Grilled, Soy Sauce-Marinated Vegetables (野菜の焼き漬け)

yakizukepIf you have planned time-consuming festive meals, this quick, made in advance side-dish might be what you look for, especially since, in spite of its exotic appearance, it goes perfectly with Western warm main courses and also cold meats. If found this simple recipe while leafing through my big Japanese pickling book and since these pickled vegetables (Yasai no yaki zuke) instantly reminded me of Sakana no nanban zuke, one of my favourite ways to elevate bland fish to unexpected levels of deliciousness, I made them instantly and, just like I had expected, enjoyed them greatly.

Just like the vinegared fish I’ve mentioned above, this side-dish is probably inspired by Western cuisines (grilling and then marinating doesn’t seem to be a traditional Japanese way of pickling), which means that in spite of the obvious Japanese touch (dashi+soy sauce), this side-dish can become a part of many meals from all around the world. I also find it an interesting alternative to Western-style pickles, such as gherkins, served with both a warm meal as well as a cold meat buffet.

Like always, I have slightly modified the ratio of ingredients, so if you want to read the original recipe (provided you can read Japanese), check this wonderful cookery book, one of the best buys for my kitchen library.

TIPS: According to the author, these vegetables should be consumed the same day, but I tried it one and then two days afterwards and they were still delicious, so I’m sure you can keep them for two days in the fridge (at least).

You can use here any vegetables you like, but they have to stay crunchy (aubergine is not a good option here in my opinion).

Preparation: 20 minutes + 2 hours in the fridge


1 long celery branch

1 medium carrot

2 small fresh red chillies or 1 bigger (you can use dried, rehydrated chillies too)

3 big garlic cloves


125 ml dashi (Japanese stock; can be bought powdered but it can also be easily made either with dried bonito+konbu or only with konbu, check my recipe here)

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

3 tablespoons 4,5% vinegar (if your vinegar is stronger, use less and taste)

Combine the marinade ingredients.

Cut the carrot into four lengthwise and then into 3-4 pieces.

Cut the celery branch into similarly sized pieces.

Cut the garlic cloves in two lengthwise (in order to obtain halves flat on one side).

Brush the vegetables with oil and grill in a pan or on a grill.

Turn them once when slightly scorched and put into a shallow dish.

(Garlic will be ready first, so take care of not burning it).

Cover with the marinade and put into the fridge for at least two hours.

These vegetables will keep for two days in the fridge. After three days they start losing flavours and become very hot.

14 Replies to “Grilled, Soy Sauce-Marinated Vegetables (野菜の焼き漬け)”

  1. These pickles sound like the perfect accompaniment for a Christmas buffet Sissi. It’s difficult to see from the photo but does the soy sauce discolour the vegetables at all? I can well imagine the delicious crunch in each bite.

  2. I’ve only marinated meats or fish for the grill before- never thought to do the same with vegetables (except aubergines and mushrooms). I didn’t think greens will be ‘meaty’ enough to absorb the flavours, but you’ve definitely proven me wrong and given me a very interesting recipe to mull over, bookmark and try! Thanks Sissi, learn something new from your blog every time xx

    1. Hi Shu Han! Thank you so much for the compliments. Actually it’s the other way round: you grill and then marinate! Which is also quite new to me as a pickling method.

  3. I’m sure the authors of these books are very proud and honored to be featured on your blog. Just like how I felt when you featured a couple of dishes from mine. Well, I’m not an author, I’m. . . just Ray. Take care and I hope you are having a wonderful week, my friend. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Ray, for such kind words and compliments… I am really touched you were glad to see your dishes on my blog. (By the way, I still prepare your torta quite often because we both love it with my husband!). I still have so many of your dishes bookmarked… you have such an inspiring blog! Take care and thank you once more for kind words.

  4. Are you suggesting that we’re not exotic in the West? Lol. This is actually an innovative (non familiar) method for me — I always marinade before grilling/cooking. I would be very interested and curious to see how this experiment works and could imagine using it on many foods… the marinade sounds delicious. We do love our sour gherkins at Christmas time (and all the time 😉 ) but this is a fresh alternative – thank you for the idea Sissi.

    1. Thank you so much, Kelly. It was also quite new for me, but I liked it a lot and I was glad I could enjoy the – sometimes boring – cold-season vegetables this way.

  5. Well, this is certainly different! I’ve never seen anything like it. So easy too. It seems like the type of dish that you could do with a variety of different vegetables, depending on what’s in season. A great salty, crunchy components for a variety of entrees.

    1. Thank you so much, MJ. You are right: it can be adapted to lots of vegetables in every season. I was also glad to discover it.

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