For a fresh burst of flavor, many Japanese people will reach for tsukemono as a trusty side dish!
Tsukemono are Japanese pickles and are typically made from salt or brine. These delicious pickles are a favorite side dish because of their bright flavor and bold taste. This recipe will show you how to make these delicious pickles with just a few ingredients!
Japanese people use tsukemono pickles in many ways, from a rice topping, to a side dish, or even as a spread for bread and crackers. Tsukemono can also be great to munch on when transitioning between dishes. Its crisp flavor and texture are a wonderful way to cleanse your palate and start fresh!
These Japanese pickles are easy to make and are flexible with the vegetables you have on hand. You can also use more parts of the vegetables, making it the perfect side dish to make use of every bit. You can also use leftover vegetables that you want to preserve and not waste! This recipe suggests using turnip and turnip leaves but gives the option to use many types of vegetables that you might have in your kitchen.
This tsukemono recipe relies on salt as the main method to pickle the vegetables. It also uses key ingredients from the Nebaneba Wasabi Konbu. “Neba neba” is a term used in Japanese to mean sticky and perfectly describes the unique texture you will produce with these ingredients. The konbu (Japanese for kelp) will give you the deep umami flavor and the wasabi will pack a burst of sharp flavor. You can also use soy sauce to enhance the salty and savory flavors.
Feel free to add in other flavors and ingredients you enjoy, as these main ingredients will easily complement many additions!
- 2 turnips including the turnip leaves (you can also use any of your favorite vegetables such as radishes, eggplants, zucchini, red peppers, etc.)
- ~1 tbsp salt (depending on the size of the turnips)
- Nebaneba Wasabi Konbu (1 packet of konbu + 1 packet of powdered wasabi)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tsp soy sauce (optional)
- Chop the turnips and turnip leaves, and mix with salt. Leave in the fridge overnight (preferably with a weight over it to help drain any excess water). Drain.
- Mix 1 packet of konbu and 1 packet of powdered wasabi with 3 tbsp of water and wait for one minute to allow the sticky (nebaneba) texture to develop. Mix with the vegetables from step one and enjoy. You can also add soy sauce if you prefer a stronger taste.
Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney
As a Japanese-Korean-American, my love for Japanese food first came from my grandmother's kitchen! Japanese food feels like home and I love being able to cook it anywhere in the world to connect with Japan in my own little way. I love diving deep into the layers of Japanese food and always marvel at the food diversity between prefectures. I'm currently eating my way through Tokyo and taking up photography with my Instagram account @capturingkim!