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Tsukemono (漬物?, literally "pickled things") are Japanese preserved vegetables (usually pickled in salt, brine or a bed of rice bran (nuka). They are served with rice as okazu (side dish), with drinks as an otsumami (snack), as an accompaniment to or garnish for meals, and as a course in the kaiseki portion of a Japanese tea ceremony. Tsukemono are also known as konomono, oshinko or okoko, all translated as "fragrant dish" in Japanese.
Techniques of tsukemono
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Tsukemono can be readily bought in a supermarket, but despite this many Japanese still make their own. All that is needed to make pickles is a container, salt, and something to apply pressure on top of the pickles.
A tsukemonoki (漬物器?), literally vessel for pickled things, is a Japanese pickle press. The pressure is generated by heavy stones called tsukemonoishi (漬物石?) with a weight of one to two kilograms, sometimes more. This type of pickle press is still in use, and can be made from a variety of materials, such as plastic, wood, glass or ceramic. Before tsukemonoishi came into use, the pressure was applied by driving a wedge between a handle of the container and its lid.
The weights are either stone or metal, with a handle on top and often covered with a layer of food-neutral plastic. Another modern type of pickle press is usually made from plastic, and the necessary pressure is generated by turning a screw and clamping down onto the pickles.
Asazuke is a pickling method characterized by its short preparation time.
|Amasuzuke||甘酢漬け||sugar and vinegar|
|Kasuzuke||粕漬け||sake kasu (sake lees)|
List of tsukemono
Nozawana is a pickled leaf vegetable typical of Nagano Prefecture.
Rakkyōzuke has a very mild and "fresh" taste. It is pickled and used to balance the stronger flavors of some other component in a meal.
Tariff on tsukemono
According to EU and USA trade code definitions, tsukemono are classified as 'preserved vegetables' rather than 'pickles' because they are not primarily preserved in acetic acid or distilled vinegar. They have a different tax rate than western pickles.
- List of Japanese cooking utensils
- Atsara, a Philippine pickle condiment similar to Tsukemono
- Sauerkraut, a form of preserved cabbage
- List of pickled foods
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