However, I am also a fan of Japanese pickles – tsukemono / 漬物 – which I tend to find more delicate than their robust European cousins, so I thought they would make an ideal counterbalance to a martini. They’re also quick and easy to make.
Here is a recipe for cucumber tsukemono:
-Prep time: about 15 mins
-Waiting around time: 15 more minutes and then 1-4 days
You will need
-1 British cucumber or 3 Japanese cucumbers
-Wash and dry the cucumber.
-Mix half a cup of rice vinegar (or white wine vinegar as a substitute), with a dash of mirin (optional), 3 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt
-Stir with a non-metallic object (apparently metal reacts with the vinegar, changing its flavour). I use a wooden chopstick.
-Put the cucumber into a sealable container and cover with the vinegar mixture.
Once they’re ready, pick them out of the jar using clean chopsticks so you don’t contaminate the pickles. You can serve them on their own as a taster dish, or as a palate cleanser, between courses or as a side dish.
An accompanying martini is optional.