Japanese Pickles: What is Teppo Zuke?

As I wrote in the previous article, “Tsukemono (漬物)” is the Japanese generic term for pickles, and in the name of the dish, the suffix for it “Zuke (漬)” is often used, like “Narazuke (奈良漬)” and “Teppozuke (鉄砲漬)”.

As the name indicates, Nara Zuke is a specialty pickle of Nara Prefecture, but what kind of Tsukemono is Teppo Zuke? Since today I got the Japanese pickle, let’s check the contents and take a close look at it.

Teppo Zuke (鉄砲漬, てっぽう漬)

Teppo Zuke from Nagano

Teppo Zuke originated in the city of Narita, Chiba Prefecture, and now has become its local specialty. In addition to Chiba, Nagano and Gunma Prefectures are well-known for their Teppo Zuke pickles and the pictured Teppo Zuke is in fact from Nagano.

As with Nara Zuke, Teppo Zuke is made of oriental pickling melon or Shiro-Uri, and the word “Teppo (鉄砲, てっぽう)” meaning “gun” in Japanese characterizes the Tsukemono pickle.

The Origin of Teppo Zuke Pickles

Teppo Zuke Pickles

In the making process, the seeds of an oriental pickling melon or Shiro-Uri are hollowed out where the green chili peppers rolled in shiso (perilla) leaves are stuffed to make the Shiro-Uri look like the gun barrel that’s been filled with gunpowder, from which reason, the Japanese pickle was given the name Teppo Zuke.

Since the prepared Shiro-Uri is pickled in a sweet soy sauce-based sauce, the Japanese pickle Teppo Zuke features a good combination of sweet and spicy. It is a perfect match for a hot bowl of rice and is also favored as a relish that goes well with sake rice wine.

Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

Teppo Zuke Ingredients and Nutrition Facts

According to the ingredient list, the pickle sauce for this Teppo Zuke consists of soy sauce, sugars, amino acid liquid, fermented seasoning, brewed vinegar, protein hydrolyzate, and salt. By the way, based on the nutrition facts label, the pickled Shiro-Uri has 65 kcal per 100 g and contains 6.1 grams of salt equivalents.


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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