(http://www.flickr.com/photos/cathyerway/5363882724/ "IMG_8313 by cathyerway, on Flickr")
No, I didn’t just sneeze, it’s oshinko ! A simple, no-sweat type of Japanese pickle. If you like a salty, crisp snack in the middle of the day, or something to refresh your palate at the end of a meal, try making a big batch of these pickles to keep in the fridge. It takes just three days for them to sit at room-temperature, to their slightly fermented state.
You can also use all kinds of vegetables for them, not just the ones I chose here. Common choices might include these, as well as cabbage, lotus root and other types of turnips or radishes. These and other types of Japanese pickles (or *tsukemono * – and I got nothin’ on that lump of syllables) are usually found at the side of every Japanese meal. Sometimes, they’re colored with food dye because the pickling process can make the colors dull or unsightly, and that is *so * not Japanese. They’re there because lacto-fermented pickles, like these, help you digest your food. Sadly, many types of pickles aren’t actually fermented, so don’t have these probiotic benefits (such as “cold-packed” ones). Heck, they’re tasty, still.