Battle ReCPY: NYC Umeboshi Project, Pt. 1
After a couple of weeks of pickling plum in salt, it extracts all the water out of the plums, which makes umezu (plum vinegar). Once the liquid rises above the plum, it's time to add red shiso (perilla). You can either do it or not do it since the shiso basically just adds color, not much flavor. Since I couldn't find red shiso at any market this summer, I thought I would just omit this process. Then I realized, I planted red shiso seeds that Kayoko gave to me in my pathetic garden outside of my apartment.
The shiso leaves are so small, but I decided to use them all anyway.
First, wash the shiso to get rid of all the NYC grossness. Dry the leaves, then rub with salt. Then squeeze the juice out, discard, then rub again. This process gets rid of bitterness out of the shiso.
All those leaves only yielded this much, after salting:
Nicely pickled ume:
Sprinkle shiso over the ume:
Then, put the weight back on. By the way, using water as weight wasn't heavy enough, so I used this year's umeshu (plum wine) for the weight. Pressing ume with umeshu, cool, huh?
I will leave these for about another two weeks or so, then I'll need to dry them under the hot sun. I don't know when orwhere to do this. I may bring them to work and use the rooftop here to do it. Let's see.