When pickling, you either ferment the food itself, or add something fermented to it–often vinegar. Both methods not only preserve the vegetables throughout a long winter, but add layers of flavor, piquant, pucker-worthy ones at that. For a refreshing experiment this summer, I eschewed my common brines and procedures for a pack of white miso, that fermented soybean paste, for a sweet and really simple traditional Japanese pickle, misozuke.
Growing up, a summertime party spread was never complete without these usual suspects: a bowl of cold sesame noodles, and a batch of marinated, peeled cucumbers that had been chilling with soy sauce, vinegar, tons of chopped garlic, and a dash of sesame oil. The latter had no name really, it was just my mom’s homestyle pickles, or quick-pickles. No fermentation, no cold-packing, just a long sit in the fridge was all that was needed to make them (although a … Read More