The Japanese usually serve several kinds of pickled dish along with white rice. Although Japanese restaurants or supermarkets here in the US don’t offer many varieties, there are a ton of selection in Japan. In fact, we have specialty stores that just sell various types of pickles!
Today I am sharing a very simple Japanese pickle recipe that you can also enjoy at home. It’s a refreshing side dish, or we call it Hashi Yasume which literally means “chopsticks break.” This dish usually contrasts in flavor, texture, and temperature to the main dish and we eat Hashi Yasume between rice and main dish, and between rice and other side dishes, alternatively. Hope you enjoy this homemade side dish.
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- 1 English cucumber
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
- ½ tsp. La-Yu (Japanese chili oil, see Pantry), more for spicier
- ½ tsp. sugar
- White sesame seeds
- Alternately peel a ½-inch-side strip lengthwise, leaving a strip of the skin intact. With this method, the cucumber slices have some decorative dark green accents and a little bit of extra crunchiness. Cut the cucumber in Japanese cutting technique called Rangiri.
- (Optional) Sprinkle very tiny bit of salt over and rub, and leave for a few minutes. Then squeeze the water out (you don’t need to wash it because you only use a tiny bit of salt).
- Combine all the ingredients for Seasonings in a Ziploc bag and mix well.
- Add the cucumbers inside and rub from outside the bag. Keep in the fridge for 1-2 hours but do not marinate too long as it gets too salty.