Skip to main content

Ume Hachimitsu Sour: The Final Installment of the Ume Chronicles

While researching recipes and information about making my own umeshu and umeboshi, I stumbled across any number of sites that recommended making Ume Hachimitsu. A non-alcoholic drink using ume, vinegar, and honey it sounded like a nice refresher for these already steamy days. (My Japanese tutor also served up a glass during one of our recent meetings, and that pretty much sealed the deal.)

The basic recipe is quite straight-forward, and I whipped it up in no time. There is, as with all good things, a waiting period, but by the time it's ready the weather will be even warmer. A tall cool glass will be the perfect complement to a steamy Tokyo summer day!

1 kilogram ume
1 kilogram honey
1 liter vinegar

A 4 liter bin or jar
A bowl big enough to soak the ume
Sharp stick or shishkebob skewer

Soak the plums overnight, drain, dry, and remove the stems. (Read up on the why's and wherefore's of this part over at the umeshu post.) Sterilize the jar using shochu or a kettle of boiling water like I did. Place ume in the jar, pour in the honey, and pour in the vinegar. Cap and wait three or four weeks. Give it a good shake periodically to help it mix, and to give you an excuse for peeking at it.

I put the honey in first, which may or may not matter. I'm thinking, though, that for mixing purposes it might be better to do what I recommended above instead. It's only a hunch, though. When I visit the jar for it's weekly shake, I notice the honey mostly settled on the bottom which may mean poor mixing. Hence, my hunch.

As usual, I used a combination of recipes but relied most heavily on this one and notes from my tutor. She used plain old white sugar for hers, and it was super tasty after only a week.


Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Kamakura Farmers Market: Giant Buddhas and Good Vegetables

Kamakura Farmers Market entrance A little more than an hour train ride south of Tokyo sits Kamakura. Like Kyoto and Nara, Kamakura is a former capital full to the brim with temples, shrines, and a bounty of historical sites lining its winding streets. Nestled in a cozy bay with beaches and a giant Buddha tucked amongst the rest, it's a city that invites multiple visits if not at least one. And those seeking a farmers market well-stocked with traditional vegetables, skilled growers ready to share recipes and chat about their wares, along with some nifty prepared foods to rejuvenate themselves after so many temples surely won't be disappointed, either. Kamakura Farmers Market - right side full of signs Started nearly twenty years ago, the Kamakura Farmers Market or Kamakurasui Nyogyou Rensokubaijo, runs seven days a week nearly year-round. A ten-minute walk from the station, the market is located in what at first glance looks like nothing so much as a run-down w

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l