Father's Day is June 16

In my kitchen, celery is something that shows up when I make chicken soup. Other than that, I don't really think to buy celery. The problem (until now) was that I'd use a few stalks for soup and then be stumped as to how to use the rest of it, especially since I am not crazy about the taste of celery.

I really like crunchy things like cucumbers, raw carrots and gobo (burdock root) so I knew I could like celery if I found the right application. So I decided to make some celery quick pickles, Japanify style. You can also throw in some other veggies in your fridge like carrots and cucumbers if you want.

This recipe has really opened my eyes to celery. It captures the crunch while diffusing some of the celery taste with rice vinegar, sugar, kombu and a touch of togarashi spice.

Celery Asazuke (Quick Pickles)

1/2 lb (about 10 stalks) of celery
1 cup water
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 dried red pepper (I used togarashi)
1 inch square kombu (cut into thin strips)


1. Clean celery, peel the outer layer with a peeler.


2. Cut into small 1/3 inches (might we suggest using a Microdent Santoku knife for the job?)


3. Combine all of the ingredients into a plastic bag. Lightly massage all ingredients together for about 30 seconds.


4. Place in fridge for at least 6 hours. I kept mine sitting in the fridge for 1 full day. Enjoy!


Since it's beer month here at Umami Mart, I thought this would be a good recipe to introduce as an accompaniment to a can of beer. The savoriness of these pickles are the perfect pairing for an ice-cold foamy beverage. Also don't underestimate those togarashi! They are like little firecrackers.


I put mine in jars so that I can give keep one and give one away.


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Column: Japanify


  • I am not usually a celery person either. In fact, when people ask me what is the one thing I won’t eat, I usually respond with celery. However, as the lucky recipient to the second jar of these pickles, I am a convert. These pickles are so savory and indeed spicy. The konbu and togarashi are the true superstars here and they truly work their magic with this humble vegetable. Thanks for sharing the love, Yoko!

    Kayoko on

  • The Celery Incident is money.

    CABS on

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