Sunday, February 13, 2011


Pet peeve, I hate it when plans change at the last minute, but that is the life of a housewife of a Japanese businessman, mine anyway.

Don't need dinner, need dinner, at the last minute, don't need dinner...believe me, it has taken the wind out my sails many a time.

I mean, why bother to shop for groceries, plan a meal, if you don't have to cook for anyone but yourself? Especially when Japan has many great sozai-ya (pre-made food shops).

In the end, I usually find a way to use the food I have in my refridge or things that I have prepared, most times by feeding it to Satoshi for breakfast the next day.

The other day, Satoshi told me at the last moment that he didn't need dinner, so instead of cooking for one, I took the veggies that needed using in my fridge and turned them into tsukemono (pickles).

The first type of pickles that came to mind was yatsumi-zuke since I had komatsuna (a type of Japanese mustard cabbage) and daikon.

Yatsumi-zuke is a type of pickle that you find in Hawaii which uses cabbage and mustard cabbage.

I once told someone in Japan about yatsumi-zuke and got a strange look. I guess it isn't too popular in Osaka?! Come to think of it, I don't think I've seen many shoyu-based tsukemono in Osaka...hmm.

Luckily there was a recipe for yatsumi-zuke in a cookbook I have.

It was my first time making this and I must say, it came together quite easily and quickly.

Here is the recipe if you'd like to try:

Yatsumi-zuke From "More Recipes Please" by Joyce Nip, Karen Sugimoto & Florence Yamada

1 head cabbage, medium size
3 heads mustard cabbage
1/4 c. Hawaiian salt
2 tbsp. sesame seeds, roasted
Ajinomoto to taste

1/3 cup shoyu
1/4 cup Japanese vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 chili pepper

Cut head cabbage and mustard cabbage into 1/2 in pieces
Place in a large container
Sprinkle Hawaiian salt over cabbage, mix well.
Let stand for about 1/2 hour
Squeeze out excess water from vegetables and place back in container
Add sesame seed and Ajinomoto
Prepare sauce by bringing all ingredients to a boil
Pour hot sauce over vegetables and mix well
Leave mixture at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours after which keep in covered jar in the refrigerator.

NOTES: I only had 5 bunches of komatsuna and about 6 inches of daikon, but I made the full recipe of the sauce. I didn't have whole chili peppers so I put a pinch of a dried sliced chili that I have, while leaving out the Ajinomoto.

To store, I am keeping this in glass jars. Satoshi said this is quite salty, so the next time I think I will rinse after the 30 minutes and squeeze out the water.

All I can say is, bring on the rice!


jalna said...

Heeeey, that looks good. Wendell left a 6-inch piece of daikon on the kitchen counter after using the rest in miso soup that he made. I think I'll experiment with it using your recipe. Wish me luck.

OkiHwn said...

Looks good, think I'll try it.

Japan Australia said...

Thanks for the recipe. I'll have to give that one a try!!

Deb in Hawaii said...

Looks wonderful. I have to remember to pickle my leftover daikon instead of letting it go bad. ;-)

K and S said...

Hope you like it Jalna, Nate & J-A :)

You can also use leftover daikon in miso soup Deb in Hawaii ;)

Take care everyone.

Barbara said...

Sounds interesting Kat. I rally enjoy pickled vegies if they aren't to strong.

K and S said...

if you make these Barbara, I would recommend washing them then they won't be as salty.

Take care.

Rowena said...

If I were in your shoes I would go crazy with the dinner, no dinner, yes dinner! The solution to that would be the pizzeria up the street, less than 5 minutes walk away. And I would send HIM to go get it!

K and S said...

The thing is that we almost never eat together during the week, Rowena. So if he doesn't need dinner at the last minute, it means I've already cooked something :(

Take care.

Perogyo said...

I made this and it was a big hit! I used regular salt though, not sure if the taste would change or not but it was good!

I've never had shoyu-based tsukemono in my 13 years in Kyushu. This was a treat.

K and S said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it Medea :) I think regular salt it okay!

Take care.

manju said...

You know, I don't have a lot of experience with shoyu based tsukemono either, but I tried one in a Korean restaurant recently and really liked it. It sounds like this would match the flavor of that one, except they used chayote squash instead of daikon. Gonna try, will let you know!

K and S said...

I remember my mom making a chayote pickle with a shoyu base, Manju, I think it will work :)

Take care.

Unknown said...

Love yatsumizuke! I usually taste cabbage after squeezing...if it is too salty, I will rinse it then re-squeeze. Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

Love yatsumizuke! Try tasting cabbage after squeezing. If it is too salty, rinse and re-squeeze.

K and S said...

Thanks Anon!

Take care.

K and S said...

Thanks Anon:)

Take care.Kat