Skip to main content

Zucchini Ginger Marmalade
















If there is one thing that can be said for tsuyu (rainy season) is that it is good for canning. Fruits and vegetables so eagerly drink up all that water that they are near to bursting in their eagerness to get off the vine. These days we're gathering zucchini twice a day, and that's saying something. C-chan recently lamented a missed round of collecting as she held an over-sized (by Japanese standards) round green zucchini in her hands.

"I can't sell this," she said with a laugh and a shake of her head as a few sprinkles landed around us.

"It's American sized!" I joked in an effort to make her feel better, and she promptly gave it to me. I wasn't quite expecting that, although I should know by now that such comments will get me more than I bargained for, i.e. my sushi lesson during our first year.

So, home I came with two rather beastly fellows, along with a bundle of rhubarb to share with a friend and for a next round of rhubarb butter. One zucchini went to neighbors who religiously share their compost, but the fate of the other wasn't yet clear to me. It was time to peruse the recipe books and see what inspiration I could find.















A recipe for Gingered Zucchini Marmalade in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is what got my mouth-watering. (This is the same book where I found the pickled octopus eggplant recipe last winter.) Ginger is a household favorite as is marmalade. Seemed like a no-brainer. Yet, the recipe called for some rather complicated sounding efforts with the fruit - separating pith from peel, fruity flesh from pith, and so on - which I promptly decided to ignore. Pith and peel add pectin, and that meant I could skip the out-of-season apple. (That's the logic I used, anyway.) I also switched out the two lemons for an extra Japanese mikan and threw in one of the new citrus I met at the Roppongi Farmers Market last month. (Kiyomi's the name with a flavor somewhere between grapefruit, yuzu, and mikan. Super yummy. I'm almost sorry to see it in the marmalade it was so good fresh.) The result are twelve jars - 11 small Japanese-sized jars and one American half-pint - of golden marmalade that is sweet, tangy, and gingery-zippy.

Tokyo Farm Zucchini Ginger Marmalade
5 cups grated, peeled zucchini
4 citrus, cut thinly, seeds removed
4 cups sugar
3 Tablespoons ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup orange juice
1 cup water

Peel and grate the zucchini and plop into the pot. Thinly slice the citrus and remove seeds before sending them to the pot. Peel and grate the ginger and toss it in, too. Mix in the sugar, orange juice, and water and bring to a boil covered. Simmer for about 30 minutes while getting jars, lids, and the rest of the gear in place. When the mixture gels on the spoon and the jars have boiled well, load hot marmalade into hot jars, wipe the rim, and affix lids. Process for 10 minutes.

Caveats
Ginger - I'd seriously add more next time. I might even replace a portion of the grated zucchini with ginger just to see what will happen come December when it's ready to come out of hibernation. Oh, yes.

Apple - The apple is most likely a pectin inducer, but it also occurred to me that it may have been to create more 'space' between the grated zucchini bits. Dense items like pumpkin or mashed potatoes are forbidden items to can (unless cubed and in a pressure canner) for their low-acidity and the challenge of heating the center of the jar to the temperature required to kill nasty things that cause food poisoning. I might be putting that back in or adding another citrus to further raise the acidity and still give space.

Comments

Lisa Carter said…
Mmm. I only recently found ginger marmelade in the store and am hooked. Looking forward to making this recipe... once I have a kitchen again!
All in due time, Lisa! Hope the renovations are going well. I can always send you a jar in the meantime. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro