Mibuna Pickles 壬生菜の塩漬けPosted: May 11, 2013
Mibuna is one of Kyoto’s designated traditional vegetables called kyo-yasai, which feature in Kyoto’s unique culinary genres such as obanzai style cooking. It is a mustard green with a delicate flavour that is a naturally occurring hybrid of mizuna. Mibuna is at its peak in the middle of May. The name means a “herb that comes from Mibu,” which is an area in Kyoto city surrounding Mibu-dera, a 1000-year-old temple that is famous for its Kyogen (comic Japanese drama). Recently there has been a great revival of interest in Mibu because of the popularity of the TV series Shinsengumi about a special police force that was formed there in 1863. Nowadays, mibuna is mainly produced by small family-based farmers in Hiyoshi village, just north of Nantan city in Kyoto prefecture.
Today’s recipe is a simple pickle dish that is used as an accompaniment to rice and is also found in other Kyoto dishes, which will be added in the days to come.
壬生菜の塩漬け – mibuna no shiodzuke
20gms of salt per 500gms of mibuna
Thinly sliced red chili pepper
1) Wash the mibuna well and drain thoroughly
2) Cut the mibuna into 2cm lengths and place in a bowl
3) Mix in the salt and chili slices, kneading the salt into the mibuna
4) Place a lid into the bowl so that it covers over the mibuna, then add a heavy weight (such a large can of fruit) and leave it for about 8 to 10 hours
Source: Yosu Yoshida from Nanba Farmer’s Cooperative