Tsukemono & tsukemono steak
A side dish used
as a reserved food in winter
Surrounded by high-altitude mountains and extremely cold in winter, mountain villages in Gujo have created a unique food culture. Fermented food Tsukemono has been used as a reserved food to survive the winter when ingredients are difficult to obtain. From around November, after harvesting Chinese cabbage, every family starts making Tsukemono. Cutting Chinese cabbage and turnips into small pieces and soaking in salt is the most normal way to make Tsukemono. But there are various ways to make and season them, such as adding red turnips or adding kelp or red pepper, depending on different families or shops.
Tsukemono steak, made by grilling Tsukemono on an iron plate or hot pot, seasoning with soy sauce or miso, and binding with eggs, has also been eaten as a local dish in Gujo. Tsukemono is soaked for a long time and fermented. This slightly sour and tender Tsukemono strengthens the taste and sweetness when heated, and half-ripe egg matches perfectly. It is still eaten at home and is also popular as a menu at local Izakaya (Tavern).