Updated: March 01, 2018
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Ume Plums: How Can I Eat Them?

Japanese ume plums, which are actually apricot, are an important ingredient in Japanese cuisine. Here's a list of ways you can try ume plums and some recipes too!

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What is Ume plums(梅)...?

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Ume plums are, simply put, apricot in English. Ume plums can be poisonous when eaten raw and green.

Ume plums must be cooked to be edible. There are two major ways of enjoying ume plums in Japan. Umeboshi (Salt pickled ume plums) and Umeshu (Ume plum wine).

How can I eat ume plums?

Umeboshi (梅干し): Salt pickled ume plums

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Umeboshi is a simply a salt pickled plum. It is one of the most popular and traditional kinds of tsukemono (Japanese pickles). Umeboshi is usually extremely sour and salty, which goes very well with white rice. But recently there are some products that are pickled with honey as well, making them quite sweet.

Umeboshi is incredibly good for your health and is believed to prevent many diseases and even help get rid of a hangover.

Umeboshi can be enjoyed by itself but also it is often used as a refreshing seasoning for noodles and other dishes.

Umeshu (梅酒): Ume plum wines

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"Umeshu" literally means plum wine. It is a kind of traditional liqueur enjoyed in Japan. The main ingredients are ume (Japanese plum), sugar, and alcohol (usually white liqueur, whiskey, or shochu are used). You can easily purchase umeshu at any grocery store if you live in Japan but you can also make it at home. It is super easy to make!

In order to make umeshu on your own, you have to mix ume and sugar into the alcohol and wait a few months, sometimes up to a whole year. The longer you wait, the deeper the taste becomes.

Umeshu tastes just so good only by itself but it can also be drunk with soda and water. The sweet taste of umeshu makes it very easy to drink. Be careful not to drink too much. Umeshu has around a 10% alcohol content.

Since umeshu does not have an expiration date, once your umeshu is ready, you can enjoy it for a long time without worrying it might go bad. The ume plums used for making it can be eaten as well.
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