Senmaizuke, Japanese “Thousand Slices” Turnip Pickle

April 18, 2018

Recipe by Jenn de la Vega


I read about this recipe in Karen Solomon’s book, Asian Pickles. Instead of fresh herbs, this style of Japanese pickle uses kombu that imparts a briny and umami packed flavor to the usually funky turnips. Large slices can be used as vegan “taco” situations or ravioli if you stuff them and layer them. The cool part about this recipe is that it works on radishes and beets, too.

¼ ounce or ½ sheet of kombu

1 large turnip or 2 medium, should be almost a pound

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons honey, maple sugar, syrup or sugar

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon mirin

1 tablespoon lemon juice



Soak the kombu in a dish of water for an hour.

Using a mandoline on the smallest setting, slice the turnip. Toss the slices with the salt and lay them as flat as you can, weight them down with a bowl, pot or drop lid for two hours.

Stir the remaining ingredients together in a bowl to make a brine.

Remove the kombu from the water, slice into thin slivers and add to the brine. Save the soaking water for dashi or making rice.

When you see the turnips sweating, squeeze them until they don’t drip anymore liquid. Save the liquid for salad dressing or broth. Toss the turnips with the brine and kombu. Flatten the pickles out with a weight and let sit for another 2 hours in the fridge.

Transfer the pickles to a jar or a air-tight container for up to a month.

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