7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan

“Ume” is a type of plum that is very common in Asia. It has a sour taste. Traditionally it has been used as medicine in Japan from long time ago. The citric acid contained in ume plum is still consider as remedy for a cold, even today. It is also known for relieving the feeling of fatigue. Recently it has become a popular fruit for its anti-aging effects. Thus ume plum has many health and beauty benefits. I will tell you how Japanese people consume ume plum in their dishes. In fact, there are so many ways to include this healthy food in your everyday meals. I hope you would try when you visit Japan.



 

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan

 

1. Umeboshi (pickled ume plum)

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_umeboshi

Umeboshi is a pickled ume plum, which is the most common way of consuming ume plum. It has sour and salty taste that is too strong to eat it alone. Therefore, in Japan, we usually eat umeboshi with a bowl of rice. You can enjoy the taste of umeboshi when you take a small piece of it and put it on rice. We also put it inside onigiri (rice balls).

 

2. Umeshu (ume plum alcoholic drink)

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_umeshu

Umeshu is an alcoholic drink made of ume plum. Unlike umeboshi, it has sweet and slightly sour taste of ume plum. Mostly made of shochu (Japanese alcohol), alcohol isn’t strong either, so it’s very easy to drink even for those who don’t like strong drinks. You can drink it on the rocks, with tonic or with soda.

 

3. Ume cha (tea with umeboshi)

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_umecha

“Ume cha” means tea that is mixed with umeboshi. From long time ago, Japanese people drank this tea as a cold remedy. If you feel like you are getting cold, you can warm up your body by drinking this tea. It is easy to make it if you have umeboshi at home. Heat up an umeboshi on a frying pan. Put it in a mug and verse bancha, which is Japanese coarse tea. You can also add ginger in order to heat up the body and cure sore throat.

 

4. Ume chazuke (tea over umeboshi on rice)

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_umechazuke

“Chazuke” is a simple meal that Japanese people eat when they don’t have a lot of time to cook. All you have to do is to pour tea (weak green tea) or dashi on top of the cooked rice with some toppling. For toppling, we usually put salted salmon, seaweed, sesame, etc. Likewise you can also add umeboshi as chazuke toppling. It will give a slightly sour and salty taste to chazuke.

 

5. Bainiku Ae (ume plum based salad dressing)

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_bainiku ae

We sometimes add ume plum in salad dressing as well. By adding ume plum, your salad would become healthier. It is quite easy to make this salad dressing. Add one umeboshi (without the kernel) with a half small teaspoon of sesame oil and one small teaspoon of soy sauce (one small tea spoon) and mix it well.

 

6. Jam made of ume plum

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_umejam

In Japan, you can also buy jam made of ume plum. It has sweet and slightly sour taste, which would go well with bread in the morning. Since you can conserve jam for a long period of time, you can also use it in cakes, muffins, etc.

 

7. Ume sauce for chicken

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan_ume sauce

Some cooks use ume plum as sauce for meat. By adding this ume plum based sauce when you cook chicken, for example, you can enjoy simple chicken in a different way. The sauce is easy to make. After removing the kernel of ume plums, tap it with a knife to make it smaller pieces. Then add it to 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of mirin (sweet cooking sake), 1/2 tablespoon of white sesame, 2 teaspoon of sake, 2 teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoon of vinegar. All those ingredients are easy to find in any supermarket in Japan.

 

Conclusion

I hope you now know various ways to include ume plum in your meals. Because ume plum is good for your health, some Japanese people eat it everyday. It’s a great way to prevent getting a cold or to boost your energy when you feel tired. Since ume plums come in varieties of forms, it won’t be so hard to consume it everyday. I hope you will try some of the ume dishes when you are in Japan.

 

7 Recommended Ume Dishes You Must Try in Japan

1. Umeboshi (pickled ume plum)
2. Umeshu (ume plum alcoholic drink)
3. Ume cha (tea with umeboshi)
4. Ume chazuke (tea over umeboshi on rice)
5. Bainiku Ae (ume plum based salad dressing)
6. Jam made of ume plum
7. Ume sauce for chicken