Prior to this class in early October, I received a very interesting request from a Canadian lady, who is keen to learn about fermented vegetables, if I can show her an active Nuka bed for Nuka-Zuke.
Nuka is the rice bran, looks and smells like wheat. After rice harvest, the bran is taken away from rice and we eat only the white core part of rice. But this rice bran can be used for fermented vegetables, or Japanese pickles, called Nuka-Zuke.
We add a little salt and some water to rice bran powder, which makes a perfect bed to culture lactic acid bacteria. Once the condition is settled, you may add your favorite vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, radish etc.
The problem with this fermented pickles making is that you need to stir the Nuka bed at least once every day, or the good bacteria die out and bad ones become more active, in other words your vegetables would get rotten. My grandmother used to do all these works for her family and I enjoyed eating her beautiful works as a kid.
Yet it was so much work in modern days when you have a job outside your house, so my mother did not keep it going, nor did I, util I received this inquiry from my guest lady.
Suddenly I remembered what I used to be eating and wondered if I can do something. Thanks to our internet age, I found a Japanese pickles company who sells Nuka-bed for fridge! You don’t need to take care of your Nuka every single day but once in a week with this product.
So here we are at the class, with my Nuka-Zuke works of carrots and cucumbers, as well as mackerel with Miso sauce. As is well known, Miso is one of our traditional seasonings and it is made by fermenting steamed soy beans with salt.
I hope my guest liked my home made Nuka-Zuke.
Many thanks for coming!