After fishing the umeboshi and shiso leaves out of their container just over a liter of brine was left behind. The umetsu or ume vinegar is a lovely red color, and promises to make some tasty pickled daikon as the season goes. I also think it would be a nifty addition to our salads in place of the vinegar we use now.
I shared a small bottle with my sushi-sensei (along with some Brandywines!) in thanks for sharing his recipe. To my surprise, he and some friends poured it into a glass and took tiny sips. Puckering their lips and shaking their heads in what I eventually realized was approval, they pronounced it delicious. I'm looking forward to hearing how he used it.
Umeboshi Drying Update
The umeboshi are nearly done drying. Our apartment smells a bit like a pickled plum, but I confess to taking great delight in that aroma. I can hardly keep from turning the little plums, and stop by their baskets on a regular basis (it's less than six feet from where I sit typing which makes it even harder to resist) to watch their progress. Crystallized salt dots the outside and their texture has moved from damp and soft to pleasantly leathery and soft. The shiso leaves are also crisping up nicely, and should make a nice addition to rice dishes in the near future.