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10 Ways to Use Umeboshi Plums

Umeboshi plums
Umeboshi plums, preserved with Shiso leaves, are deemed an ancient superpower food. (Veronica Trey/Sibubooks)

Discover 10 ways to use umeboshi plums in this post that comprises the second part of the amazing umeboshi story. Also check my recommended 9 ways to enjoy the plums as recipes in our daily meals. 

Umeboshi plums are one of the most sought-after pickled foods in traditional Japanese and Chinese cultures, both for culinary and medicinal purposes. This ancient super food has amazing health properties.

As one of the most alkalizing foods, the pickled umeboshi plums are beneficial for different conditions, including mild gastrointestinal conditions, nausea, and vomiting.

Here are ten ways you can use the humble preserved plums, in its various forms—the whole plums, ume paste or puree, or umeboshi vinegar.

1. Umeboshi Plums Salad Dressing

Umeboshi plum paste or vinegar can also be used to replace the vinegar you use for your favorite salad dressing. If you prefer a distinct nutty flavor, a tablespoon of tahini mixed with some water and a few drops of the umeboshi plum vinegar is delicious on fresh summer vegetables.

2. Dips and Sauces with Umeboshi Plums

Umeboshi plums also add a healthy tartness to dipping sauces. Here’s a simple and quick way to make dipping sauce for vegetable nabe (hot pot) or blanched vegetables.

Plain filtered water (or use the water from the cooked vegetables), umeboshi plum paste, grated ginger, and miso or shoyu. Mix all ingredients together and add some finely cut toasted nori seaweed if you desire.

3. Travel Sickness Remedy

For those of you prone to motion sickness, you might like to know that umeboshi plums make a good travel sickness remedy.

These plums are my favorite travel first-aid items because they are great for nausea or motion sickness.

4. Food poisoning

The umeboshi plums are also good for mild cases of food poisoning or tummy upset when traveling to Asia and other regions where you are unfamiliar with certain foods.

So, remember to stash away a few umeboshi plums in a little container on your next trip. Use them sparingly when you experience nausea, slight abdominal discomfort, or diarrhea after eating local foods.

You don’t need to eat the whole umeboshi plum because of its high salt content. Start with a small piece. Simply use a little spoon or clean fingers to break off a small piece each time.

Because the plums are potent, a little goes a long way. So, you don’t need to bring a whole packet of umeboshi plums unless you are going away for an extended period. I usually bring about two to three plums for a two-week trip.

5. Morning Sickness

Since the sour and salty preserved plum eases nausea, it is also effective for morning sickness experienced by expecting mothers.

Use sparingly. Put a small piece in your mouth each time when you feel nauseated.

6. Umeboshi Plums Rice or Millet Congee

This congee recipe makes a great home remedy if you have a cold. Pressure-cook some brown rice with a lot of water and a one-inch strip of kombu seaweed to make porridge or congee.

You can replace the brown rice with millet and reduce the cooking time since millet needs less time to cook.

Serve the congee warm with one finely chopped umeboshi plum and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. This congee is so delicious that often I don’t wait for a cold to eat it.

7. Corn-on-the-Cob

This is a must if you are health conscious but not the congee type of person.

Spread the paste of umeboshi plums or rub some plum bits on an ear of corn. The taste is so delicious that once I tried this, I’ve never gone back to butter for corn-on-the-cob.

8. Hangover Home Remedy

The umeboshi plum may be the way to address a hangover for the health conscious.

Simply chew a few small pieces of the umeboshi. Or put a whole plum in a cup and mash it with a spoon. Then add hot water or bancha tea to make a refreshing hangover tonic.

9. Umeboshi Shoyu-Kuzu Drink

Said to help ease over 40 health complaints, this pick-me-up drink takes about five minutes to prepare.

Dissolve one teaspoon of kuzu starch in some water and boil it with a cup of water. Add one umeboshi plum, and a few drops of natural shoyu or tamari sauce. Drink hot.

Kuzu starch from the root of the kuzu plant was highly sought after for its medicinal properties during traditional Chinese and Japanese societies.

10. Umeboshi Carrot-Daikon Drink

This cleansing homemade remedy helps dissolve the solidified fat deposits and mucus in our bodies—making it an excellent natural, cleansing regime.

Just use half an umeboshi plum. The carrot and daikon act as cleansers, while the salty umeboshi plum, being more yang, balances the yin effects of the remedy—helping your body to restore its strength and allowing you to have this concoction for a longer period.

Check out this amazing superfood. For other ways to consume the umeboshi plums, check out, 5 Ways to Enjoy Umeboshi Plums.

Note: These natural food remedies are for maintaining your health and wellness. They are not meant to replace any medical treatment. If you have a diagnosed condition, or are in doubt, you should always seek medical advice.

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