Saturday, February 11, 2012

Home Nukazuke - Part One: Shiitake, Myoga And Piiman

Sharing a first successful batch of pickling in my newer Nukadoko bed that I had posted about last month. Sorry about the light on these photos, was one of those gray gloomy skied days. But anyway, my "very first" trial actually didn't turn out because I ignored some suggestions online of standard pickling times and the 2.5 day marinade was just too darn salty for most vegetables. These below were done overnight, for about 10-hrs. The maturity of flavors varied but overall was a nice batch.

I've also been trying atypical items. Like his day, Piiman (Japanese thin-walled bell peppers), fresh Shiitake mushrooms and Myoga. I had to also do a Kyuuri cucumber just because it's my favorite as a nukazuke.

Below, my not so photogenic Nukamiso. If you're a fan of beer making and ever taken a tour of a brewery, the smell is very similar to the mash. I've been seasoning mine with a piece of Kombu for the past week. There are many other methods I've read up on but wanted to keep it simple for the time being. And yes, my brand new pastime the last weeks have been turning the nuka paste over on a regular basis. I'd lie if I said everyday, but never past 48-hrs. Yet.

Found the Kyuuri. Others are in there somewhere...

Once out, they need to be rinsed off the nuka before consuming.

It was easy to see that the Shiitake had shrunken quite a bit. They were pretty terrific in flavor, a light saltiness with a pleasant light nuka aroma. I'd say half a day are optimal for these, how porous mushrooms are. The cucumber was great but maybe five hours shy of being perfect. I still would never pickle any for over a day for sure.

The flavor of the Myoga was only slightly changed and the Piiman even less so. Next time I'd leave them both for at least a full day. I think some also recommended scoring or partially slicing prior to. I can see that helping for the almost plastic sheened impermeable bell pepper.

The Myoga was still too bitter in flavor to complement my rice intake but awesome in the miso soup how fragrant they are. When I do get them pickled well, I'd love to try some on a Hiyayakko. I would bet they'd be great garnish.


K and S said...

cucumber is my favorite nukazuke, while hubs likes eggplant :)

Dennis K. said...

Hi Kat! I definitely love nasu too. I was surprised at how good the shiitake turned out. :)