Thursday, December 13, 2007
And what do you suppose this is? I couldn't resist it when I was in Japantown last. I've wanted one for some time, but there was always the question of whether I would use it... well I did. This is a Japanese pickle maker particularly for shio-zuke (salt pickles). The screwlid is to put pressure on the vegetables you are pickling.
To make cucumber shio-zuke, you need Japanese cucumbers, or Persian cucumbers. I picked up some Persian cucumbers at Trader Joe's. These are smaller, less seedy cucumbers than the usual American variety. You wash, cut into pieces 1/2 - 1" long, and put in the picklemaker. Then you add course salt a teaspoon at a time and mix it thoroughly with the cucumbers. The ratio is about 1 teaspoon to 1 cucumber, but it depends on the size. I put 4 teaspoons into 5 Persian cucumbers and it was plenty. When you are done, be sure that the pickles are in a position where they are about equal height, and turn the screwtop like in the above photo.
After 10-12 hours, the pickles should look like this, and they are ready to be taken out and rinsed.
After rinsing, I cut them into smaller pieces for serving.
These keep well in the refrigerator. I kept the ones for storage in larger pieces (as they were) and used my Frisper to vacuum seal the package for longer life. These were crisp, fresh tasting and delicious!