Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm such a geek these days, that I talk over the subtleties of bran with my friends. Well really, just nuka bran. (That's pronounced "nukaaah," not "nuka.")

The same customer/friend who brought me hiyayakko the other day brought me a present of pickles this week: shallow nuka pickled cucumber, picked from his garden that morning, and buried in nuka for only a few hours. I love that I'm not the only person in this little town with a nuka bed, and that there are people to trade tips with. Since "daughter may take some of her mother's nukatoko when she marries" doesn't really fit in my life, it's nice to have someone to discuss challenges and successes with. And if "housewife [is] going to be away for more than a day or two, she entrust[s] her pickle pot to a neighbor" isn't exactly the scenario, either, maybe we could take care of each others nuka beds when traveling—like a good cat sitter! There is interesting history to this method, and ritual, and is one of those foods that really makes you believe that patience and waiting and getting-to-know make a difference.

If the daily maintenance of keeping a nuka bed sounds intimidating to you, you can salt the top and put in the refrigerator for periods of time. Or, you can head to my friend Youko's restaurant in New Paltz, Gomen Kudasai, and taste some nuka pickles there.

Thanks to Okonomiyaki for the images.


  1. This is very cool. I will be your nuka-sitter if you ever need one, Kara!

  2. Excellent, thank you! Now maybe I can take a motorcycle trip across Thailand...

  3. Ooops! Youko tells me that Gomen Kudasai is not serving nuka pickles at this time. She does plan to try takuan this winter, so stay tuned...