Summer Salt Pickles

Natsu No Shio-Zuké

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    5–6

    people

Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant
  • Scant teaspoon salt
  • 1 unwaxed cucumber or zucchini
  • Pickling tub and 8–10 pounds of pressure or a shokutaku tsuké mono ki (screw-type device)
  • ½ teaspoon soy sauce

Method

Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Cut it in half lengthwise and rub some salt into the cut surfaces. Lay the eggplant flat against the bottom of your pickling tub.

Wash the cucumber or zucchini and pat it dry. Using the tines of a fork, scrape the cucumber or zucchini along its length. Rub salt over the entire surface and slice the vegetable in halves lengthwise or quarters, if necessary, to fit your pickling tub. Lay the cucumber or zucchini over the eggplant as evenly as possible. If using weights, lay a flat lid or plate over the vegetables, then apply 8–10 pounds of pressure as evenly as possible. It may take as long as 8 hours for the brine to rise an inch or so above the weights. When it does, reduce the pressure to 3–5 pounds, and let the pickles mature in their brine for another or another 3–4 hours.

If using a screw-type device, secure it very snugly for 4–5 hours, then loosen it by a turn or two. Let the pickles sit in their brine for 4–5 hours. If you are concerned about discoloration, add a pinch of alum or a rusty nail to the brine after reducing the pressure. Refrigerate the pickles in their brine until ready to eat (they will keep for about one week). Just before serving, rinse the pickles under cold water, squeeze them dry and cut into bite-size pieces. Serve at room temperature with a few drops of soy sauce.