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What do you imagine when you get asked what pickles are?

Japanese preserved foods, most of which we call "Tsuke-mono". Such as it embraces vegetables, edible wild plants including mushrooms, fish, meat, seaweed and so on. The way to preserve them is by fermentation or mixed up fermented source, which has lots of ingredients such as rice wine lees, salty fermented bean paste (called "Miso"), rice-bran, malt rice (called "Koji"), condensed soy-sawce (called "Tamari") and mustard. Thus, the definition of "Tsuke-mono" isn't one specific pickled food because there are countless ways to make them there are many different kinds of ingredients that go in them.

Pickles is a precious inheritance from numerous ancestors.

Picking up vegetable Pickles, we could find unique, delicious and various vegetable pickles where there is heavy snow. What lies beneath is what our ancestors had tired to preserve in the cold in winter. The methods of preservation differ from place to place. Because Japan is geographically long shaped, and has high and low latitudes with four clear seasons, we are very proud that we have quite a few kinds of "Tsuke-mono" compared to other countries.

Pickles can be roughly categorized into three groups.

1) Making use of material
To gibe them additional flavor and taste in the Short-term We could pick up over-night pickles which mean that the food is marinated in the preserved source for one night. We can enjoy a mixed taste of food and saurce made of various fermented ingredients so these pickles made people what their appetite preserved for a long time and they are easy to ruin because of a lack of salt. So you can not resist the flavor and glossy appearance of them.

2) Brings out the natural flavors of food For example "Taku-an" or "Suguki" which is preserved Japanese radish. It is fermented with mainly salt and rice-bran. On a daily bases, the taste changes as bacteria and yeast transforms flavor of the radish and rice-bran to alcohol, lactic acid, malt-vinegar and a by-product of ethylacetate adds it the flavor of fruits That's why you can enjoy both the sweet and sour taste.

3) Replacement water to nutritious fluid by osmotic action. Marinatec cucumber called ""Fukujin-zuke" and sweet & sour pickled shallots "Rakkyo". Salt is the key to replace water in vegetables to the nutritious fluid including rice wine-lee. This method can easily add different flavors and tastes even if we can enjoy the same texture of foods. "Nuka-zuke" is the king of pickles. It includes pickled vegetables, such as turnips and cucumbers in salty fermented rice-bran called "Naka-miso". This "Nuka-zuke" is uniquely developed in Japan. Some people call it "Dobu-zuke".

Is picking with rice-bran paste great?

Though there is only 1 gram of bran in vegetables pickled with rice-bran there are hundreds millions of bacteria, yeast fungus and lactobacillus which is much more than the population of. The sources of nutrition, which a lactobacillus and a yeast fungus like carbohydrates, a protein, the quality, inorganic kinds and vitamin kinds require is included in rice bran of a raw material of this salted rice-bran paste for pickling much again, so it's quite easy to ferment under this circumstance quite fermented. And vegetables pickled in rice-bran paste are filled with old Japanese wisdom. One is the flavor which isn't in the raw material and the taste which is brought out by production technique mentioned above. And the second makes the nutrition which exists in bran (even in it, in particular, mineral matter and vitamin group) move in the pickles, and more new vitamins are absorbed by fermentation in the pickles, so it'll be food with very much nutrition. And salted rice=bran paste repeats for pickling that it's wonderful by far the most many times, and is possible to be frmented. So making the management well and when using it, it's possible to keep eating every day. Such wisdom was helpful to simple Japanese eating habits, wasn't it?

Is it (good) to mix bran?

You were often told to stir bran. This is well-founded tightly; much air are supplied by mixing, and to suppress occurrence of the butyric acid bacteria which multiply and make the unpleasant smell occur lack of oxygen in the so as to help to multiply a lactobacillus.