Tsukemono

From Academic Kids

Tsukemono (漬物) are Japanese pickles. They are served with rice, and sometimes with beverages.

The most common kinds are pickled in salt or brine. Soy sauce, miso, vinegar, nuka, and sake are also useful for pickling.

Daikon, plums, turnips, Chinese lettuce, cucumbers and spinach are among the favorites.

Traditionally, the Japanese prepared tsukemono themselves with a tsukemonoki. Pickling was one of the fundamental ways to preserve food. Nowadays, pickles, or tsukemono (漬物) can be bought readily in the supermarket, but many Japanese still make their own pickles. Typically, all needed for pickles is a container with the food to be pickled, salt, and pressure on top of the pickles.

A Tsukemonoki (漬物器, literally: vessel for pickled things) is a Japanese pickle press. The pressure was generated using heavy stones called tsukemonoishi (漬物石, literally: stone for pickled things) with a weight of 1 to 2 kilograms, sometimes more. This type is still in use, with the container being plastics, wood, glass or ceramics. Before tsukemonoishi came into use, the pressure was applied by driving a wedge between a handle of vessel and its cover.

The weights are either stone or metal, with a convenient 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.

See Also: List of Japanese cooking utensils

List of Tsukemono

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