means "pickled plums" in Japanese, but umeboshi are actually
made with unripe apricots.
I have used plums
for this, but my favorite umeboshi is made from wild sloe fruit
(blackthorn berries) that I pick from the hedgerows in the autumn.
However, you can use plums to make a salty,
pickled fruit this is similar. Now, salty pickled fruit may not sound
too enticing to you, but it is actually quite good. I especially like
it when I am packing a picnic. I add a few "umeboshi" instead
of having to remember to pack the salt shaker The Japanese
especially like doing this with the serving of rice, because it makes a
nice visual effect to have the round red pickle in the bed of white rice.
Unripe Apricots Umeboshi:
Soak whole, small green unripe apricots in water overnight and discard water.
Put the soaked apricots in a glass jar
a few beetroot leaves and some basil. (In Japan they use red shiso
leaves for flavor and color. If you can find shiso leaves, use them
instead, otherwise, beet root leaves will add the red color and basil
will provide a similar flavor.)
Cover the fruit in a brine made of 1 tablespoon of sea salt to each pint of water.
Put a weight (such as a rock) on top of the fruit so that it is held under the water.
Cover with an airlock and let sit for about 10 months (or until the next year's harvest of unripe apricots is available.)
Can be eaten as is from the pickle jar, or air dry them in the sun and put into another jar for storage.
Salty, Pickled Plums Umeboshi:
the plums in
sea salt or other full-array salt in a glass jar.
Cover with an airlock and leave undisturbed on a shelf at room temperature for a few
months to a year. The salt will draw water out of the plums until they
prunes and the liquid will collect at the bottom of the jar. When the
plums have shriveled up or have stayed in the salt as long as
you want, remove them from the salt. Pack more plums in the salt to
make another batch or use the salt as salt in some other ferment or
condiment.Draw off the
salty brine from the jar. This
liquid is called umezu in Japan and used as a vinegar substitute. Reuse
the salt to make another batch of umeboshi or any other lacto-ferment.
Put the dried plums removed from the salt pack into a salt water brine
made of one teaspoon
full-array salt to each pint of water and cover them completely.
When the plums have absorbed all the water and resumed their round
shape they are ready to eat and enjoy, or they can be kept on the shelf
indefinitely. In Japan, some umeboshi are matured for up to 30 years,
so there is no time limit.
Put one or two on a plate with food instead of using a salt shaker or
you can make a paste from them and use as a spread or condiment with
your meals. Umeboshi are especially good with rice. It is believed that
umeboshi plums have antibiotic
properties and are good for healing various ailments.
Your Way To Health by Dr. David
Brownstein. A good book for
those who have
been told by their doctor to cut down on salt because of high blood
pressure, and why natural sea salt is good for you.
Blackthorn Sloe Umeboshi
sloe fruit of the blackthorn tree is very similar to plums, which are
also used as a type of umeboshi. Pick them in the summer and put into a
jar. Cover with a brine made of 1 teaspoon of sea salt to each pint of
water. Put a weight on top to hold them under the brine. Cover with an
airlock and let them sit for about a year. To eat, add a few to
any other pickles, sauerkraut or cultured cream you are eating
Taste, Health and Community With Naturally Fermented Foods by Nancy
Traditions by Sally Fallon