August 2, 2011


On the night of July 28, I started making shibazuke by following this recipe (Japanese only). Luckily, I found this recipe later, which is a translation of the first one, saving me from the tedious work of translation!
The reason for the dark color of the myoga is that they had been frozen. The myoga had been frozen for a whole year!
I used two 2-liter PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles as weights.
On the morning of July 29, I got this much water coming out of the vegetables.
I searched for aka jiso in and around my yard, and found only this amount.
I had to buy some more aka jiso! I had one very serious problem: My house was flooded below floor level!
Photo taken on the morning of July 30:
赤ジソをもう少し買わないと。でも大きな問題が一つ: 家が床下浸水しました!
Anyway, I bought this big bag of aka jiso around noon.

Shibazuke as of the morning of August 1:
Not bad, but a little too salty for my taste.


Kiki said...

I have seen reports in TV about the heavy rainfall related floods in Japan. Hope everything is alright with your home and there are no further damages due to the water (looks horrible).


muskratbyte said...

It looks like you need a boat!!!! I'll have to try this recipe. I haven't found myoga here. Do you think it would be okay if I just used ginger instead?

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I hope the water level has lowered now and that you are ok! I have never experienced such a situation, so it looks very scary to me.
Shibazuke looks delicious and I might try it without myoga which is impossible to buy here.
I really hope this water level was just temporary...

Hiroyuki said...

Thank you all for your concern.

The flood was temporary where we live, from around four to eight in the morning, but I've never experienced such a heavy rainfall in my entire life! I still have some work to do, but I'd say that the damage to my house was minimal. There are many other people in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures who still suffer from the the aftermath of the heavy rainfall.

The essential vegetable of shibazuke is eggplant, while other vegetables are optional. Note also that this recipe, which calls for mirin and vinegar, is for instant shibazuke. Authentic shibazuke is made by lactic acid fermentation, and takes nearly a whole year, according to Wikipedia.

Hiroyuki said...

In Japan, shibazuke is closely associated with this woman, Yamaguchi Mie.
She became very popular in late 1980s (1987?) after this TV commercial.
Acting as a career woman, she sighs in an elevator, and then says, "Ah, shibazuke tabetai." (Ah, I want to have shibazuke.)

Sissi said...

Hiroyuki, I am glad the water level was temporary and that your house isn't damaged.
I am wondering why there is folk Russian-style music in this advertisement...
I must try the instant shibazuke then! I will think about the "authentic" when the pickling and jam making season will end and I start missing long-term preserves...

Hiroyuki said...

Sissi: I have a recipe for authentic shibazuke
(Japanese only)
It says you can start eating it in one month.

I didn't even realize that the music was Russian...

I thought about making aka jiso drink with the remaining aka jiso, by following this recipe
(Japanese only, again)
But I gave up the idea. Instead, I rubbed them with salt, squeezed, and put them in the freezer for later use.

GMac said...

I have a large amount of red shiso growing in my yard and I would like to make some shibazuke. I read through the recipe and I was not sure if you are supposed to discard the liquid that comes out of the vegetables after they have been salted and pressed? Or does it all get mixed in with the shiso and and the shiso liquid? Thank you!

Hiroyuki said...

gmm: Somehow the important note in the Japanese version is lost in the English translation. You need to squeeze the vegetables before mixing them with red shiso.

You must live in a warm climate to be able to harvest red shio around this time of year!

GMac said...

Thank you for the quick response Hiroyuki! I am in Spokane, Washington in the US. It's been in the mid-70's, not extremely warm, but the shiso is growing well. My mother planted it many years ago and it comes up every year. I don't think I will be able to find myoga here, but I'm looking forward to trying the recipe.