Sushi - Sushi Ingredients (Condiments) - Umeboshi

Umeboshi (Pickled Plum)


Umeboshi is a very sour pickle made from fermented plums. The plums are picked before they are ripe and dried for a couple days during the winter. Then they are heavily salted and packed in jars along with red perilla leafs for over a year. During this time, the fermentation process produces plum vinegar and becomes very sour. The plum turns red, and very soft. Unlike other pickled Japanese vegetables, umeboshi does not have a strong smell, but a pleasant one. There are some umeboshi that have been pickled for over 50 years and they are prize for their complicated flavors. Unfortunately, many umeboshi are not completely fermented these days. They are artificially flavored with salt and vinegar, and lack their true flavors. There is a natural trend of favoring umeboshi that are not too sour and honey is often added in some products. 

Chopped Umeboshi

Umeboshi is high in citric acid and acts as a antibacterial agent. They were put in lunch boxes in Japan to prevent spoilage. It also acts as a digestive for patients with indigestion.

Umeboshi is finely chopped into a paste, and used in small amounts on some light fishes. The fresh fragrance of the umeboshi matches fishes with delicate aromas. It is also rolled along with fresh perilla leaf to cleanse the palate and finish the night.