fresh myoga | cold somen with wakame, shrimp, cucumber, and pickled pink myoga
I’ve been meaning to make pickled myoga for a while. We had some at the tofu class I took in April, and I really enjoyed their refreshing flavor and bright pink color. So when myoga went on sale at my local market, I went a little crazy and made a big batch of them.
I made my myoga using Elizabeth Andoh’s technique, but the vinegar I used was inspired by this recipe from Obachan’s Kitchen & Balcony Garden. When they were finished, I tucked in the rind of a buntan for some extra citrus flavor. The buntan was a gift that my landlady had given me, and it’s been sitting around on my counter waiting to be eaten for an embarrassingly long time. You can also find out more about buntan at Obachan’s Kitchen & Balcony Garden. I used only the rinds of the buntan for the myoga, so I ate the rest. I really enjoyed the flavor: like a grapefruit, but not as sour or astringent. The drawback is that the membrane between the segments is really tough, so you have to peel it off, making buntan a bit labor-intensive to eat.
The pickled myoga have been finding their way into a lot of my meals lately… as a side dish with grilled fish and rice, alongside a salad, and tucked into a recent cold soba dinner. They were ridiculously easy to make, so next time I might make a smaller batch instead, as they do seem to lose their pretty color over time.
Pickled Pink Myoga Technique
Select myoga with the deepest pink tint possible (it does not have to be all over the bud, just a small amount of deep pink somewhere on it will ensure that your buds will take on a nice color when pickled). Slice myoga buds in half. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Put the myoga into the boiling water and blanch until the color becomes noticeably more pale (don’t worry, the color will come back). Drain the buds and do not rinse them with cold water! Put the hot myoga buds into a jar or “tupperware” and pour your seasoned vinegar solution over them. You may need to press on the myoga to submerge them. Top with a piece of leftover kombu or toss in a red chile pepper if you like. Allow to cool before sealing the jar. Store in the refrigerator for one to two weeks, or until you eat them all, whichever comes first! They are ready to eat when the bright pink color returns (it should take about half an hour or so).