Left: Plum blossoms are some of the first blossoms to open during the year often in February and March and so the plum is associated with the start of spring. Right: 'Umeboshi' (Japanese salt plums) are pickled ume fruits from the plum tree.The actual ume fruit is more sour than the Western plum or apricot, and is usually processed in various ways before eaten. The most popular processed form is the umeboshi, a sour, pickled plum, which is usually enjoyed with cooked rice. Umeboshi is one of the most typical Japanese flavours. Umeshu, a sweet alcoholic beverage made of plums, is also popular.
'Aragoshi' means to roughly mashed. In order to capture the entire flavour, plum fruits are pureed into the matured umeshu. It retains the natural pulps in umeshu which gives pleasant nigori-like texture.
"Neri Ume", plum paste, easily applied to any Japanese dishes for its sour plum flavor. Tube package is best suited for commercial consumption.
A great alternative to green tea and very refreshing. Plum kelp tea has a rich umami taste of seaweed with a gentle salty flavour. It has no bitter taste like green tea, and almost verges on the side of a soup rather than a tea.
Umeboshi is pickled ume fruit common in Japan.
Want to make a quick pasta dish in no time? Try Japan's take on spaghetti where seaweed and pasta flavours combine surprisingly well. Each pack contains 2 servings. Just stir in the packet contents into cooked pasta and top with seaweed for a delicious plum, bonito and basil flavoured dish.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Eating umeboshi plums may protect against ulcers. Scientists have found that Japanese plums contain substances that suppress H. pylori and reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
- The skin of the Japanese plum contains substances that may protect heart health and may prevent the onset of heart disease.
- Japanese plums have potent antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are substances that neutralize molecules called free radicals, helping prevent cellular and DNA damage.
- Umeboshi plums may help keep your gums healthy. Japanese plums were found to be most effective against the bacteria responsible for gingivitis.