Soft pickled plum
Japanese plums, a species of apricot, turn yellow in June, the unripe fruits are harvested, packed with perilla leaves, which dye the plums red and give them better flavors. Ume-boshi are kept at almost all Japanese home.
Preparations of plum (in mid-June)
- 5 pounds plum
- 1/2 pound salt (10 percent weight of plum)
- 1 cup clear distilled liquor (35 percent alcohol by volume)
- Wash plums and soak into water for 4-5 hours.
- Drain the plums.
- Wipe up plum with a towel and take away a spray with a toothpick. Spray has an astringent taste.
- Sprinkle salt into back of the earthenware receptacle or enameled ware, put plums on a step. Sprinkle salt and put plums again. Jam all plums like this way. Please kept a little of salt.
- After jam all plums, pour 1 cup clear distilled liquor and sprinkle the rest of salt.
- With a small lid resting directly on the plums and put 10 pounds weight on the lid.
- After a day, remove the weight and lid, and rock the receptacle once in a day.
- After 4 or 5 days, Seeped water comes up over plums, reduce weight in half. Cover with paper and leave at a cool place.
Preparations of perilla (from late in June to early in July)
- 2 bunchs purple shiso leaves
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Wash perilla leaves and drain.
- Put perilla into a big bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt, mix well and leave for a while.
- Push and crumple perilla with both hands until perilla become soft. When seeped sap of perilla turn purple, press sap out of perilla.
- Wash the bowl, put back perilla with breaking up. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt, mix well.
- Again push and crumple perilla for about 5 minutes, press sap out of perilla.
- Put breaked up perilla with chopsticks into the receptacle of the first pickled plums.
- Tilt the receptacle for plum juice sink into perilla.
- Perilla turn bright red in a few minutes, put glass plate as a lid.
- Put 5 pounds weight on the lid, cover with paper and leave at the cool place by Doyou boshi.
Doyou boshi - summer airing (at the end of the rainy season - last ten days of July)
- Put a flat bamboo colander on the bowl. Put pickled plum and perilla on the colander. Drain off plum juice, pour back juice of bowl into the receptacle.
- Hang out the colander with string at an airy outdoors.
- Boil plum juice with aremove the bitter taste, pour back into the cleanliness receptacle.
- Dry plum in the sun until its surface becomes dry and wrinkle for 3-4 days. Bring at indoors for night.
- Put back dried plum and perilla into the receptacle, put glass plate as a lid. Put 1 pound weight on the lid, cover with paper and leave at the cool place for about 10 days.