Pickled Nozawana Root/野沢菜のかぶの漬物

Japanese Food

My father comes from Shinshu (Nagano), and I have been familiar with some of its local dishes since childhood.  The other day, my father sent us another box of foodstuffs, including five yakimochi or oyaki (fried wheat flour dough with filling inside).

The filling was pickled nozawana seasoned with miso.

These particular home-made, rustic yakimochi may not look appetizing, so here are the results of Google image search for Shinshu oyaki.
I must say that I prefer home-made ones.  In general, commercially available yakimochi are sweeter, and contain baking powder.  I also prefer the word yakimochi to oyaki.  Yakimochi is the word my father uses, and oyaki is a newer, more refined word.
こんな自家製で田舎風のやきもちは美味しく見えないかも知れないので、信州 おやきのGoogleイメージ検索の結果をご参照下さい。

The box also contained a large amount of kiriboshi daikon.

And these mysterious greens.

And, turnips?

I thought something was wrong with the box, so I phoned my father immediately.  As we talked, my father realized that the box was not for us but for her sister.

I felt sorry for my aunt.  My father said she really wanted to make yakimochi with these “turnips”.  He said we could keep them, because he still had some in his field.  He suggested that I make yakimochi with them, but I thought it would be a daunting task, so I decided to pickle them instead.

I first pickled them in 2% salt and some kombu.

I tasted them the next day.  Not bad, but I added some sugar and vinegar.

Tasted much better!

These “turnips” are actually the roots of nozawana.  Nozawana is grown for its stems and leaves, and the roots are usually left in the field, uneaten.

I wonder why such delicious roots are left uneaten…

The mysterious greens were nozawana stems and leaves.  I pickled them in salt.

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