Senmai Zuke : Sliced Pickled Turnip from Daito in Kyoto

Kyoto is a historical city in which various cultures and foods originated. For example, when I think of pickles that Kyoto boasts, what comes to mind right away is “Senmai Zuke (千枚漬け)”.

Senmai Zuke (千枚漬け)

Senmai Zuke

Senmai Zuke is a Japanese pickle made of a species of turnip called “Shogoin Kabu (聖護院かぶ)”, which is a specialty vegetable of Kyoto.

The turnip is thinly sliced, placed in a wooden barrel, and then pickled in a vinegar seasoning sweetened with sugar, together with kombu (seaweed kelp) and red chili pepper. 

The turnip, Shogoin Kabu is annually produced from November till around March, so Senmai Zuke is available only during the winter months.

By the way, the literal meaning of “Senmai Zuke (千枚漬け)” is “one thousand slices of pickles”.

Daito (大藤) in Kyoto 

Kyoto Daito Senmai Zuke

It is said that Senmai Zuke was first created by a Japanese cook who worked at Kyoto Imperial Palace, “Daikokuya Fujisaburo (大黒屋藤三郎)” in 1865.

Even now, his pickles shop “Daito (大藤)” (Google Map) continues to operate in Kyoto and is renowned as the originator of Senmai Zuke.

Today, their sliced pickled turnip can be bought on their online shop, and as shown above this time I actually purchased it.

When I removed the green paper package, a round wooden container appeared.

In the container, there were numerous slices of pickled turnip accompanied with a piece of kombu and a species of potherb mustard called “Mibuna (壬生菜)”.

Senmai Zuke Pickled Turnip

Senmai Zuke and Mibuna

The Senmai Zuke sliced pickled turnip was slightly sweet with umami from kombu and not that vinegary. Besides, its texture was pleasantly crunchy, so I couldn’t get enough of it.

(Reference Page : Wikipedia 千枚漬け )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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