In Japan, tsukemono is a broad term for a range of pickled vegetables, which accompany almost every meal. Here, radish, cucumber and daikon are pickled in a vinegar and sugar solution, and served with ochazuke – a comforting dish of rice flavoured with warm green tea, finished with a range of savoury toppings such as pieces of salmon and nori.
- 2 x 200 g boneless salmon fillets, skin on
- 2 tsp rice bran oil
- 2 cups cooked sushi rice
- 2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted
- ½ nori sheet (see Note), cut into thin strips with scissors
- 500 ml (2 cups) hot Japanese green tea (such as sencha)
- wasabi paste, to serve
Cucumber, radish & daikon pickles
- 125 ml (½ cup) rice vinegar
- 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
- 2 tbs sea salt flakes
- 2 small Lebanese cucumbers, cut into 3 mm-thick slices
- 6 radishes, cut into 3 mm-thick slices
- ½ small daikon (see Note), cut into 2 cm pieces
- 1 turnip, peeled, quartered, cut into 3mm-thick slices
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Pickling time 3 days
To make pickles, place vinegar, sugar, salt and 225 ml warm water in a bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Cool completely.
Place vegetables in a sterilised jar, and pour over vinegar mixture. Seal with a lid and refrigerate for 3 days to pickle. Once opened, it will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Season salmon with salt. Heat a frying pan over high heat until very hot. Add oil and cook salmon, skin-side down, for 3 minutes or until skin is crisp. Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes or until just cooked. Rest for 2 minutes, then break into large pieces.
Divide rice between bowls, top with salmon and nori, then scatter over sesame seeds. Pour hot tea over rice and serve with pickles and wasabi.
• Nori are sheets of dried seaweed available from Asian food shops and select supermarkets.
• Daikon, from select greengrocers and Asian food shops, is a large, white radish with a sweet flavour.
Photography by Chris Chen. Food preparation Leanne Kitchen and Phoebe Wood. Styling by Berni Smithies.
As seen in Feast magazine, Apr 2014, Issue 30.