Tsukemono (literally “pickled things”) are Japanese pickles. They are served with rice as okazu (a side dish) with drinks as tsumami (snack), as an accompaniment to or garnish for meals, and as a course in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
Traditionally, Japanese prepare tsukemono themselves. Pickling was one of the fundamental ways to preserve food. Nowadays, tsukemono can be readily bought in a supermarket, but despite this I still find it enjoyable and satisfying to make my own. Typically, all that’s needed to make pickles is a container, salt, and something to apply pressure on top of the pickles. Here I will show you a super tasty recipe which uses a plastic bag so anyone can have a go with minimum fuss
2 or 3 short cucumbers (I used lebanese cucumbers)
2tbs rice vinegar
Dried chillis to taste (I used 1tsp)
1tsp fish stock
1tbs sesame oil
2tbs soy sauce
Chop the cucumbers and carrot into roughly the same size pieces. The more angles you give the vegetables when you chop them, the more surface area for them to absorb the flavour. Then line a bowl with a plastic bag and start adding the ingredients in any order.
Put the chopped veggies in the bag, then force as much air out of the bag as possible and tie a knot in the top. Turn the bag upside down in the bowl, shake a little to make sure everything is coated, then place in the fridge overnight.
You’ll find these absolutely delicious served straight from the fridge with any hot food.