Cabbage asazuke (Japanese pickled cabbage)

Cabbage asazuke (Japanese pickled cabbage)

Kenji Morimoto shares his easy recipe for cabbage asazuke. This light Japanese pickle has a fresh bite and makes a great introduction to pickling.

Cabbage asazuke (Japanese pickled cabbage)

Kenji says: “Asazuke means ‘lightly pickled’, and that’s the perfect description; it’s similar to sauerkraut except it’s quick, light and meant to be eaten right away. Instead of funky fermented flavours you get that freshness and bite only a light pickle can bring.”

Kenji is a fourth generation Japanese American living in London. As a child he was in charge of the family pickle-making, while today he hosts supperclubs and leads fermentation and pickling workshops. Right now, he’s working on his first cookbook. Make his pickled cucumbers next.

  • Serves icon Makes enough to fill a 500ml jar or container
  • Time icon Hands-on time 15 min, plus at least 3 hours pickling

Kenji Morimoto shares his easy recipe for cabbage asazuke. This light Japanese pickle has a fresh bite and makes a great introduction to pickling.

Kenji says: “Asazuke means ‘lightly pickled’, and that’s the perfect description; it’s similar to sauerkraut except it’s quick, light and meant to be eaten right away. Instead of funky fermented flavours you get that freshness and bite only a light pickle can bring.”

Kenji is a fourth generation Japanese American living in London. As a child he was in charge of the family pickle-making, while today he hosts supperclubs and leads fermentation and pickling workshops. Right now, he’s working on his first cookbook. Make his pickled cucumbers next.

Nutrition: Per tbsp

Calories
5kcals
Fat
0g
Protein
0g
Carbohydrates
0.7g (0.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
0.3g

Ingredients

  • 1 hispi (sweetheart) cabbage
  • 1 small carrot
  • Sea salt, as needed
  • 5cm piece dried kombu
  • 1 dried chilli

Specialist kit

  •  500ml jar or container (sterilised if you’re planning to keep for longer than a few days – see Know-how)
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Method

  1. Remove any brown or wilted looking leaves from the cabbage. Top, tail and peel the carrot. Weigh both together, then work out 2% of that weight so you know how much salt to add. For example, if the combined weight of the vegetables is 500g, you’ll need 10g salt.
  2. Finely slice the cabbage and cut the carrot into matchsticks, ensuring they’re all as uniform as you can get them, then put them in a large bowl. The smaller you chop the vegetables, the more surface area they’ll have, making the dry-brining process more effective.
  3. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, then use your hands to scrunch and massage the mixture for around 5 minutes. The water inside the vegetables should begin to leach out, creating a salty brine.
  4. Use a pair of scissors to snip the dried kombu and chilli into small pieces, then mix them into the vegetables. Transfer the mixture to the jar or container, packing it down well to get rid of any air pockets.
  5. Seal with the lid, transfer to the fridge and leave for at least 3 hours to lightly pickle. It’s best eaten within a few days, but will last up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition

Calories
5kcals
Fat
0g
Protein
0g
Carbohydrates
0.7g (0.6g sugars)
Fibre
0.5g
Salt
0.3g

delicious. tips

  1. Kenji says: “I’ve kept the recipe basic, but you can throw in whatever you want. Add ginger or lemon zest, replace the cabbage with brussels sprouts, or pickle fennel or carrots in the same way.”

     

  2. The kombu can turn the brine a little slimy, which is totally fine (and normal!) but some people don’t like the texture. If you’re not a fan, give the vegetables a squeeze before eating to remove the brine.

    If you’re planning to keep this for longer than a few days, it’s a good idea to sterilise the jar or container it’s kept in. Wash the jar/container and lid well in soapy water, rinse, then boil in a large pan of water for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, then drain and use while still warm.

Buy ingredients online

Recipe By:

Kenji Morimoto

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