Tsukemono (Japanese Pickled Cabbage) | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Tsukemono (Pickled Cabbage)

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: japanese pickled, pickled cabbage
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Nami
Brined in salt, kombu and chili flakes, this palate-cleansing Pickled Cabbage (tsukemono) makes a perfect accompaniment to a traditional Japanese meal.


  • ½ head cabbage (½ head = 10 oz or 280 g)
  • ½ Persian/Japanese cucumber (½ cucumber = 2 oz or 50 g)
  • 1 dried red chili pepper
  • 1 kombu (dried kelp) (1 kombu = 1" x 3" or 2.5 cm x 7.6 cm)
  • tsp salt (kosher or sea salt; use half if using table salt)


  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 up to 1-2 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.