Nukazuke or rice bran pickles are a culinary institution in Japan. While they taste sour and salty, like any western-style pickle, nukazuke is a natural, wild ferment.
The ‘nuka bed’, in many Japanese kitchens, contains a live culture of rice bran paste in which fresh vegetables are preserved. Vegetables are inoculated in the bed for days, or even weeks, to prolong their shelf life, add flavour and turn them into a delicious probiotic snack.
Nukazuke has a long history in Japan, and many nuka beds have been passed down in families for generations; some are believed to be 300 years old. Having your own nuka bed is an easy way to keep garden produce fresh without the aid of a fridge, create a healthy addition to your diet and expand your cooking repertoire.