We learned, we drank and we ate all things ume during our Umeshu Class last Sunday. During the two-hour session, we learned about the history of ume and umeshu, how to make it and ate an array of dishes that highlighted ume. Along side sips of umeshu, of course.
Ume, or Japanese plum, originated from China and is genetically closest to the apricot. Today, Japan hosts hundreds of varieties of ume mainly grown in Wakayama prefecture. On Sunday, we were greeted with a huge basket of gorgeous California Nanko ume, just harvested from Sacramento:
Junko of Peko Peko was our instructor and took us through the umeshu-making process:
From choosing the right ume to the right sugar, she showed us examples of umeshu using brandy vs. shochu and rock sugar vs. kokuto (black sugar from Okinawa).
Kokuto (black sugar)
After tasting some different types of sugars, we were ready to make umeshu.
Combining the ingredients:
For a basic recipe on making umeshu, please see previous posts on Umami Mart:
My umeshu post (June 2009)
MOTO's umeshu post (July 2010)
Peko Peko's umeshu (August 2011)
The hard part is waiting (for at least 3 months)
Salmon korroke with ume tonkatsu sauce
White rice with house made umeboshi
Thank you to everyone who attended!