Using seasonal ume plums, make this sweet and fragrant homemade Ume Miso! I save a few ume plums every year just to make this special blend of miso. It is so drool-worthy and requires minimal effort.
Everyone in my family looks forward to the ume season every year so I can make their favorite Umeshu (plum wine) and Ume Syrup. My recent obsession is this sweet and fragrant Ume Miso (梅味噌).
What is Ume Miso
As the name suggests, Ume Miso is a homemade miso blend made with miso of your choice, sugar, and unripe green ume. The process involves a quick fermentation but is as simple as it can get.
Ume (梅) or Japanese plums are sour when it’s unripe. It yields an amazing fruity aroma and zestiness that is slowly released into the miso and sugar mixture. You can adjust the amount of sugar based on your preference, but unripe ume is extremely tart and sour so sugar will help to balance out the acidity.
There is sweetness from the sugar, saltiness and umami from the miso and sourness from the green plums – all melds beautifully as the mixture sits for a month.
How to Use Ume Miso
There are countless ways to enjoy this brightly flavored condiment. The easiest one would be to dip some fresh cucumber or carrot sticks in the ume miso and enjoy as a snack.
If you make a big tub, you get to relish this special miso in many imaginable ways. Here are just some delicious suggestions:
- Grill/Simmer with meat, fish, tofu, or konnyaku – Marinate the protein of your choice with ume miso and chopped used ume in meat dishes. Pork and chicken can highlight the unique flavors.
- As a dip or topper to go with chilled tofu and vegetable sticks – A small dollop of punchy, savory ume miso can liven up vegetables and tofu. I’m also thinking of serving it with a platter of Japanese-style of crudités. Perfect for summer entertaining!
- Boosts a salad dressing – It makes a brilliant key enhancer for your dressing.
- As a dipping sauce for your soba or udon noodles – Mix a spoonful of the ume miso with dashi to make into a thin sauce for your soba or udon noodles.
- As a filling for onigiri rice ball – You can fill the rice ball with ume miso, or slather on the rice ball and grill in a frying pan to make Yaki Onigiri.
What To Do With Ume in the Miso?
You can consume the ume plums used to make the miso. Remove seeds and chop up the flesh to eat or cook with other ingredients.
How to Make Ume Miso
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ume plums (unripe, green ume)
- Miso (any miso you’d like to use; I’ll talk about my choice below)
- Sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
An Overview: Quick Steps
- Rinse ume plums, dry completely, remove the stem ends with a bamboo skewer.
- In a jar or plastic bag, layer the ingredients – miso, ume, sugar in that order.
- Let it sit in a cool, dark place for a month before consuming.
Which Type of Miso Should I Use?
There is no specific type of miso you have to use for this recipe. Be it white miso, awase miso, or red miso, just go with the one you enjoy most. A mixture would work fine too. If you are new to miso, read this post to get familiar with it.
I used Enjuku Koji Miso from Hikari Miso® as the base. I love the hint of sweetness that Koji Miso is known for. The more koji in the miso, the sweeter it tastes. I love making dressing and sauce with ume miso and the natural sweetness from koji complements the purpose.
Ume miso reminds me of sunshine in a jar, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home. If you have enough ume plums to spare, don’t forget to make extra jars for gifting too.
Other Delicious Ume Recipes
- Gather all the ingredients. Rinse the jar thoroughly with soap and hot water and wipe with a clean towel. While the jar is still hot, pour boiling water and shake to clean and drain. Air dry until completely dry. Damp the clean towel with shochu or vodka (Make sure it is at least 35% ABV (alcohol by volume) or 70 proof) and wipe inside the jar.
- Wash the green ume plums and immediately dry them thoroughly.
- Remove stem ends from the plums with a bamboo skewer or toothpick. Discard plums with any brown or blemished spots.
- In the clean jar, add miso and plums in a single layer.
- Then put the sugar, miso, plums in a single layer again, followed by sugar. Repeat this process until you’re done with the plums and sugar. Tip: the last layer of plums should be completely covered with miso/sugar.
- Seal, write the date on the jar and store in a cool, dark place (no refrigerator) for 1 month. Once in a while, shake/rotate the jar to make sure the plums are covered with the miso/sugar mixture so the plums won't go bad.
- Option 1: After one month, you can mix it up with a clean spoon and store in the refrigerator for up to a year. Start eating from 2-3 months. You can eat ume itself, or cut it up (remove a seed) and use in a ume miso recipe. Option 2: After one month, you can remove seeds from all the ume plums, chop up the ume into small pieces, put them back into the ume miso, and cook the mixture before storing in a new clean jar.