Recipe testing: Tsukemono

I’ve been on a kick with Japanese pickles, tsukemono. I followed a recipe from Just One Cookbook youtube channel for Shoyuzuke (soy sauce pickles). She made on sauce with 4 different veggies. I decided to try the cucumber and celery version.

Link for the recipe:

Japanese cucumbers

I made this version before and really like them. This batch I added the shredded salted kombu and minced ginger. This time I sliced the cucumber thicker than previous version.

I salted and massaged the cucumbers, let it set for about 5 minutes to get excess water out. I followed Just One Cookbook and used a dish cloth to get as much water out as possible.

Then I added them to mason jars but didn’t add the glass weights that she uses in the video because I didn’t have any. Here’s the link of ones that I’m thinking of buying

I used 3 large Japanese cucumbers and it filled 3 quart size large mouth mason jars. I added the salted shredded kombu (soaked in water to soften then squeezed out the excess water) and minced ginger.

I made 3 recipes of brine, to for cucumbers and 1 for the celery. I add the brine to the 3 bottle. Brine will not come up to the top of the bottle, probably about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way. This is where the weights comes in but I didn’t do since I didn’t have it.

Instead of weights, I just shook the brine around in the bottle, tipping the bottle upside down. I kept the cucumbers on the counter for about 2 hours shaking the bottle when I remembered. Then in the refrigerator. They are ready to eat in 3 hours.


I didn’t get pictures of this process but I had celery that I wanted to use up. I followed the recipe per the video and I made enough for one bottle. I used the same shaking technique as the cucumbers.

Here’s the final product of my work.

celery on the left and cucumbers on right

Final review from Joe and Cora: Oishii (delicious in Japanese)

My review: love the crunch and the flavor of the celery. Like the what the sesame oil in this version. Cucumbers are better thicker and love the combination of kombu and ginger.

Worth the try. Great on the salad and no dressing needed. Next up daikon tsukemono.


Recipe testing

I’ve been trying to get my recipes from my old blog here. I thought it would be easy to go back to my old blog to add links from old post. But I was NOT as organized as I thought. So I decided to re-recipe test the favorites and post them the recipes and my recipe page (which is n. Hopefully I can make update to recipe to make them better.

First up

Sweet Potato Pie using Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread recipe. Here’s the link for the old post:

Mom’s Pumpkin Shortbread a is a creamy custard-y pumpkin pie with shortbread crust. It’s beloved by my family and friends who have made have tasted this recipe. It’s a staple at our Thanksgiving table. I usually make for Thanksgiving and share it with friends. My cousin is making it now for her family.

In my original post, I substituted sweet potato and baked it in a springform pan instead of a 9 x13 pan. I was converting it to serve at the restaurant. I also made the crust slightly thinner, I half the recipe of crust. But the one thing, I notice was the crust got a little soggy after the first day. I also wanted to try adding some cinnamon and cardamon to the crust. I thought that would go well with the sweet potatoes.

I’m thinking of trying out this Martha Stewart recipe, It has an egg in dough which I was thinking it needed. Then I saw this recipe on FB from the Washington Post–Pumpkin Caramel Tart with Toasted Hazelnut Crust. It sounded to delicious to resist.

So I’m totally dump my idea to change up my mom’s pumpkin pie recipe to try this recipe out with sweet potatoes. I’m bring it to Thanksgiving at my friend’s house. Kind of brave to bring a recipe you never test to dinner. But I haven’t tested a new recipe in a while  and these are close friends. They can be brutally honest that tell me if it sucks.

Recipe testing problem #1

Don’t be lazy and start on time even though you are trying to get through Stranger Things, season 1 so you can start season 2. With that statement, I forgot to take pictures till I go to my friends house. I was running late with the late start and  . . .

Recipe testing problem #2

Guess lazy was a theme for my Thanksgiving baking. Too lazy to go shopping with the crazy Thanksgiving food shoppers, no hazelnuts. I think I have one more can of  macadamia nuts. Got a little scared found only onion flavored mac nuts–well I can bring that to the dinner as an appetizer. But I found a can of plain mac nuts that I would used in the crust. Which digs the lateness hole deeper.

Recipe testing problem #3

Started the caramel for the custard first. Now this is the reason you don’t test new recipes to take to a party/dinner. The sugar and water took forever to melt and liquify. Then with lateness and being impatient, I dumped the cream in too fast and clumped up the melted sugar. I just keep stirring, up the heat, and it started melting. But time sucked the baking time. I had to think on my feet and I decided to go back to my old faithful recipe that I originally thought I would adjust.

In the end

I mixed up my old faithful recipe from mom with oven roasted sweet potatoes and some of the caramel that ended up working. I didn’t add all the sugar from the original recipe because of that addition.


The crust was delicious and the sweet potato custard was good. I would add a little more milk to it to up the creaminess to counter the sweetness and cut the sugar a little. Overall not a disaster.