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An assortment of tsukemono Tsukemono2.jpg
An assortment of tsukemono
Assorted tsukemono Tsukemono by Ms. President in Kyoto.jpg
Assorted tsukemono
A dish of tsukemono Tsukemono.jpg
A dish of tsukemono
Tsukemono shop in Nishiki Ichiba, Kyoto Tsukemono shop by One man's perspective in Nishiki Ichiba, Kyoto.jpg
Tsukemono shop in Nishiki Ichiba, Kyoto

Tsukemono ( 漬物 , literally "pickled things") are Japanese preserved vegetables (usually pickled in salt, brine, [1] or a bed of rice bran). [2] They are served with rice as an 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.[ citation needed ]


Alternate names

Tsukemono are also referred to as konomono (香の物), oshinko (御新香) or okōkō (御香々), all carrying the meaning of "fragrant dish" in Japanese. [2] The ko or () portion in these names literally means "fragrant", and the term was used as a nyōbō kotoba or "woman's word" for miso in reference to the smell.[ citation needed ] Over time, this term was also applied to pickles, again for the smell. Oshinko (literally "new fragrance" in reference to relative freshness) more specifically referred to vegetables that had been only lightly pickled and that had not yet changed color that much.[ citation needed ] The term is now also used more broadly to refer to pickles in general.

Making tsukemono

Tsukemono fermenting in rice bran Tsukemono (24068206975).jpg
Tsukemono fermenting in rice bran

To make tsukemono, one needs a container, salt, and something to apply downward pressure on top of the pickles. [2]

A tsukemonoki (漬物器) (literally "pickling container") is a Japanese pickle press. The pressure is generated by heavy stones called tsukemono ishi (漬物石) (literally "pickle stone") 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 tsukemono ishi came into use, the pressure was applied by driving a wedge between a handle of the container and its lid. [2]

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. [2]

Asazuke is a pickling method characterized by its short preparation time.

Tsukemono Types [1]
TypeKanjiPickling Ingredient
Shiozuke塩漬け salt
Suzuke酢漬け vinegar
Amasuzuke甘酢漬け sugar and vinegar
Misozuke味噌漬け miso
Shoyuzuke醤油漬け soy sauce
Kasuzuke 粕漬け sake kasu (sake lees)
Kojizuke 麹漬けmold-cultured rice
Nukazuke 糠漬け rice bran
Karashizuke からし漬け hot mustard
Satozuke砂糖漬け sugar

Tsukemono types

Umeboshi drying in the sun for home preparation Umeboshi by oya in Shizuoka 1.jpg
Umeboshi drying in the sun for home preparation
Matsumaezuke Matsumaezuke.jpg

Takuan (daikon), umeboshi (ume plum), turnip, cucumber, and Chinese cabbage are among the favorites to be eaten with rice as an accompaniment to a meal.

Beni shōga (red ginger pickled in umeboshi brine) is used as a garnish on okonomiyaki, takoyaki and yakisoba.

Gari (thinly sliced young ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar) is used between dishes of sushi to cleanse the palate.

Rakkyōzuke (pickled rakkyō, a type of onion) is often served with Japanese curry. Rakkyōzuke is slightly acid and sweet, with a mild and "fresh" taste, due to being preserved in vinegar and mirin, which also remove its bitterness. It's used to balance the stronger flavors of some other components in a meal.

Fukujinzuke is a mixture of daikon, eggplant, lotus root and cucumber which is pickled and flavored with soy sauce.

Bettarazuke is a kind of pickled daikon popular in Tokyo.

Matsumaezuke is a pickled dish (native to Matsumae, Hokkaidō) made from surume (dried squid), konbu, kazunoko (herring roe), carrot and ginger with a mixture of sake, soy sauce and mirin.

Nozawana is a pickled leaf vegetable typical of Nagano Prefecture.

Tsukemono tariffs

According to EU and US 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.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Chazuke</i> Japanese dish

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Daikon Subspecies of plant

Daikon or mooli, Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus, is a mild-flavored winter radish usually characterized by fast-growing leaves and a long, white, napiform root. Originally native to continental East Asia, daikon is harvested and consumed throughout the region, as well as in South Asia, and is now available internationally. In some locations daikon is planted for its ability to break up compacted soils and recover nutrients, but not harvested.

<i>Umeboshi</i> Sour, pickled Japanese fruit

Umeboshi are pickled (brined) ume fruits common in Japan. The word umeboshi is often translated into English as 'salted Japanese plums', 'Japanese plums' or 'preserved plums'. Ume is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a "plum", but is actually more closely related to the apricot. Pickled ume which are not dried are called umezuke (梅漬け).

Bettarazuke Type of pickled daikon popular in Tokyo

Bettarazuke (べったら漬) is a type of pickled daikon popular in Tokyo, a sort of tsukemono. It is made by pickling daikon with sugar, salt, and sake without filtering koji. The name bettarazuke is taken from the stickiness of koji left over from the pickling process. Bettarazuke has a crisp sweet taste. Bettarazuke has similar figure to takuan, but bettarazuke contains a lot of moisture because it doesn't need sun-drying process.

Pickling Procedure of preserving food in brine or vinegar

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Beni shōga Japanese pickled ginger

Beni shōga (紅生姜) is a type of tsukemono. It is made from thin strips of ginger pickled in umezu (梅酢), the vinegary pickling solution used to make umeboshi. The red color is traditionally derived from red perilla. Commercial beni shōga often derives its hue from artificial coloring, to a garish effect. It is served with many Japanese dishes, including gyūdon, okonomiyaki, and yakisoba.

Takuan Pickled preparation of daikon radish

Takuan, or takuan-zuke, known as danmuji (단무지) in the context of Korean cuisine, is a pickled preparation of daikon radish. As a popular part of traditional Japanese cuisine, takuan is often served uncooked alongside other types of tsukemono. It is also enjoyed at the end of meals as it is thought to aid digestion.

Nukazuke Japanese pickle made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran

Nukazuke (糠漬け) is a type of Japanese preserved food, made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran (nuka), developed in the 17th century.

<i>Sakana</i> Japanese snacks, eaten with alcohol

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Kasuzuke Japanese pickles using the lees from sake

Kasuzuke (粕漬け), also kasu-zuke, is a Japanese dish made by pickling fish or vegetables in the lees of sake, known as sake kasu.

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<i>Asazuke</i> Japanese pickling method

Asazuke (浅漬け) is a Japanese pickling method characterized by its short preparation time. The name implies a food pickled in the morning and ready by the evening. The word asazuke can also refer to the items pickled in this manner. Asazuke is a sub-category of Tsukemono, which includes all types of pickles.

Mohnyin tjin Burmese fermented vegetables in rice wine

Mohnyin Tjin, is a popular Burmese cuisine fermented food dish of vegetables preserved in rice wine and various seasonings. It is similar to Korean Kimchi and Japanese Takana Tsukemono. Mohnyin Tjin is popularly associated with the Shan and is a ubiquitous condiment for Shan dishes such as meeshay and shan khauk swè.

<i>Gari</i> (ginger) Thinly sliced ginger dish

Gari (ガリ) is a type of tsukemono. It is made from sweet, thinly sliced ginger that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar. Younger ginger is generally preferred for gari because of its tender flesh and natural sweetness. Gari is often served and eaten after sushi, and is sometimes called sushi ginger. It may also simply be called pickled ginger. In Japanese cuisine, it is considered to be essential in the presentation of sushi. Some believe it is used to cleanse the palate between eating different pieces of sushi, or, alternatively, it may be eaten before or after the meal. However, it was first used to help fight off microbial contamination that is often found on raw food.

<i>Kaiseki</i> Traditional multi-course Japanese dinner

Kaiseki (懐石) or kaiseki-ryōri is a traditional multi-course Japanese dinner. The term also refers to the collection of skills and techniques that allow the preparation of such meals and is analogous to Western haute cuisine.

Pickled carrot Carrot pickled in brine, vinegar, or other solution

A pickled carrot is a carrot that has been pickled in a brine, vinegar, or other solution and left to ferment for a period of time, by either immersing the carrots in an acidic solution or through souring by lacto-fermentation. Pickled carrots are often served with Vietnamese cuisine including Bánh mì or as a component in an appetizer.


  1. 1 2 Reid, Libby (August 2008). TSUKEMONO: A Look at Japanese Pickling Techniques (PDF). Kanagawa International Foundation. p. 4. Archived from the original on 2010-11-24.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Hisamatsu, Ikuko (2013). Tsukemono Japanese Pickling Recipes. Japan: Japan Publications Trading Co., LTD. and Boutique-sha, Inc. p. 6. ISBN   978-4-88996-181-2.