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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Japanese-style cucumber, broccoli miso pickle

I use a lot of broccoli florets for my vegetable dishes and end up collecting a lot of unused stalk. I never throw them away. I just remove the outer woody skin, trim the stalks to remove any branches and throw them in a zipper lock bag and keep it handy to use in sambar, or sometimes just sauté them with the veggies, or sometimes, make this Japanese-style miso pickle.

cucumber broccoli miso pickle
This recipe is from Emi Kazuko's book, with slight modification.
1 cup miso
1 Tbsp sake (or, plain white vinegar for its tang)
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
3-4 Serrano chilies, sliced or diced fine
3-4 broccoli stalk/stem (use florets in another recipe)
1 large cucumber
¼ tsp sesame oil (optional)
¼ tsp dry red chili flakes
1 tsp sushi vinegar (or, just plain rice vinegar and some sugar to desired sweetness) - optional

  1. peel the cucumber every few centimeters or so to get a striped exterior; cut in half lengthwise and remove the inner pulp and seeds, cut into about 3-4" pieces; set aside
  2. remove the outer skin of broccoli stem, trim the branches if any, and cut them into longish strips about 3"4" long; set aside
  3. mix the miso, garlic, sake and chilies, keep handy
  4. in a container, spread some of the miso mixture, lay the cucumber and broccoli stems in a single layer, add another layer of miso, and layer some more cucumber and broccoli stems; keep layering in this manner, top with miso mixture, cover and refrigerate for 5-7 days
  5. remove from fridge, wash off the miso from the cucumber and broccoli stems thoroughly, pat dry
  6. cut the cucumber into half-moon slices; arrange the pickled broccoli sticks and cucumber in a serving plate
  7. whisk the dry red chili flakes, sesame oil and sushi vinegar, pour over the veggies and toss lightly; serve cold
Alternately, I sometimes skip step 7 above, sprinkle some dry red chili flakes and enjoy with some Indian style plain yogurt rice. The saltiness and tang and the bite from the chilies complement the plain yogurt rice really well.

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