Japan’s traditional way of making dried vegetables

Japan’s traditional way of making dried vegetables

Since ancient times, Japan has had a custom for preserving foods for long periods of time by turning them into dried foods. Recently the nutritional value and increased flavor of dried foods are drawing attention and the popularity of homemade dried vegetables is on the rise. Semi-dry dried vegetables can be made in just a few hours using the vegetables in your refrigerator and you've made them just once, it is inevitable that you will be blown away at their deliciousness and convenience.


What happens when you dry vegetables?

- The flavor and sweetness increase
Through the evaporation of much of the vegetable's moisture, the flavor is concentrated and both the flavor and sweetness increase.

- Cooking times can be shortened
In addition to the flavor quickly sinking in, the flow of heat also improves and oil is less likely to splash. Additionally, since pretreatment becomes unnecessary, the loss of nutrients through parboiling and the consumption of too much salt through salt-rubbing can be avoided.

- The texture becomes unique
If the vegetables are semi-dry, a supple texture or a soft and sticky texture can be enjoyed.

What kind of tools do I need to dry vegetables?
In addition to a colander, an outdoor goods tableware drying net and a drying basket sold at fishing tackle shops for making dried fish are convenient. It is also recommended to use clothespins for reducing contact areas when pinching leafy vegetables for drying. If you would like to make dried vegetables in a short period of time, specialized food dryers (dehydrators) are also commercially available.

Where should I dry vegetables?
Drying outdoors on a dry clear day is ideal. If the vegetables are evenly and thinly cut, semi-dry vegetables can be made in about three hours. When drying indoors, it is best to dry the vegetables in a well-ventilated location that gets sunshine. Experiment in finding the right way to make dried vegetables the way you like.

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What are the preservation methods for dried vegetables?
If they are semi-dry, they can be put in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If they are entirely dry, they can be stored at room temperature.

What kind of vegetables should I dry?

- Cherry tomatoes It is recommended that the seeds are removed to prevent the growth of mold. Looking at the tomato from the stem so that it appears in a somewhat elliptical shape, you can insert a knife vertically to make the seeds easy to scoop out. Inserting the knife crosswise will make the wall that separates the seeds visible and can make it difficult for a spoon to enter. After just a few hours of drying, the sweetness will significantly increase and after about three days of drying, the dried tomatoes will be ready.

- Eggplants
If you cut them into a cylindrical shape and dry them for about 5 hours, oil will not splash up when stir-frying and they will not become soggy. Fried food will also fry in a shorter period of time.

- Potatoes
Cut them evenly and thinly in round slices, dry for about 3 hours, and then deep-fry them for a delicious treat. With just a small amount of oil, they will fry very quickly.

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