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Yikes, I am not an old-country Japanese obaasan (G), but I do have a recipe for umeboshi . It's been my favorite snack since I was little.
After consuming the umeboshi, my favorite thing to do with the pit was
dropping it in my tea (gave really good taste to it). Now I like to
use chopped ume for salad dressings, marinades, and sauces.

Actually, ume is is not really a plum. It's Prunus Mume - Japanese
flowering apricot. It's does not get sweet enough when ripe to be
eaten fresh. I planted my tree two years ago and eagerly waiting for
it to flower.

Here is my version:


4 1/2 lbs ume just starting to turn yellow
1 2/3 cups salt (20% of weight of ume)
1/2 cup shochu (white liquor)
Wide mouthed pottery or glass jar (2qt capacity at least)

Wash ume well. Let stand overnight in ample waer. Drain and pat dry
carefully. Sterilize the pickling container, the drop lid- and the
weight with boiling water.

Pour almost all of the shochu into the container, reserving 2 tsps.
Place the ume in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1 2/3 T salt and mix well.
Sprinkle with the 2 tsp shochu remaining and mix well.

Place the salted plums in the pickling container. Pour on the
remaining salt. Cover with a drop lid and weight with 10 pounds
(twice the weight of the plums). Cover container with a protective
sheet and keep in a dry, dark, cool place.

After 2 days, the liquid will increase. This is called "white ume
vinegar." If the liquid does not increase, either there is not enough
salt or the weight is too light or both. Increase either or both in
small amounts. When the liquid increases, reduce the weight by half.
Cover again with a protective sheet and keep in a cool, dark, dry
place 1 month.

Remove plums and place on a clean screen or openwork basket. Dry
outside in the sun 3 days . After the plums have been dried, they are
ready to eat. Will keep "believe-it-or-not" forever.
Nona Myers (happy hapa)


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