Nara Zuke: Oriental Pickling Melon Pickled in Sake Lees

Nara is a historic city adjoining Kyoto where every year many tourists, both from in and outside Japan, enjoy sightseeing.

When I think of Nara, many things come to my mind. But in terms of food, the first thing that pops into my head is what I introduce here “Nara Zuke (奈良漬)”.

Nara Zuke (奈良漬)


In its name, “Zuke (漬)” is the Japanese suffix that refers to pickles or “Tsukemono (漬物: literally Pickled Things)”, and Nara Zuke is a specialty pickle of Nara made with sake lees.

It is said that the original form of Narazuke was first made over 1,000 years ago, and in modern times, the Tsukemono is widely enjoyed throughout the country.

Nara Zuke

Typical vegetables prepared for Nara Zuke include oriental pickling melon, cucumber, watermelon, and ginger, which are salted and repeatedly pickled in new sake lees.

By the way, the pictured Nara Zuke is oriental pickling melon, or Shiro-Uri, pickled in a mixture of sake lees, sugar, mirin (sweet sake) lees, and salt.

How to Eat

Nara Zuke Pickles

Before eating, the brown lees are rinsed with water, and the seasoned Shiro-Uri is thinly sliced.

The traditional pickle Nara Zuke has a distinctive sweet taste characterized by sake and mirin lees and is often eaten with alcoholic drinks.

It is also a perfect match for rice, and only with these pickles and miso soup, I can eat several bowls of white rice.

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

apanese Pickle Nara Zuke Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Lastly, here are the ingredients list and nutrition facts label of the Nara Zuke pickle. According to that,

the Tsukemono consists of oriental pickling melon, sake lees, sugar, mirin lees, salt, and alcohol.

The calories per 100 grams are 204 kcal, and the pickle contains 3.8 g of salt equivalents.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 奈良漬け )


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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