Japanese Quick Pickled Turnips

September 24, 2009

This is one of the quickest pickles that you can make. This type of pickles are called "Asazuke" in Japanese, which literally means "shallow pickles". Depending on what you pickle, it takes about 1 hour. Compared to other types of pickles, they tend not to be too sour or salty.

Each family has their own recipes but the basic ingredients are usually salt, ginger and dried red chilies. You can add rice vinegar and dried kelp if you want.

Just like Americans enjoy pickles with their burgers, Japanese eat pickles with hot white rice. I can eat bowls and bowls of (preferably Japonica) rice with just a side dish of freshly made pickles. Turnips are my favorite but cucumber is also great.

Japanese quick turnip pickles

Japanese Quick Pickled Turnips


5-6 small - medium turnips (9 - 10 oz.)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 whole dried red chile
1 small piece of ginger - julienne
1 zipper bag



1. Wash turnips well especially inside of the leaves. Cut off the leaves about one inch from the top of the turnips. Peel and slice turnips into about 3mm thick. Cut the leaves into 4cm(1.5inch) long.

2. Put sliced turnips, a handfull of leaves and salt into a zipper bag and squeeze them to coat salt into all the turnips. Massage them for a few more minutes until the turnips soften.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients and massage them again. Seal the zipper bag and refrigerate at least 1 hour up to 6 hours.

4. Drain all the liquid and serve them in a small bowl. You can put some soy sauce on top when you eat.

pickled red onion

pickled red onion

pickled red onion

half sour cucumber pickles