Tsukemono are pickled vegetables. There are many kinds that are pickled in many ways, using salt, vinegar, Miso, rice bran, etc. Tsukemono get rich flavors often (but not always) from fermentation in a base like rice bran.
The salt-pickled cabbage in this recipe does not involve fermentation. Instead, the vegetables simply sit in salt for a short while; therefore, it is very easy to make. Because it is pickled in a very small amount of salt, it does not preserve the vegetables for a long time, but the salt taste is still strong enough. Since it is so easy to make, just make small amounts as often as you want. If you don’t like cabbage, you can try Japanese cucumbers or eggplant (they are both skinnier than the ones typically used in the US).
Tsukemono is such a small dish but it is a necessity for everyday Japanese cuisine. It comes with almost every meal in Japan along with Steamed Rice. It has a simple but refreshing taste, and you’ll like it.
- 250g cabbage
- 3-4g salt
- 2g Kombu (dried kelp)
- Cut cabbage into 2" squares.
- Put cabbage, salt, and Kombu in a freezer bag and let sit about 10 minutes.
- When the Kombu gets soft, take it out, cut thinly, and put back in the bag. Rub the ingredients together well and leave for 2-3 hours at room temperature.
- Squeeze out any water and serve.