pickling methods:

  • Salt brine
  • Vinegar brine
  • Rice bran (nukazuke)
  • Sake lees (kasu Zuke)
  • Miso (miso Zuke)
  • Soy sauce (shoyuzuke)

Some of these (nukazuke and kasuzuke in particular) work really really fast. Like OVERNIGHT.

It’s got me thinking. I’ve always wanted to pickle at Clover someday. It’s so beneficial for so many reasons. Great for health. Great for preservation. And many of our beautiful organic veggies would be perfect. But I was always assuming salt brine, which takes a lot of time, and assumed we would have to be large enough to afford a warehouse to store the pickles (6 week’s supply of pickles for Clover is already A LOT of pickles).

But what if we did some more basic pickling right away? There is a sake brewer in Waltham. Maybe we can buy his lees cheap? Overnight pickling could be amazing.

We’ll be tasting pickles at food Dev today. Come join us!

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