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Kyuri Asa-zuke (Japanese Lightly Pickled Cucumbers)

Kyuri Asa-zuke (Japanese Lightly Pickled Cucumbers)

2 – 3 Japanese cucumbers/3 – 4 mini (seedless) cucumbers (about 10.5 ounces/300 grams)
3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/2 inches kombu, cut into thin shreds with kitchen shears
7 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

1. Wash the cucumbers and pat them dry.  Rub the cucumbers with the salt, then cut them into 1/2-inch slices and place in a glass pint-sized jar.  If the pieces don’t all fit, you can remove pieces and gently press down on the pieces in the jar to make them fit.  Add the kombu to the jar.

2. Mix the water, vinegar, and sugar together in a separate container and then pour the mixture over the cucumbers.  Cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap, and then screw the lid in place.  The plastic wrap prevents the vinegar from touching the metal of the lid (which will affect the flavor of the pickles).

4. Put the cucumbers in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 12 hours.  She the jar up and down occasionally so the marinade penetrates the cucumber slices well.  Each time you take cucumber slices out of the jar, make sure and reseal it with the plastic wrap before replacing the lid.

* You can also add soy sauce, chili pepper, or sesame oil to the marinade according to your tastes.