RECIPE: Sakura Tsukemono

Sakura Tsukemono 

 

Salty, sweet, and tangy- sakura tsukemono will be the most delicious and beautiful side dish you have had!

Tsukemono are Japanese pickled vegetables that are common in everyday meals! These preserved vegetables can be pickled with different homemade techniques, such as using salt or vinegar. This recipe will be using rice vinegar as the main pickling ingredient and its sweeter flavor will add an intriguing dimension to your tsukemono!

Japanese people will typically keep different types of tsukemono in their fridges for easy and healthy vegetable side dishes or appetizers. It’s common to keep a container of tsukemono and have it as an appetizer over the course of several days. This dish is not typically found in Japanese restaurants outside of Japan and is the perfect way to add a simple and authentic Japanese dish to your menu!

This tsukemono recipe requires minimal steps and is topped with beautifully delicate salt pickled sakura. You and your dinner guests may be surprised to know that sakura is perfectly edible! These sakura are carefully preserved using salt and vinegar, making them the perfect complement to this tsukemono recipe.

For the final burst of flavor, add in one tablespoon of konbu cha! This ingredient combines kelp and beet sugar for a savory, umami taste. The konbu cha will deepen the fragrant marinade, resulting in a mouthwatering tsukemono!

Not sure how to eat tsukemono? We recommend eating tsukemono on its own as an appetizer or combining it with a hot, fresh bowl of white rice! The tangy flavors will shine when eating it alone or paired with a neutral food like white rice. Japanese people also eat tsukemono between heavier dishes (like meat or fish) for a bright palate cleanser. You may recognize this strategy from the ginger used as a tangy freshener between sushi pieces!

 

Servings: 2-3 servings 

Ingredients:

Sushi vinegar (makes ½ cup):

Instructions:

  1. To make the sushi vinegar, combine the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a pan over medium heat and whisk until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Do not let boil. Cool and store in the refrigerator. 
  2. Peel the turnip and cut into thin slices.
  3. Rinse the salt pickled sakura under running water. Gently squeeze to remove excess water and pat dry.
  4. Mix the turnip, Salt Pickled Sakura, sushi vinegar, and Ume Konbu Cha (if using). Put into a container, cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

*Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining “Wa” Care Package

 

Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney

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!

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