Cucumber pickles that magically work as appetite enhancer during the hot and humid summer period
Senji kiuri (infused cucumber) is a seasonal fermented food recipe prepared only during the summertime that has long been passed on by the farm households in Kokyouden district of Tsuruoka. The cucumbers rubbed with salt are laid in a barrel until they begin to sweat. The water sweated out by the cucumbers is then extracted and boiled down. The resulting syrup is poured back in the barrel to pickle the cucumbers further. This process of infusing and pickling is repeated 5 times a day, and as the growth of lactic acid bacteria becomes more active, the water sweated out by the cucumbers and boiled down will eventually get cloudy, which is an indication that these cucumbers are fully pickled and ready to be served as pickles. These cucumber pickles get mildly sour but still taste fresh and juicy. On a hot and humid summer day when you feel worn out, take a bite of it. You’ll find yourself craving for more as it works perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice and let you feel the essence of the local food culture shared by the people in Tsuruoka every summer.
どう作って食べるか / HOW TO MAKE & EAT
❶Rub 10 to 20 cucumbers with salt (around 5% of the volume of cucumbers).
❷Lay the salted cucumbers in a barrel, add a moderate amount of water, and place a weight on top.
❸Let the cucumbers rest in there for a day. Extract the liquid sweated out by the cucumbers and boil it down.
❹After cooling the syrup, pour it back in the barrel. Repeat the above step ❸ five times. Once the water from the cucumbers gets cloudy and the cucumbers taste mildly sour, they are ready to be served as pickles.
▶食べられている地域 / Regions where it is eaten
In the rural area around the City of Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture
▶微生物の種類 / Types of microorganisms
Lactic acid bacteria