Fruity, tart, sweet, and aromatic, this Ume Shaved Ice has the perfect flavor of Japanese summer!
Every summer my family and I return to Japan for a month to spend time with my parents and to explore the country. But this year we are doing a staycation, and I must say I miss Japan dearly. The summer festivals, the street foods, the subway rides, and the fun of eating shaved ice to cool down.
To bring the flavor of the Japanese summer home, I’ve made this Ume Shaved Ice (梅シロップのかき氷) and allowed myself to relive my childhood memories.
What is Ume?
Ume (梅) is a Japanese plum, but it’s actually part plum, part apricot. The most popular ume dish is umeboshi (梅干し) or Japanese pickled plums, which ume has been pickled and fermented. They are delicious when served with steamed rice or as filling in onigiri rice balls.
Making Ume Syrup
This shaved ice recipe starts from the time green unripe ume plums are available. It’s really easy to make Ume Syrup. Get bulk of ume plums and make the syrup. I find myself ordering bigger bulk each year as the kids go crazy for Ume Cider and I need to make sure I have my share!
Where to get ume plums? You can read more about it on Ume Syrup post.
Add-on: Ume Plum Compote
This is optional, but if you made Ume Plum Compote after making Ume Syrup, you can definitely use these compotes to put on top of the shaved ice. My daughter would put 5 compotes on top. It makes a cute accent on the saved ice.
How to Assemble Ume Shaved Ice
Once you have Ume Syrup, possibly Ume Plum Compote, and shaved ice machine, all you need to do is to assemble! Follow the instructions on your shaved ice/snow cone machine on how to make a tall, fluffy and airy shaved ice! Then, spoon the shaved ice over the serving bowls, pour the syrup over and garnish with ume plum compote (if you have).
Shaved Ice/Snow Cone Machine
I have this inexpensive ice shaving machine that I used for the kids when they were young. But the ice doesn’t churn out as smooth as I wanted, so I asked my kitchen gadget-loving friend who has this ice shaved/snow cone machine. It makes a huge noise (not joking) but you get nice fluffy shaved ice. Not the same level as shaved ice shops, but for home use, it’s pretty decent.
Because our summer is mostly spent in Japan and we don’t really get to experience hot summer days here in San Francisco, I probably won’t invest money on the expensive shaving machine. If you get hot summer days where you live and you love shaved ice, I’d recommend this one. But remember, it’s really loud!
Popular Japanese Shaved Ice Flavors
What are your favorite flavors for shaved ice? This article shows popular syrup flavor ranking for 2020.
- Strawberry syrup
- Blue Hawaii
- Lemon syrup
- Ujikintoki (it’s my favorite!)
- Melon syrup (Don’t forget to make my Melon Soda recipe!)
- Mango syrup
- Coke syrup
- Green apple syrup
- Matcha syrup
- Mizore (simple syrup)
Ume didn’t make it there, but I think it’s the flavor I’d treasure every year.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Ume Shaved Ice
- Gather all the ingredients and assemble. Pour syrup as much as you like, and also put the compote on top for garnish.