Banner
Bookmark and Share
Build a Meal

Guruten (Gluten) Stir Fry

Tofu Shirataki Salad (Gluten free Cold Noodle Salad)

Nabe

BAM 40: Ikura Don (Salmon Roe Rice Bowl), Shitake and Green Onion Osumashi and Salad.

BAM 39: Teriyaki Chicken, Okara salad, Daikon with Chirimen jyako and Rice.

BAM 38: Shake (Salmon) Rice, Satoimo and shimeji miso shiru, hiyayakko with komatsuna and salmon skin daikon oroshi

BAM 37: Sui-gyoza 3 (3 of 3)

BAM 36: Sui-gyoza 2 (2 of 3)

BAM 35: Cabbage Salad with Sesame Dressing, Suigyoza Soup, Eggplant and Bell Pepper Miso Stir fry and Rice

Matsutake Gohan

BAM 33: Yakiniku, Kimchi, Kimchee, Soy Bean Soup and Rice

BAM 32: Wafū Pasta 3: Sansai (Mountain Vegetable) Pasta

BAM 31: Nasu no Tuskemono (Fast and Easy), Turkey Hijiki Niku Dango (Meat Ball), Negitama (Egg and green onion) Miso Soup and Rice

Cooking Perfect Stove Top Japanese Rice (Update)

BAM 30: Okonomiyaki (American-Kitchen)

BAM 29: Okonomiyaki (Buta Tama) (Easy Breezy)

BAM 28: Classic Osaka-Style Okonomiyaki (Buta tama)

BAM 27: Hiyashi Chuka

BAM 26: Southern-Japanese Build-a-Meal featuring Fried Chicken with Umeboshi Honey Dipping Sauce, Tofu Macaroni Salad and Okara Cornbread

BAM 25: Vegan Build-a-Meal Nagaimo Pancake, Lemon Daikon, Myoga and Red Potato Miso Soup and Rice.

see more >>

Ingredient in the Spotlight: Umeboshi

Saturday, July 24th, 2010
Pucker up and savor that umeboshi! Umeboshi is one of those things that's probably an acquired taste. I grew up eating umeboshi and being spoiled, I only ate umeboshi that my grandmother made. I have to admit, I don't think my first taste was all that pleasurable since I didn't particularly like sour things as a child. It was probably after years of my mother sneaking it into dishes and watching my grandmother take so much care in making them every summer that one day I woke up and was in love with it. I actually remember the exact moment that I decided I liked it. I was hanging out with my mom and grandmother in my grandmother's kitchen and she had a ceramic bowl on her table with ume-katsuo (umeboshi and dried bonito flakes). My mom started picking at it and eating it with with her chopsticks and went on and on on how oishii (good) it was. I decided that I wanted in on it and grabbed my chopsticks. I knew what umeboshi was and I knew what katsuobushi was, but I never expected the combination to be quite so wonderful. Ever since that day, I've been a fan of umeboshi.

I once saw a t-shirt that said "you are the ume of my musubi (rice ball)." I think that t-shirt sums up how I feel about umeboshi. It's the heart of a meal. It brightens up dishes not only with it's bright red color but with it's salty and sour flavor. Many bento boxes come with a single umeboshi in the center of the rice, making it look like the Japanese flag. (Is that strange because in Japan it's so normal.)

Umeboshi is said to have many health benefits.
1) The citric acid stimulates saliva secretion and is said to help regain your appetite. The increase in saliva also helps with digestion.
My grandmother told me that in the old days, people would hang an umeboshi from the ceiling on a string and lick it to regain their appetites.
2) It is said to have many medicinal properties such as helping with fatigue. In Japan, rice porridge and umeboshi is served to patients to help them regain theirs strength.
3) It was used as a home remedy to reduce fevers by smashing the umeboshi into a paste and applying directly to the forehead.
4) It was also used as a natural preservative and antibacterial for foods. One of the reasons umeboshi was a popular filling for rice balls was because it didn't go bad without being refrigerated. During the Sengoku Era (approx.1467-1568) when Japan was going through civil war, it was popular as an antibacterial that helped warriors keep themselves healthy and strong.

(南高梅)Nannkoubai umeboshi is king of the umeboshi from Wakayama Prefecture. They come in many sizes. I think this one is a 3L.
Ingredient in the spotlight-nankoubai

Umeboshi is salted and flavored with red/purple shiso and is finally ready to be sun-dried. Umeboshi are typically dried for three day before they are stored.
Ingredient in the spotlight-ume to zaru

The umeboshi is laid out on bamboo zaru and sun-dried to soften the skin and bring out it's naturally sweet flavors. Commercial umeboshi is steamed to soften the skin so that it doesn't have to be sun-dried.
Ingredient in the spotlight-ume hoshi1

I used mini chairs to give the ume a little lift away from the bugs.
Ingredient in the spotlight-ume hoshi2

Umeboshi Fun Facts:
**Ume was introduced to Japan through China and was being consumed by at least B.C.200.

**The oldest existing umeboshi in Japan was pickled during Tensho year 4 (1576). The umeboshi is said to be in good condition and it's assumed that it is still edible.
tags: Umeboshi 
Tag List
tags (categories)
Soy Sauce [25]
Dashijiru [23]
Rice [19]
Daikon [14]
Egg [14]
Vegan [13]
Sesame Seed Oil [12]
Chicken [11]
Katsuobushi [11]
Kyuri [9]
Shiso [9]
Shoga [8]
Tofu [8]
Sake [8]
Mayonnaise [8]
Miso [8]
Garlic [7]
Beef [7]
Cabbage [7]
Vegetarian [7]
Vinegar [6]
Pork [6]
Miso soup [6]
Mirin [6]
Sesame Seeds [5]
Green Onion [5]
Sugar [5]
Tomato [5]
Hakusai [5]
Umeboshi [5]

see more >>
Archives
Favorite Links

Now Reading