After Dinner Note: I made a carrot misozuki and a cucumber misozuki this week. The reception on the carrots was so-so, but my diners gobbled down all of the cucumber pickles.
Karl’s Miso Pickled Cucumbers, Misozuke Tsukemono
4 Japanese cucumbers
2 Tbs. white miso
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
2 Tbs. mirin
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1×3 inch strip of kombu
1 Japanese red chili, slit open and de-seeded
1. Slice the cucumbers on a diagonal into eight inch ovals.
Tip: A mandoline makes this an easy task.
Note: A cucumber has a flower end and a stem end. Much of the bitterness in some cucumbers collects in the last half inch near the stem. Do not slice this last bit and discard it or the bitterness will contaminate your whole batch of pickles.
2. Add the miso, vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, kombu, and chili to a small pot. Heat the sauce until just warm and mix well. Remove the pot form the heat.
Tip: The heat helps dissolve the sugar and aids in mixing the miso into the rest of the ingredients.
3. Add the cucumbers to the pot and toss to coat with the sauce.
4. Put the cucumbers in a pickle press.
Tip: For a small batch of pickles, I use a wide-mouth pint jar. I then use a smaller lid and lid ring or two to press the cucumbers down into the sauce, as I tighten the pint lid onto the jar.
5. Let the cucumbers pickle for one to three days, the longer the better.
6. Consume within two weeks (ha, ha, as if any would last so long).