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Umeboshi - the salty plum from Japan

Umeboshi - the salty plum from Japan | ORYOKI Blog

Umeboshi are Japanese plums pickled in salt and red shiso leaves, often served in bento boxes. Despite being botanically closer to apricots, Umeboshi (梅 ume "plum" and 干し -boshi) are referred to as "dried plums" in Japan. Ume trees bloom among the first in spring and hold significance in Japanese culture.

Harvesting and making Umeboshi

For their production, still unripe Ume fruits are harvested from the tree in early summer and laid out in large containers to be covered with plenty of salt. A heavy lid is placed on the fruits to accelerate water removal and quickly dry the fruit. The Ume is preserved for one to two months during lactic acid fermentation. Subsequently, the fruit is left outdoors for a maximum of one week to completely dry. The red color comes from Shiso leaves, a culinary herb, in which they are then soaked along with the obtained fermenting liquid for another week. Finally, the fruits need to be layered in barrels with Shiso leaves and left to dry and age for another 1-2 years.

Traditionally made Umeboshi are infinitely durable due to their production process, whereas those produced on a larger scale require careful consideration of durability. Because of their salty and fruity-sour taste, Umeboshi are consumed only in small quantities. They are often served as a side dish to rice and in a bento box or processed into a paste, puree, or powder. Umeboshi paste, for example, serves as an intense seasoning for salad dressings, tofu, dips, or vegetables.

Wasabi-Umeboshi Plum Sake Sauce

No. of persons2 personsNo. of persons
Total Timeca. 15 minutesTotal Time
Level of difficultyeasyLevel of difficulty
Kitchenware Kitchenware
Umeboshis in Servierschale
List of ingredients
1 teaspoon Wasabi powder
1 teaspoon Wasabi, freshly grated
1 tablespoon water
4-5 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons Dashi
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pinch sugar
2 pieces Umeboshi fruits (alternative: organic umeboshi paste)
1 glove garlic (pressed or cut into thin slices)
2 tablespoon sake
Kochende Miss Oryoki
Step 1

Stir the Wasabi powder with about 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl until smooth and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Pit and cut the Umeboshi into pieces (alternatively, use Ume Paste). Sauté them lightly in a pan with garlic, and add the remaining ingredients along with the prepared Wasabi mixture.

Step 3

Bring the mixture to a boil and set aside. The sauce can be used warm or cold and is especially suitable for meat dishes. Enjoy your meal!

Japanese recipes read in the magazine »
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