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What is Nukazuke?


Have you ever heard of Tsukemono ? Tsukemono is a traditional Japanese food. It is made from many kinds of vegetables which are pickled and preserved in salt, vinegar, miso and so on. Although Tsukemono can be translated in Pickles in English, it sounds like dill pickles in hamburgers to me, as a Japanese person . There is a famous sauerkraut -pickled cabbage - in Germany. It is similar to Tsukemono and I love it. But it is also different.
Dill pickles and sauerkraut, both of them are side dishes. Japan’s  Tsukimoto have a variety of things such as Takuan -yellow pickled radish -, Shibazuke -purple eggplant-, Narazuke - cucumber/gourd pickled into Japanese Sake lees- and there are also many other types of Tsukemono. What I’m trying to say is that Tsukemono can be main dishes and are important part of the Japanese foods. It would be better to call Tsukemono “Japanese pickles”, as different things in other countries’s pickles.
And I’ve been into making “Nukazuke” recently. Nukazuke is one of the Tsukemono and are common household pickles. They are pickled vegetables, specially made by being buried in a Nukadoko, a fermented rice-bran paste. Nukadoko is required constant monitoring to gird against spoilage. It must be stirred by hand daily.
My Nukadoko can be kept in a fridge that is easier and simpler to handle than the traditional  one. Cucumbers, eggplants and carrots are common vegetables for Nukazuke, but any vegetables are fine!Yama-imo, Japanese yam potato- has a brittle texture, cherry tomato becomes nice sour taste and avocado tastes creamy. Cabbage and potato are absolutely good. Nukazuke makes vegetables become rich in nutrition. Fermented food is surely good for your health. I am not sure you can get rice bran in your country but you can buy some kinds of Nukazuke sets about 500 yen that you can keep in a fridge (it’s easy to make it).  Have a try!
「漬物」って、海外の方には通じるのでしょうか? 漬物とは野菜を塩や酢、味噌などで漬けたもので、日本の伝統的な味。
英訳すると「Pickles」。それだと、日本人のニャパンからすると、ハンバーガーの間に挟まっているきゅうりのピクルスになっちゃうんです。ドイツにはキャベツの酢漬けのザワークラフトがありますよね。漬物っぽくっておいしいですけど、やはりちょっと違うのです。ピクルスもザワークラフとも料理に添えられる脇役。日本の漬物には、黄色いたくあん(大根)や、紫色の柴漬け(なす)、琥珀色の酒粕につけた奈良漬け(きゅうりや瓜)。カラフルで繊細、たくさんの種類があって、単品で充分いただけます。つまり主役級の料理です。「Japanese pickles」と別概念で呼んでいただくほうがしっくりくると思います。

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