During a brief flirtation with macrobiotic* cooking many years ago, I learned how to “pickle” vegetables using a brine of tamari diluted with water.
I picked up this method from a book called Cooking with Japanese Ingredients—I think—I can’t find it online, so it may all have been a dream. Like life itself I guess.
Tamari pickling is a technique that works quite well with hard vegetables like carrots, turnip or daikon. You clean and peel the veggies, cut into relatively thin slices, and leave in a jar of half-tamari, half-water for a couple to three days. The veggies retain a crisp character, but are beautifully seasoned and (apparently) easier to digest. Tamari works well as it is milder than other soy sauces.
Soy sauce eggs are a Chinese and Japanese staple that usually involves hard boiling eggs, peeling and then tossing them in a few tablespoons of hot soy sauce or even a red braise.
Taking a short leap, I decided to try something similar with a mild tamari-water soak—leaving the eggs for a couple days—and the results were wonderful. The eggs are salty, but not aggressively so, and have complex smoky notes. I’m excited to use them as garnishes on other dishes like rice bowls or curries.
I would encourage anyone to try it, but take my advice: high-end organic wheat-free tamari, good free-range eggs and filtered water. Don’t skimp when success depends on so few ingredients.
*Please note: I have neither endorsed, nor condemned macrobiotics in this post. We’re all adults here, make up your own mind.