Asazuke: Japanese Style Lightly Pickled Cabbage

We have so many varieties of pickled vegetable in Japan with diverse ingredients, techniques, and localities. The main difference from the western pickles is that Japanese pickles is mainly salty and not overly sour.

Asazuke is the quickest and simplest type of pickle, and it’s super easy to make at home. It’ll require only 15 minutes to cook, and will be ready to eat in 3 hours after leaving it in the fridge. Enjoy its freshness and crunchiness like salad. A hint of garlic and ginger gives an interesting twist to this recipe.

Eat asazuke cabbage like a salad, and the great thing is it’s oil free, therefore much lower in calories than a salad dish.

This recipe requires no special ingredient. So, there is no excuse not to try asazuke yourself!

NB: The featured picture shows the asazuke left in the fridge for 3 hours.

 

Category, , DifficultyBeginner

Cook Time15 mins

 100 g Pointed or Sweetheart Cabbage
 ½ tsp Salt (up to 1 tsp to your taste )
 2 Garlic (1 clove if it's a big one)
 15 g Ginger
 Chilli (optional)

1

Remove some cabbage leaves and cut out the hard, centre core part. Chop the 100g cabbage leaves into bite size pieces.

2

Peel the skin of the garlic. Place the garlic on a chopping board and crush them using a flat side of a large knife. Make sure the blade is facing away from your hand. Peel or wash the skin of the ginger, and crush it in the same way as garlic.

3

Place the chopped cabbage, garlic, and ginger in a food and freezer bag. Add the salt. Expel air, and then tie or seal to close. Massage the ingredients over the bag. Leave the bag in a fridge for at least 3 hours.

4

Squeeze excess water and arrange the cabbage on a serving dish. Sprinkle sliced or crushed chill if you like spiciness.

Ingredients

 100 g Pointed or Sweetheart Cabbage
 ½ tsp Salt (up to 1 tsp to your taste )
 2 Garlic (1 clove if it's a big one)
 15 g Ginger
 Chilli (optional)

Directions

1

Remove some cabbage leaves and cut out the hard, centre core part. Chop the 100g cabbage leaves into bite size pieces.

2

Peel the skin of the garlic. Place the garlic on a chopping board and crush them using a flat side of a large knife. Make sure the blade is facing away from your hand. Peel or wash the skin of the ginger, and crush it in the same way as garlic.

3

Place the chopped cabbage, garlic, and ginger in a food and freezer bag. Add the salt. Expel air, and then tie or seal to close. Massage the ingredients over the bag. Leave the bag in a fridge for at least 3 hours.

4

Squeeze excess water and arrange the cabbage on a serving dish. Sprinkle sliced or crushed chill if you like spiciness.

Asazuke: Japanese Style Lightly Pickled Cabbage

Key

  1. Leaves of pointed or sweetheart cabbage come off easily. Remove the required amount only, and save the rest for next times.
  2. Make sure you squeeze all excess water before serving.
  3. I use the least amount of salt for this recipe for you to eat a lot of asazuke like salad.
  4. Alternatively, you can leave it longer in the fridge, up to overnight. Its texture becomes softer and its flavour develops.

 

Topic 1: Japanese pickles

Basic Japanese pickles are to pickle cut vegetables with salt, vinegar, sake lees, or anything else. By pickling, vegetables can be preserved for longer, as well as it enhances their flavour.

Pickles are one of the most important side dishes in Japanese food culture. It’s said that people has been making pickles since ancient periods. A written record regarding pickles appeared in the 8th century. During the Edo period, common Japanese people’s eating style was called ‘ichi shiru issai’, literally means one soup and one side dish. The soup is miso soup and the side dish means pickles in this context. This simple eating style is reappraised as a healthy eating style in recent Japan.

Since pickles are necessary on our daily table; there are so many types of pickles all over Japan, and some of them are prized as local delicacies.

Reference:

 

Topic 2: Salt

Do you think salt is just salt? Well, there are roughly three types of salt; sea salt, rock salt, and lake salt. They are produced from different sources with different methods, and actually taste different. Recently, people in Japan have taken a keen interest in salt. They try, not only different types of salt, but also flavoured salt including salt and black sesame seeds, salt and dashi stock, and salt and maccha. Why not try an interesting combination of salt yourself?

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