Japanese pickles—known collectively as tsukemono—can easily go unnoticed as part of a washoku (traditional Japanese) meal. Yet they've rightfully earned their place as a cornerstone food because they serve an important purpose: Japanese food culture is heavily influenced by principles of balance handed down from kaiseki (the national haute cuisine). Here's how to tell your gari from your umeboshi.
Fast and Easy Japanese Pickled Vegetables | These pickles only take a few hours to make, and taste fresh and crunchy. They’re the perfect sides to serve at a barbecue or picnic on a hot summer’s day. | From: redpathsugar.com
Shibazuke - pickled cucumbers and eggplant with red shizo How it's made: Historic recipes call for brining shibazuke for up to a year, but generally the pickles are made by letting them sit in salt until most of the liquid has leeched from the vegetable and the color has permeated throughout, which takes about a month. How it tastes: Crunchy, crisp, and acidic, with a strong herbal note from shiso.