A Japanese condiment made from ume plums that are harvested before they are ripe, and then soaked in a brine with red shiso leaves to be pickled. The red shiso leaves, rich in minerals, add flavor and a pinkish-red coloring to the plums. Shiso leaves are often prepared as a condiment using a ground powder of the dried leaves to produce what is referred to as Mitoku. Inside the fruit, the meaty pulp of each plum covers a small hard pit. This condiment, which is present at many Japanese meals, is quite salty and has a noticably tart flavor. With its alkalizing benefits that neutralize acids, it is commonly eaten to aid digestion and is believed to assist with other health conditions such as motion sickness, increased energy levels, increased saliva output, relief for muscle cramps, and a few other daily health concerns.
Umeboshi plums are often used for making salad dressings or as ingredients for salads, rice dishes, and steamed vegetables. Other uses of this plum include wine, jam, vinegar, flavorings, food paste, and heath foods such as ume concentrate, ume pearls, ume plum balls, and ume energy drinks.