Introduction to … Saké & Tsukemono

  1. Sake
    1. Presentation
      With this presentation you have all the info about the sakes we drinked, a short introduction and the link to the videos. I added some more interesting links in part 2
    2. Interesting background docu
      The best documentary i saw at the moment about Sake, was The Birth Of Sake that is on netflix. It’s a wonderfull take on the world of Sake in it’s complexity.

      I linked also the books that where at the workshop here:
      Sake: The history and personal stories: This is a wonderful book but not one for the beginner.
      The Sake Handbook: that’s a great introduction
      Sake Confidential: this is more an adress book then an explenation, so great if you are going to visit japan.

  2. Tsukemono
    All these recipes where based on the Tsukemono book that recently came out, it’s only in Dutch at the moment, but it is the most complete about this technique at the moment. The descriptions that i put here aren’t direct translations of the process described in the book, they are my interpretation of the technique. Like always in fermentation: once you understand the goal of it, you can start playing with it!

    1. Beaten Cucumber-Pickle (1h of pickle press)
      – 2 spoons of Ginger
      – 1 coffeespoon of Chiliflakes
      – 1/2 coffeespoon of Roasted Sesame oil
      – 1 spoon of shoyu
      – 1/2 spoon of genmai-su (rice vinegar)
      – 1 coffeespoon of something sweet
      – 1 cucumber
      – 2% of the cucumber weight in salt

      This short tsukemono gives you a nice view on the potential of the technique. You rub salt around the cucumber to open it’s pores and start beating it with a wooden stick. Important note: you don’t beat the shit out of it, gently hit it to open the structure more without damaging to much the internal structure. When you start seeing some breaks you start breaking of the cucumber in bite sized pieces. You put everything in the pickle press and press it for around 1h. The taste will be subtle but show the potential of the pickle press.

    2. Cucumber – Wakamé – Clementine (45min of pickle press)
      – 1 cucumber
      – 2% of the cucumber weight in salt
      – some dried wakamé
      – 1 or 2 clementine
      – 3 spoons of mirin
      – a bit of roasted sesame oil

      This time you slice the cucumber with a mandoline or really fine. You let them rest in a bit of salt and ad the clementine in little pieces, the dried wakamé, mirin and sesame oil and mix it in a bowl. I let it press for a couple of hours and found the result really good. The juice of the clementine will mix with that of the cucumber and the dried wakamé will give an off flavor. A real winner!

    3. Raddish Kimchi (min 2 days in the pickle press)
      – 1kg of raddish
      – 20gr of salt (2% ratio)
      – 4 spoons of ginger
      – 4 pieces of garlic
      – Young onions
      – chili flakes
      – 1 coffeespoon of something sweet

      If you want to know what Kimchi is, i invite you to the Kimchi article i wrote. This variation is what you can achieve in a couple of days instead of weeks. Less acide then it’s Korean counterpart this snack made with mostly raddish (because of the time of the year) creates a nice little spicy snack that holds onto it’s crunchiness. Just mix everything up, flavor as you want (more or less chili flakes and garlic) and let ferment for 2 days at least. The more you ferment, the more chance there is a lacto fermentation going on and it will get that acid taste and less crunchyness.

    4. Cabbage Suchi Pickle (3-4 hours in the pickle press)
      – 6 leafes of chinese cabbage
      – 2 carrots
      – celeri
      – (dried) Shiitake
      – Ginger
      – chiliflakes
      – 1 spoon of Sesame oil
      – Garlic
      – 1 coffeespoon of something sweet
      – 2 spoons of shoyu
      – 1 coffeespoon of salt
      – 3 spoons of vinegar

      This was the most technical of the whole batch of tsukemono. For the rolling technique i refer to Sushi beginners guides. The trick here is to: cook your leafes in salted water till they become soft, and use 2 per sushi roll! For the mixture: Grate some ginger, carrots, celeri and mince some shiitake with garlic. Fill your leafes with it and create a mixture of shoyu, vinegar, sesame oil and honey that you will top off the 3-4 cm high sushi roles you will put into the pickle press. Let it press for 3-4 hours and you will get a great flavor bomb!

  3. Order: Kanpai & Fermenpeer
    1. For Sake: Go with Kanpai
      Kanpai is a Brussels project that is importing only the premium sake, gin and whiskey from Japan. He also is organizing great workshop to become a Japanese drink specialist!
    2. Tsukemono stuff: Fermenpeer.
      If you want to buy some pickle press or other equipment, there is a link too the Fermenpeer shop. We can organize a bulk order through Fermenthings, so the transport cost are cheaper. Or you can order directly with the mention of Fermenthings.