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Does anyone make Rice bran japanese pickles? (Nukazuke)

FoodFuser Jun 21, 2009 10:49 PM

If you or someone you know makes nukazuke, it would be fun to discuss the technique.

The movie Tampopo is about ramen, but the scene where the homemade pickles are displayed is my favorite.


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  1. bgazindad RE: FoodFuser Jun 22, 2009 02:18 PM


    I came across this website. Its from Japan. It does not appear to have a recipe but if you contact them, they may be able to help you. It doesn't hurt to ask.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bgazindad
      FoodFuser RE: bgazindad Jun 22, 2009 05:50 PM

      Thanks. That's a nice blog.

      I'm going to try to glean a few bits from the following google:

      1. re: FoodFuser
        bgazindad RE: FoodFuser Jun 22, 2009 06:16 PM

        Wow, I never imagined that there could be so many sites on tsukemono and Japanese food. Thanks for the tip. I never would have tried to googled "nuka stir". i saw Elizabeth Andoh name in the site. I have her first book, An American Taste of Japan. i will have to re-examined her book. She does have a few tsukemono recipes but there is no nukazukes.

        1. re: bgazindad
          FoodFuser RE: bgazindad Jun 22, 2009 06:24 PM

          I'm thinking that the nuka thing is among the epitome of pickling techniques, since it involves daily stirring, and thus an intimate relationship with the pickling medium.

          Also, the "sourdough" thing, where the richly fermenting pickling crock carries the microbial history of it's place.

    2. BombayUpWithaTwist RE: FoodFuser Jun 22, 2009 10:29 PM

      That's also one of my favorite scenes from Tampopo!

      I started making nukamiso at home a few years ago. My base is what my grandmother made for my mother in 1970. Then the funny thing is that I gave some of my nuka to my sister-in-law in Japan (I'm in LA) and she took it home on the plane with her. Unfortunately, she let hers die.

      I have to stir mine twice a day, so it doesn't get moldy.

      Here's another site about the process.


      2 Replies
      1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
        FoodFuser RE: BombayUpWithaTwist Jun 24, 2009 08:44 AM

        Would you say that it's possible to get good nukazuke (I'm focused on nasu and daikon) with a simple virgin mix, lacking the "seeding" from an older batch?

        1. re: FoodFuser
          BombayUpWithaTwist RE: FoodFuser Jun 24, 2009 10:26 PM

          Yes, I think it would be fine to start your own nukazuke without the "seeding". Everybody has to start somewhere! It may just take a little time before you like the flavor of your pickles. It even took me a few weeks since I added new nuka to the old. Mine was very salty in the beginning.

          I love to make daikon, nasu, kuri (cucumbers), carrots, kabu (Japanese turnips) including the greens, celery, nappa...there are so many things you can pickle!!

          I have mine in a gigantic tupperware and may be the reason that it can get moldy since it doesn't breath as well as having it in a wooden vessel. I have it sitting in the kitchen. If I go away for the weekend I stick it in the refrigerator when I'm gone then take it out when I get back. I'm sure my way is not "traditional", but it works for me.

          Good luck, if you do decide to make this!

      2. s
        skyspace7 RE: FoodFuser Oct 5, 2009 03:12 PM

        If you are still wondering about nukazuke, I work at a pickle shop in berkeley, california. you can look us up online at the cultured pickle shop. We don't sell our nuka pickles but we have a nuka pot going at our shop and love them. We have them as snack with rice balls. You can get our contact info from our website and talk to Alex, the pickle queen, about her technique.

        1. juster RE: FoodFuser Oct 6, 2009 08:54 AM

          I don't make them yet, but I've been wanting to. I have three books that give great instructions, but when I went looking for rice bran or even the insta-kits in Japanese stores here in town, nobody had any, so I sort of let it drop. So, this is just a thanks for getting me inspired again. To the internet!

          (On a more positive Japanese cooking note -- I got a tamago (Japanese omelet) pan at a thrift store last week for $1.50! Whee!)

          1. s
            sealpnt RE: FoodFuser Dec 19, 2010 07:44 AM

            I found a pickling kit at Mitsuwa however the directions are in hiragana. Elizabeth Andoh has recently published a new book entitled Kansha which has a very nice chapter on nuka. Here's the link to the company that sells the pickling kit. www.fujimi1976.co.jp Plus, there's Tsukemono by Ikuko Hisamatsu and a nice section for nuka. Good luck!

            3 Replies
            1. re: sealpnt
              FoodFuser RE: sealpnt Dec 19, 2010 10:52 AM


              Andoh's "Kansha" is awesome.

              1. re: FoodFuser
                BombayUpWithaTwist RE: FoodFuser Apr 14, 2011 12:55 AM

                FoodFuser, did you ever try making the Nuka? I just recently got the Kansha book, but still haven't looked through it. I'll have to look up the Nukamiso chapter.

                I also started talking photos of my food, so I'm posting a couple of my Nuka...

                1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist
                  BombayUpWithaTwist RE: BombayUpWithaTwist Apr 14, 2011 12:58 AM

                  I like my veggies ripe, so I pickle the stuff up to 2 days. The 2nd photo has the veggies underneath and that round thing, which is really supposed to be used inside a teapot, pools the liquid and that way, I can soak it up with a towel and throw it out.

            2. AntarcticWidow RE: FoodFuser Apr 14, 2011 10:02 AM

              There is a show "Begin Japanology" which looks into the Japanese culture. I found an episode on tsukemono pickles that includes a segment on nukazuke, which was educational for me. The direct link is http://www.veoh.com/watch/v19508539RK... but if you google "begin japanology english" you will find a link to a video index on veoh.com.

              Foodwise, I found episodes on ramen, hot-pot cuisine soba noodles and Kaiseki cuisine, all free for viewing. Be warned that there are issues with some episodes where you will get both English and Japanese commentary at the same time, but my DH solved the problem by fiddling with the audio input/output on the computer.

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