Senmai Zuke: Pickled Turnip Slices from Daito in Kyoto
Kyoto (京都) is a historical city where various cultures and foods originated.
For example, when I think of Tsukemono (漬物) pickles that the old city boasts, what comes to mind is Senmai Zuke.
Senmai Zuke (千枚漬け)
Senmai Zuke (千枚漬け), literally meaning one thousand slices of pickles, is a traditional Japanese pickle
made of a species of turnip called Shogoin Kabu (聖護院かぶ), one of the specialty vegetables of Kyoto called Kyo Yasai (京野菜).
In the making, the turnip is thinly sliced and then placed in a wooden barrel and pickled in a sweet vinegar sauce, together with kombu and red chili pepper.
Since the best season for Shogoin Kabu is from November to around March, Senmai Zuke is also available during the cold months.
Daito (大藤) in Kyoto
As for history, Senmai Zuke was first created in 1865 by a Japanese chef who worked at Kyoto Imperial Palace, named Daikokuya Fujisaburo (大黒屋藤三郎).
Even now, his pickles shop, Daito (大藤) (Google Map), has continued to operate in Kyoto, known as the originator of Senmai Zuke.
Today, they sell their pickled turnip online, and as shown in the photo above, I purchased it this time.
When removing the outer green paper packaging, the round wooden container appeared.
The shallow barrel contains a lot of turnip slices, accompanied by a thin kombu sheet and strips of potherb mustard called Mibuna (壬生菜).
Packed with umami from kombu, these pickled turnips from Daito are slightly vinegary and sweetish.
These turnip slices are also tender and pleasantly crunchy, so I can’t get enough of eating them.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia 千枚漬け )