Miso-zuke (miso pickles)

The oldest known variety of Japanese pickle was made using miso. Miso imparts its flavor to whatever vegetable you're pickling, with aka (red) or shiro (white) miso giving different results. Miso pickles take a long time to mature and many types are allowed to cure for years before eating. Parboiling the vegetables for a few minutes allows for a shorter pickling time, but the longer the pickles are allowed to rest in the miso, the more fragrant and flavourful the pickle. Here are a few choices for making miso-zuke using this quick parboiling method.

  • carrots, cut into spears about an inch long, parboil and pat dry before embedding in red miso for at least 3 months (preferably longer)
  • gobo (burdock root), cut into spears about an inch long, parboil and pat dry before embedding in red miso for at least 3 months (preferably longer)
  • asparagus, parboil and pat dry before embedding in white miso overnight
  • shiso (beefsteak leaves), embed in aka (red) or shiro (white) miso for at least 1 month. Use chopped as a filling for rice balls! Yay!
  • daikon, cut into rounds about 1/4 inch thick (you can also cut them into half moon shapes), embed in aka miso for at least 3 months
  • kyuri (Japanese cucumbers), cut into rounds about 1/2 inch thick, salt press, then embed in red or white miso for at least 4 months.

But the best of all is NINNIKU MISO-ZUKE (garlic pickled in miso)! Yay!

Take 12 cloves of garlic and 1 cup of aka miso. Peel the garlic and then parboil the cloves for about 3 minutes. Pat dry and then cut the garlic lengthwise into halves. Fill a small glass jar (or small lidded tupperware thingee) with about one cup of aka miso. Embed the garlic in the miso, making certain that the garlic is completely covered (add more miso if necessary). Cover the container and refrigerate. After 3 months you can remove the garlic from the miso. Pluck just the amount you will use for the meal, leaving the rest of the garlic to continue pickling. Wash and pat dry before serving. Once you've eaten all the garlic pickles, the miso used in the pickling can then be used to make a wonderful miso soup! Yay!

go to Tsukemono (Japanese pickles)

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