Previously, we had written a Korean skin because of kimchi? Japanese people live longer because of natto? We did a good job on fermented foods. Various kinds of fermented food is the secret of Japanese people’s longevity, today we will introduce another Japanese healthy fermented food – Nukazuke.

Each region has its crystallization left by its long history, and various kinds of kimchi is one of them. In the past, there was no such convenient technology of freezing and preserving as now, and there was no such reckless method of exchanging oil for vegetables as today, and people pickled harvested foods (from vegetables to meat products) to prepare for the season of no harvest.

Pickling vegetables with bran bed also developed slowly over a long period of time. The so-called bran bed is the bed of pickle that is made by the bran that is beaten down when the brown rice is refined as the main raw material, adding water, salt and vegetables and fermenting to get the delicious kimchi.

In the old days, almost every house in Japan had its own bed of bran, rice, miso sauce, and fresh vegetables pickled with bran can be said to be the representative Japanese cuisine. Now mention Japanese cuisine first thought of sushi, sashimi, in the era of underdeveloped transportation, in addition to coastal areas, the general family is not eaten. Nowadays, sushi and sashimi become the representative of Japanese cuisine, and the original bran bed which is available in every house, also almost disappeared because it needs to be taken care of every day.


What is Nukazuke?

Rice bran is the husk that is removed when the rice is processed into fine rice, and it is generally used as feed in China. And rice bran pickle is the rice bran which is lactic acid fermented as the base to pickle various ingredients. Rice bran pickle is a pickle unique to Japan, and its prototype was created in the Heian period. Initially, it was pickled with soybeans and white rice and other grains ground together, and at that time, white rice was the food that only the upper class could enjoy, and such pickles were naturally the noble food that had nothing to do with the poor people.

In the Edo period, when the economy was developed and life was rich, white rice became the staple food of the general public. In order not to waste the rice bran left by pounding rice, people use it to pickle instead of soybeans and grains, and the former noble pickle evolved into the present rice bran pickle. Because the rice bran sauce making process is not simple, the rice bran pickle in the busy city life has been less favored than in the past, but the fast-paced life brings the subhealth, let people begin to pay attention to the rice bran pickle health force again, it is very suitable for the people who suffer from intestinal problems, the immune system is low.


Before using rice bran, Japanese people used to make pickle bed with grain and soybean, and generally use rice bran but a few hundred years of history. It is said that Japan is still in use today, the oldest bran bed has 380 years. Bran bed and Sichuan pickle soup like, the older, the better the fungus group, the shorter the soaking time, the better the taste. The brown rice outer skin of rice has the most nutrients and is removed unceremoniously because it is rough and hard, not easy to cook and not good to digest. Rice bran contains ninety-five percent of the vitamins and minerals of rice, and the fermented bran bed is a treasure trove of protein, fat, dietary fiber, calcium, phosphorus, iron, niacin (Niacin), and vitamin A, B1, B2, B6, E and so on. The only missing vitamin C is also filled by the vegetable, and it is not easily lost in the pickling process, so the vegetable that has been pickled becomes a healthy cuisine with balanced nutrition.

The fermentation principle of the bran pickle is that after the vegetables are added to the bran bed, the water of the vegetables flowing out through the osmosis of salt becomes the nutrients of lactic acid bacteria, yeast, and these bacteria beneficial to the body are fermented and multiplied in this regard. At the same time, the content of vitamin B1 increases drastically, and the deliciousness of the bran bed is born. The dissolved water vitamin B1, which is seldom contained in vegetables, penetrates into vegetables during the pickling process, and it is proved that the nutrient content after pickling increases five to ten times.

Health Benefits of Nukazuke 

Nukazuke 7 kinds of role:

-Prevention of colds and flu

-Controls weight

-Eliminate constipation

-Regulates hormone secretion

-Good for beauty

-Prevent diabetes

-Prevents cancer

Rice bran, a by-product when refining rice, contains a variety of nutrients. And Nukazuke are made by using lactic acid fermented rice bran as a base to pickle various ingredients.

During the pickling process, the nutrients in rice bran also penetrate into the ingredients, which is not only delicious, but also better preserves vitamins, lower calories and better for health compared to heated vegetables.

Therefore, pickled vegetables have the effect of preventing colds, eliminating constipation and controlling weight. The large amount of enzymes, or enzymes, in pickled vegetables can also relieve hangovers.

In addition, the plant-based lactic acid bacteria contained in pickles are more adaptable to acid and alkaline as well as temperature changes than the animal-based lactic acid bacteria in dairy products such as yogurt, which can better regulate intestinal function and improve the body’s immunity under the action of probiotics.



How to Make Nukadoko

Here’s how to make your own Japanese-style rice bran fermentation bed at home:

Select your ingredients. Each nukadoko is made from three basic components: nuka (rice bran powder), salt, and pure water. The variety of aromatics and aromas that home chefs use to nukadoko include dried kombu (Japanese seaweed), ginger, dried red chili peppers, dried shiitake mushrooms, shaved fish, garlic, vegetable scraps, and more. To hasten the fermentation of the nukadoko, you can also add beer or breadcrumbs.

Toast the rice bran. To create the nuka bed, begin by toasting four cups (or two pounds) of rice bran in a large frying pan until it just starts to brown. Allow the toasted nuka to cool to room temperature before adding it to your nukadoko fermentation/storage vessel.

Prepare the salt water. Bring four cups of water to a gentle boil, then add four to five ounces of salt and whisk until the salt is thoroughly dissolved. Stir the breadcrumbs or beer into the water when it has been taken off the heat (if using). Let the water cool until it reaches room temperature.

Add the water to the rice bran. Use clean hands to swirl the mixture until it resembles wet sand as you slowly drizzle the water over the rice bran. Add and whisk in any more aromatics, seasonings, or vegetable trimmings of your choosing at this time.

Dry the nukadoko. By packing down and leveling the nukadoko with your hands, you can get rid of any air pockets. In a cool, dry area that is ideally between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and out of direct sunlight, cover the top of the container with a lid, leaving a small crack in it. Ten to twenty days should pass while the nukadoko bed rests, with the bran mixture being stirred and packed down once daily. The total fermentation time will be shortened by adding bread or beer. After the tenth day, completely seal the lid when combining.

Make the pickles. The rice bran paste will release a mildly funky, fermented, miso-like fragrance and have a saline, mildly sour flavor when the nukadoko bed is prepared for pickling. Bury the veggies of your choice in the bed of rice bran before making nukazuke pickles (also known as tsukemono). Pat the bran flat with your hands to remove any air bubbles.

Wait for the pickles to mature. Depending on the size, cut, and kind of the vegetable, a different amount of time will be needed to pickle it. The minimum pickling period is twelve hours, but the typical pickling time is between one and two days. After the veggies are pickled, remove them from the nukadoko, brush any extra rice bran back into the bed, and then thoroughly rinse the pickles in cool water before serving.


How to Maintain Nukadoko

Keep your active nukadoko in a lidded container in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Here’s how to care for it:

Use the right vessel. A glass baking dish with a lid, a plastic tub, a stockpot, a pickling crock, or another closed vessel are examples of possible nukadoko storage containers.


Stir frequently.For optimal upkeep, stir your nukadoko at least three times each week (or, ideally, every day). In the sweltering summer, stir nukadoko up to several times daily. The bran should be carefully stirred using clean hands or a kitchen spoon. After stirring, re-compress the bran to remove any air bubbles.

Make pickles and refresh the bed. The nukadoko will also benefit from burying vegetables in the bran at least twice per week. Occasionally, incorporate more rice bran and salt into the nukadoko as needed, as vegetables will release moisture into the bran during the fermentation process, diluting the mixture.

Refrigerate the nukadoko when you leave. If you must leave your nukadoko unattended for more than a few days (and no one is available to stir the bran on your behalf), sprinkle salt and mustard powder on top of the dish before covering it with a fresh tea towel. To store the nukadoko for up to a month, put it in the refrigerator. Carefully remove the salt and mustard layers from your nukadoko when you’re ready to revive it, then bury some vegetables in the bran for a week.