Salted Plums

Ingredients

  • 120 g ( oz) coarse sea salt
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) ripe whole plums Vodka
  • 100 g ( oz) red shiso leaves

Method

Put a layer of coarse salt into a sterilised container, such as a wide bowl or tub. Sterilise the plums by washing them in the vodka and then add to the container before covering with more salt and the shiso leaves. Repeat the layers until all your plums are used up.

Cover the container with a plastic bag and weigh down. Leave in a cool dark place for around 1 week, until the plums become soft and are sitting in a dark reddish liquid. Once the liquid is about 2 cm (¾ in) above the plums, remove the weight and strain. Do not discard the liquid -this is ume vinegar.

Lay the plums on clean trays to dry in a fairly sunny place for about 3 days. At the end of the drying process they should look like dried apricots. Store in airtight jars with more shiso leaves, or for a soft texture add back to the ume vinegar.

Store

In an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 1 year.