Umeboshi/pickled Japanese apricots

 

Stimulate the appetite and alleviate fatigue

Details

“Umeboshi” (pickled Japanese apricots) are harvested in early summer, salt-cured, then dried to perfection during the hot summer months. The red coloring comes from red perilla leaves. Umeboshi are a traditional ingredient used in Japanese cuisine, highly prized for their medicinal properties. You will often find them used in bento(lunch boxes) since they are germicidal and can prevent spoiling. Umeboshi are very sour and salty, so enjoy them with other foods or pair them with rice or noodles to bring out the delicious flavor.

Nutrition

Umeboshi is abundant in vitamin C. Eating one per day is said to stimulate appetite, help digestion, and alleviate fatigue.

Storage

Can be stored at room temperature for many years since the salt content from the traditional manufacturing process is very high (over 20%). Store in a container in a cool, dark place. Umeboshi flavored with lower salt content food ingredients such as honey, kombu seaweed, or dried bonito flakes should be stored in a refrigerator.

Trivia

The traditional method of making umeboshi was brought over from China during the Nara period (710-794). The red coloring and fragrance added by red perilla leaves was first introduced during the Edo period (1603-1868). There is an umeboshi that was preserved 400 years ago and is said to be the oldest one in all of Japan.

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