Shio-zuke (salt pickles)

The method used to make salt pickles is an easy one. Pressure is placed upon vegetables that are salted, causing them to release their natural juices. This brine then pickles the vegetables. Traditionally foods were salted and placed in tubs that were then covered by lids weighed down with large stones. You can use a plastic tub or bucket, a lid or plate that is smaller than the tub, and some rocks or bricks. Or you could buy a pickle press.

There are many different things that you could pickle, but try these.

Take three kyuri (Japanese cucumbers), unpeeled and cut them into 1/2 inch rounds, three teaspoons of salt. Or maybe three nasu (Japanese eggplants), unpeeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds, three teaspoons of salt. Place the cucumber or eggplant slices into the tub and add one teaspoon of salt, mix well by stirring with your hands. Add the second teaspoon of salt and mix again. Add the final tablespoon of salt and mix well. Put the plate on the top layer of vegetables and weight it so that the vegetables are under pressure. Leave them overnight or for at least 10 hours. When you want to eat the shio-zuke remove the pickles from the tub and place them in a colander, wash well to remove the salt, pat dry and serve.

Salt pickles like these should last a week or more when refrigerated.

go to Tsukemono (Japanese pickles)

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