As its name implies, salt-pickled cherry blossoms are edible cherry blossoms. The Japanese use it in spring-related sweet and savory foods and on special occasions.
Bring a touch of spring to your table with salt-pickled cherry blossoms (桜の塩漬け). These edible blossoms accent baked goods such as cookies and cakes or steeped in hot water for tea. As the seasonal motif-obsessed Japanese, these cherry blossoms are a beautiful reminder of the fleeting moments in nature.
Table of contents
What Are Salt-Pickled Cherry Blossoms
For centuries, the Japanese have waxed poetry, literature, and paintings on the transient beauty of cherry blossoms. Cherry blossoms, or sakura (桜), hold a special place in Japanese culture.
The Japanese use the blossoms and leaves in many sweet and savory dishes. As its name implies, salt-pickled cherry blossoms are edible salt-cured cherry blossoms. It’s made by carefully handpicking the whole flowers, then washing, draining, and drying them before sprinkling them with sea salt. The brine is squeezed out the next day, and the flowers are pickled in ume plum vinegar (which contains red shiso) to add a natural pink color and then left to dry.
What Do They Taste Like
The pickled petals have a salty and floral taste.
How To Use
Salted cherry blossoms are ideal for sweet and savory dishes with a lightly salted flavor and a unique floral aroma. The gorgeous pink also adds a touch of beauty to the food. You can use the salted flowers as is, lightly brush off the salt, or soak them in warm water for a few minutes if you find them too salty. Pat dry with a clean towel or kitchen paper before use.
The Japanese use it to make a tea called sakurayu (桜湯), served at joyous occasions such as weddings or as an ingredient in wagashi, traditional Japanese desserts. It’s also used as decoration for baked goods, onigiri, and chirashi sushi.
When spring comes around, I often order a bag of pickled cherry blossoms and make my favorite spring-themed foods, such as cookies, jelly, chiffon cake, ice cream, and sakura salt. The flowery aromas of the cherry blossoms will remind you of the spring season.
Recipes Using Salt-Pickled Cherry Blossoms
Where To Buy
You can purchase these salt-pickled cherry blossoms from this Japanese online store that ships internationally (this company also sells them on Amazon) or another brand on Amazon. You might be able to find it at Japanese grocery stores when in season. You can also purchase it from Weee!