Easy Nukazuke (Japanese Rice Bran Pickles)

Nukazuke, a traditional Japanese food, is a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. With our easy recipe using ready-made rice bran bed, you can enjoy the benefits of this fermented food in no time!

nukazuek and nukadoko.

Nukazuke is a Japanese pickle made by fermenting vegetables in rice bran, creating a tangy and crunchy treat that’s bursting with flavor.

The fermentation process may seem daunting, but with a ready-made nukadoko, you can easily create your own nukazuke at home. So, give it a try and experience the unique flavors of beloved Japanese delicacies!

    This recipe is for you if:
  • You love Japanese pickles.
  • You want to know how to make nukazuke.
  • You are looking for easy nukazuke recipe.

Let me walk you through the ingredients and the instructions. If you want to check the recipe, jump to the recipe. Let’s get started!

About this Recipe

  • Japanese nukazuke pickles
  • Ferment vegetables in rice bran
  • Easy recipe with ready-made nukadoko

What is Nukazuke?

nukazuke illustration.

Nukazuke is a healthy Japanese pickle made by fermenting vegetables in a rice bran bed called Nukadoko.

Japanese people enjoy it for its tangy flavor and crunchy texture while also providing health benefits due to its high content of beneficial bacteria that can improve digestion and promote gut health.

However, it is important to note that nukazuke is typically high in sodium, depending on the type of nukadoko used. Therefore, it should be enjoyed in moderation (a few slices per meal) as part of a balanced diet.

Nukazuke is often served as a side dish or appetizer in Japanese cuisine. It is a popular accompaniment to rice dishes and is also commonly served as a snack for alcohol.

📋 Ingredients

Here are the ingredients (amounts are in the recipe card below).

ingredients for nukazuke.
  • Ready-made Nukadoko – is a pre-made rice bran bed. It is typically sold in specialty stores or online and comes in a container or package. See more details below.
  • Vegetables – Carrots, cucumber, and daikon are common choices of nukazuke. For more options, see the Variations section below.

Ready-Made Nukadoko

nukadoko.

Making nukadoko from scratch requires some patience. Mix fresh rice bran with water and sea salt, and transfer the mixture to a deep container. Stir the mixture daily and allow it to ferment in a cool, dark place until it develops a sour, tangy smell, which usually takes a few days to a week or more.

Ready-made nukadoko is made using the same basic ingredients as homemade nukadoko, but it has already gone through the fermentation process, making it ready to use for pickling vegetables.

It’s a convenient option for those who want to try making nukazuke without going through the process of making nukadoko from scratch.

Where to Buy Japanese Ingredients

If you live in the US, you can find Japanese ingredients in the list below.

  • Japanese market: Mitsuwa MarketplaceMarukai
  • Asian market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Health food stores
  • Online stores: Instacart, Walmart, Amazon

🔪Instructions

Let me show you how to make it. Click here to watch the recipe video.

instructions for nukazuke.
  1. Peel and cut vegetables.
  2. Transfer ready-made nukadoko into an airtight container.
  3. Bury the vegetables, and flatten the surface.
  4. Put the lid on and pickle them in the fridge. A half day for cucumber and a full day for daikon and carrot.
  5. Take out the nukazuke and rinse the bran off.
  6. Slice the nukazuke.
nukazuke served on a plate.

Savor the authentic taste of Japan with this nukazuke – the classic Japanese side dish!

Helpful tips

  • It may not have been fully fermented when using ready-made nukadoko for the first time. As a result, when pickling vegetables with it, the nukazuke may have a strong salty taste. However, the salt concentration will become moderate after pickling the vegetables 2 to 4 times.
    • You might want to take out the vegetables and check the taste before pickling time ends to avoid an overly salty taste.
    • Be sure to rinse off the rice bran before cutting the nukazuke, as the nukadoko contains a large amount of salt that can overpower the delicious taste of the pickle if not washed off.

    Storage

    After slicing the nukazuke, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to three days.

    Container

    noda horo enamel containers.

    For making nukazuke, it is recommended to use a container made of resistant to salt and acid, such as ceramic, glass, or enamel.

    The container should be large enough to accommodate the nukadoko and the vegetables to be pickled and should have an airtight lid to prevent air from entering the container during the fermentation process.

    I would recommend using an enamel container, specifically the Noda horo L size (1.5 liters). Noda Horo is a well-known and popular enamel brand in Japan that produces various sizes of containers. I personally use several of them for storing food, pickling, and even grilling.

    Variations

    Ingredient variations for nukazuke.

    Nukazuke can be made with a variety of ingredients, and here are popular choices:

    • Okra
    • Eggplant
    • Turnip
    • Bell peppers
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Celery
    • Avocado
    • Boiled eggs
    • Tofu

    The pickling time for nukazuke can vary from half a day to two days, depending on the ingredients and the desired level of fermentation.

    What to Serve With

    tuna mayo onigiri and nukazuke.

    Simple onigiri and nukazuke come paired perfectly. This menu is a perfect option for a light meal!

    Thanks For Stopping By!

    Thank you for taking the time to read my blog♡ If you’ve tried this recipe (or any other recipe on the blog), please give it a star rating below!

    Also, feel free to leave comments if you have any questions. I love hearing from you!

    Chef JA Cooks is a Japanese food blog that shares simple and healthy Japanese home cooking recipes, including vegan and vegetarian. From traditional Japanese recipes to modern recipes with step-by-step instructions.

    More Recipes You Might Like

    nukazuke served on a plate.

    Nukazuke

    5 from 3 votes
    Print Pin Save
    Prep: 5 minutes
    Cook: 1 day
    Total: 1 day 5 minutes
    Servings: 10 servings or more
    Author: JURI
    Nukazuke, a traditional Japanese food, is a healthy and delicious addition to any meal. With our easy recipe using ready-made rice bran bed, you can enjoy the benefits of this fermented food in no time!

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 Daikon, 400g
    • 1/2 Carrot
    • 1 Cucumber
    • 1 kg Ready-made Nukadoko

    Instructions

    • Prepare vegetables: Peel daikon and carrot, and cut them in half. Cut off the end of cucumber.
    • Bury the vegetables: Transfer ready-made nukadoko into an airtight container, bury the vegetables inside, and flatten the surface.
    • Pickling: Put the lid onto the container and leave it in the fridge for one day.
    • Slice: Next day, take out the nukazuke, rinse the bran off, and slice them.

    Video

    Notes

    • Storage: After slicing the nukazuke, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to three days.
    • Variations of ingredients: Okra, eggplant, turnip, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, celery, avocado, boiled egg, tofu (The pickling time for nukazuke can vary from half a day to two days, depending on the ingredients and the desired level of fermentation).
    • Nutrition is calculated based on three slices of cucumber (20g).
    • It may not have been fully fermented when using ready-made nukadoko for the first time. As a result, when pickling vegetables with it, the nukazuke may have a strong salty taste. However, the salt concentration will become moderate after pickling the vegetables 2 to 4 times.
    • You might want to take out the vegetables and check the taste before pickling time ends to avoid an overly salty taste.
    • Be sure to rinse off the rice bran before cutting the nukazuke, as the nukadoko contains a large amount of salt that can overpower the delicious taste of the pickle if not washed off.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1serving | Calories: 6kcal
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: nukazuke, vegan
    Did You Make this recipe?Please Leave a star rating!

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    2 Comments

    1. 5 stars
      Great explanation, thank you! I bought the ready-made bag, and this method of fermentation is much easier and has less odor than other pickling processes I was using.