Today is the day I will declare my love for Umeboshi.
Japanese Pickled Plums are amazing, and it is such a shame that I did not try them as soon as I started trying out Japanese recipes and creating bentos.
Umeboshi are Japanese Pickled Ume Plums and the name literally means dried Ume (fruit). They are usually served as side dishes to rice or used as fillings or accompaniments for rice balls. They look very wrinkled and ‘pickled’ 😛 and taste very salty (umeboshi is also translated as salted plums) and quite sour.
As part of a bento (Japanese lunchbox), a single umeboshi is often placed in the centre of the rice to recreate the flag of Japan, the Hinomaru Bento. Umeboshi is claimed to fight bacteria. It is claimed that placing an umeboshi on the rice will inhibit bacteria (umeboshi are over 20% salt and salt acts as a preservative). The sour and salty umeboshi is also claimed to help digestion.
It is also a common ingredient in onigiri, rice balls wrapped in nori, and they may also be used in makizushi. Makizushi made with umeboshi may be made with either pitted umeboshi or umeboshi paste (which is cheaper), often in conjunction with slivered fresh green perilla (shiso) leaves.
But back to why I love them 😀
They are just divine with sushi rice. Perfect for bentos (see above) and so good for you!!! They are a superior pickle and a joy to eat. I’m sure a lot of other people will not share my love for Umeboshi but I do urge you to try them. They should be found in most asian supermarkets, or, if you are like me and are miles from the nearest asian supermarket :(, you can order them from the many online sushi, asian and japanese stores.
As you may have guessed, I had some in my lunch today 😀 and they were so good! (Todays bento post to come)
Also, I’d like to tell all you people about a lovely blog that includes most things I love about life in it 🙂 Please visit JustHungry (the link is a post about Umeboshi too!!) 😀