- kare_raisu Aug 4, 2006 12:51 AM
I was hoping that anyone could share tsukemono that they have sampled, seen, or heard of from anywhere in Japan. Descriptions, pictures and/or histories are a bonus as well. many thanks.
I love regional tsukemono, and perhaps my most favorite is 'iburi gakko' ("smoked pickle") from Akita prefecture. Essentially this is takuan, a whole pickled daikon that somehow becomes yellow, but in this case it is smoked (iburi) which reduces the moisture content and gives it a smoke flavor that compliments well the inherent tangy sweetness of the daikon.
Try it as "otsumami" with an Islay single-malt whisky. The smoky saltiness of it matches well with whiskies such as Talisker and Laphroig.
In Tokyo, the best place to buy 'iburi gakko' is at the Akita Prefecture shop in the Kotsu Kosha Kaikan near Yurakucho station. Be sure to get the small producer one, which doesn't have artificial sweetner, food coloring and other crap.
Never seen iburi gakko in the US. In fact, it's very hard to find in Tokyo. I guess you need to go to Akita for any kind of selection; there is great variation among producers.
Recipe? You could try getting a whole takuan (the best you can find) and then smoking it for about eight hours (my guess). It will be dry and 'kori kori' (crunchy like fresh abalone) but that's part of its appeal.
i actually bought something at the Niitakaya pickle alclove at mitsuwa market called "Robata zuke" the attendent told me it was a smoked takuan. Havent tried it yet but i can't wait/
I cant thank you enough for the lead on this product. how did you come across it --and fo you have any other japanese pickle secrets to reveal! ; )