Rakkyo vs. Fukujinzuke: Japanese Pickles for Curry Rice
When it comes to the garnish for curry rice in Japan, we especially favor Rakkyo (ラッキョウ) and Fukujinzuke (福神漬).
In fact, you will almost definitely see these pickles on the table or the menu at Japanese curry restaurants.
Rakkyo vs. Fukujinzuke
In the first place, have you ever heard of Rakkyo and Fukujinzuke before?
For the unfamiliar, this time, I will explain what kinds of Japanese pickles they are.
First, Rakkyo is originally the Japanese word for Chinese onion, whose botanical name is Allium chinense.
The one for curry rice is usually Rakkyo no Amazu-Zuke (らっきょうの甘酢漬け: Rakkyo pickled in sweet vinegar),
made of Chinese onion, with its roots and top cut off, peeled, and pickled in vinegar sweetened with sugar and mirin.
Rakkyo no Amazuzuke is crisp and not that vinegary, with gentle sweetness. So it’s easy to eat and goes well with spicy curry.
On the other hand, Fukujinzuke is a Japanese pickle that originated in Ueno, Tokyo.
It is an unfermented Tsukemono traditionally made with seven different kinds of vegetables
such as daikon radish, eggplant, sword bean, lotus loot, cucumber, shiso/perilla seed, shiitake mushroom, or white sesame seed.
The ingredients are first pickled in salt, then finely cut into small pieces, and last pickled in a seasoning liquid made with soy sauce and sugar or mirin.
Colored with coloring agents such as red daikon radish or gardenia, commercial Fukujinzuke typically has a red or brown hue.