Japanese Pickled Cabbage キャベツの浅漬け

Jump to Recipe Discussion
  • Brined in salt, kombu and chili flakes, this palate-cleansing Japanese Pickled Cabbage makes a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Japanese meal. It’s quick and easy to make!

    A light blue ceramic bowl containing Japanese Pickled Cabbage.

    When we eat Washoku (和食), a traditional Japanese meal with rice and miso soup, we almost always serve a small dish of Japanese pickles called Tsukemono (漬物). Today I’m sharing a quick and easy Japanese Pickled Cabbage (キャベツの浅漬け).

    Watch How To Make Japanese Pickled Cabbage

    Delicious and crispy homemade pickled cabbage enjoyed with a traditional Japanese meal, brined in salt, kombu strips, and chili flakes.

    What’s Tsukemono?

    Tsukemono (漬物, literally translates to “pickled things”) are Japanese preserved vegetables that are usually pickled in salt, brine or a bed of rice bran called nuka.

    During a meal, Tsukemono cleanses the palate and provides refreshments to counter the other flavorful dishes.  It also offers color, texture, and fragrance to a meal.  In fact, it is sometimes also called Kounomono (Kho no mono,  香の物) or “fragrant things”.

    A light blue ceramic bowl containing Japanese Pickled Cabbage.

    “Asazuke” – A Quick Tsukemono

    In Japan, all types of tsukemono are available at grocery stores and specialty stores; however many people make Asazuke (浅漬け) at home, which is “quick pickling”.  I serve this type of tsukemono with steamed rice and miso soup for my traditional Japanese meals.

    Among the different types of Asazuke, shio-zuke (塩漬け) or salt pickles is one of the easiest pickles to make.  With shio-zuke, vegetables are salted first, then the heavy object is placed upon vegetables.  The pressure causes the vegetables to release liquids, and the vegetables are pickled in the brine.  Making shio-zuke usually requires just a few hours; therefore it’s a popular pickle for home cooks.

    Keep in mind that Asazuke typically needs to be consumed within 2-3 days as it’s pickled in a very small amount of salt that’s not enough to keep it for a longer time without spoiling.

    A light blue ceramic bowl containing Japanese Pickled Cabbage.

    What can I make into Tsukemono?

    There are quite a bit of ingredient options for making tsukemono.  I personally like using vegetables like cabbage, napa cabbage, cucumbers, eggplants, daikon radish, turnips, gobo (burdock root), carrots, ginger and more.  What I recommend is pickle 1 to 2 ingredients at a time.  When I make my own vegetable tsukemono, I know it’s fresh and absolutely love the crispy texture!

    How much salt to add?

    My general rule of thumb for Asazuke is to add 2% of salt to the weight of vegetables.  To make the calculation easy, remember 1 tsp. of salt is about 5 grams.  That means you will need about 250 grams (1/2 lb) of vegetables.  In case you don’t own a kitchen scale (I recommend getting a scale at home – a decent one is like $10-15.), it’s roughly the weight of ½ small cabbage.  Of course, each cabbage size is different, so I encourage you to find the weight of vegetables that you buy for this recipe.

    A light blue ceramic bowl containing Japanese Pickled Cabbage.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

    Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    4.52 from 29 votes
    A light blue ceramic bowl containing Japanese Pickled Cabbage.
    Japanese Pickled Cabbage
    Prep Time
    10 mins
    Pickling Time
    2 hrs
    Total Time
    2 hrs 10 mins
     

    Brined in salt, kombu and chili flakes, this palate-cleansing Japanese Pickled Cabbage makes a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Japanese meal.

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: japanese pickled, pickled cabbage
    Servings: 4
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    • ½ head cabbage (10 oz or 280 g)
    • ½ Persian/Japanese cucumber (2 oz or 50 g)
    • 1 dried red chili pepper
    • 1 kombu (dried kelp) (1" x 3" or 2.5 cm x 7.6 cm)
    • tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; Use half for table salt)
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Tsukemono Ingredients 2
    2. Discard the cabbage core and cut cabbage into 1-2” pieces.
      Tsukemono 1
    3. Cut cucumber in in half and peel. Then cut in half lengthwise and into thin slices diagonally.
      Tsukemono 2
    4. Remove seeds from the red chili (if you prefer less spicy) and cut into rounds. When handling the seeds, avoid touching with your bare hands/fingers.
      Tsukemono 3
    5. Toast kombu over open flame so that the kombu will become tender and easier to cut into thin strips.
      Tsukemono 4
    6. Put all the ingredients in the airtight plastic bag and add 1 ¼ tsp. kosher salt.
      Tsukemono 5
    7. Rub with hands until the cabbage softens. Remove the air and close the plastic bag tightly.
      Tsukemono 6
    8. Place the bag under the heavy object and let it pickled in a cool place or in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

      Tsukemono 7
    9. Once the cabbage is pickled, take out and squeeze the excess liquid out. You can save it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.

      Tsukemono 8
    10. Sprinkle white sesame seeds and drizzle a little bit of soy sauce.
      Tsukemono 9
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

     

    You Might Also Like

  • Just One Cookbook Essential Japanese Recipes

    Love Our Recipes?

    Leave A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *






    What type of comment do you have?

    Discussion

  • Anne wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • lisa cabudol wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kari wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lex wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Joe wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Catherine wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kim wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Stephanie wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • gllyflower wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • gllyflower wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Star wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lori MacDonald wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Lori MacDonald wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • Nancy white wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Claire wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Lion wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Julia wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • flo wrote:
  • Diane wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jos wrote:
  • Alexandra Nash wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Jennifer wrote:
  • Igor wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
      • Igor wrote:
        • Nami wrote:
  • JtP wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ina van Soest wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Kai wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Alissia Rose-Pait wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Ben wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
  • Marco wrote:
    • Nami wrote:
    • Shelwyn wrote:
  • Gyoza served on a plate.
    Just One Cookbook logo
    Just One Cookbook logo

    free email series

    5 Secrets to Japanese Cooking

    Making flavorful Japanese food is

    EASIER than you think.

    Close