A small plate of tsukemono, pickled vegetables, is an important component of a completeÂ informal or formal Japanese meal. Popular vegetables for pickling are daikon, carrot, cabfbage, cucumber, eggplant, Chinese cabbage, mustard greens, and turnip. The flavor, tex ture, and color of the vegetables vary according to the type of pickling agent used-brine, sake lee mash, mirin, miso marinade, salted rice bran mash, vinegar, or mustard-and the length of pickling time. Homemade pickles made with this recipe will be less salty than commercially prepared pickles. The reduced salt may shorten the storage life of pickled vegetables, but do not worry. They disappear very quickly when I prepare them for my family. Daikon is available at large supermarkets and every Asian food market. If it is not available, use turnips with their green leaves.
Preparation Time:30 min
Cooking Time:20 min
|4||inches ofa daikon (about 3 inches in diameter) , quartered lengthwise|
|1||medium carrot, halved lengthwise|
|1/4||Cup(c)||(sweet cooking wine)|
|5||Tablespoon(T)||komezu (rice vinegar)|
In a medium bowl, toss the vegetables with the salt. Cover the vegetables with plastic wrap, place a plate on top, and weight the plate (a suitable weight might be a I-quart Pyrex measuring cup two-thirds full of water) . Let the vegetables stand for 5 to 6 hours at room temperature.
Remove the vegetables from the bowl, and put them into a sealable plastic bag with the mirin, komezu, and sugar. Leave the vegetables in the plastic bag at room temperature for three to four hours, shaking the bag several times to distribute the pickling liquid evenly.
large supermarkets also carry brown miso, soybean miso, or a saltier type of white miso. Health-and natural-food stores frequently sell miso made with organic materials and by traditional production methods, in Japan or in the United States. Some of these misos are nonheat-treated . These products are displayed in the refrigerator case.
WHAT TO L00K FO R: Miso is packed in plastic bags or plastic containers. To distinguish brown miso, white miso, and soybean miso, study the color and texture. Also check the salt content, which is usually displayed on the package label.
STORAGE: After opening a package of miso, store it in the refrigerator, covered. Brown miso keeps for three to four months after opening without significant quality changes, soybean miso for twelve months. Saikyo miso, sweet white miso, is best consumed within three weeks after the package is opened. Beyond these periods miso will not spoil, but its flavor and nutritional value will diminish greatly. Soybean miso, which contains less water becomes hard after long months of storage.