Thursday, February 18, 2016

How to Prepare Takanazuke, Japanese Mustard Leaf Pickles

      As I mentioned in my yesterday's entry, my mother-in-law sent many Japanese foods from Japan. This was a pack of takanazuke, Japanese mustard leaf pickles. Fukuoka, my hometown, is famous for takanazuke. Indeed, my late grandmother used to make takanazuke from scratch in Japan. She grew mustard leaves to make pickles. At the back entrance of our home, there were always some huge barrels to keep pickles. She also used to make narazuke, umeboshi, miso and so on. Since she passed away, my family has bought commercial Japanese pickles at supermarkets, but when I eat takanazuke, those always remind me of my late grandmother. :)
Takanazuke - Whole Leaves
      When you go to Japanese supermarkets, you can easily find takanazuke there. Most of them are already finely cut to ready to eat, but I always choose whole leaf ones because they are fresher and taste better to me. Yesterday, I opened this pack of whole takanazuke and prepared them to eat with fresh steamed rice. I'm going to share how I prepare takanazuke with you.

1. First, open the package and rinse the leaves under running water.

2. Cut them finely. (Now, you can eat them, but I prefer to eat cooked takanazuke because they are savory and taste better.)

3. Cut one dried red pepper finely. Heat two tablespoons of sesame oil in a pan over high heat. Add takanazuke and red pepper. Stir-fry them for 5 minutes or so.

4. Add two tablespoons of ground sesame seeds and stir them thoroughly.

5. Enjoy! It's perfect with freshly steamed rice. :) You can store them in a small container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Savory Cooked Takanazuke

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     My entries related to Japan can be seen here.

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