Today we’ll look at a fast and easy condiment from Japan made from umeboshi plums, shiso leaf, mirin, and malted koji rice.
Use for a topping on rice dishes, sushi, or anywhere a sweet-sour- salty fermented taste is desired.

Use umeboshi paste to replace salt in dressings, spreads, and sauces or to season soups, grains, and vegetables. Umeboshi is a fermented raw food that will keep indefinitely at room temperature and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Shiso leaf (perilla) contains the bioflavonoid anthocyan, a powerful antioxidant. When combined with tart ume plums, they give umeboshi their red color and serve to ward off harmful organisms.

Ingredients Needed…

– 6 to 10 Japanese umeboshi plums. Most umeboshi plums accesable in the USA are going to be pickled in rice vingar. This is fine as it will help drop the pH to the acidic side. Other types of plums could be used, too.
– Fresh red shiso leaf (perilla), one bunch
– Mirin or sugar to taste
– 1 to 2 tbsp malt rice koji or white miso

malted rice koji
Malted Rice Koji


– Start by quickly sauteing the shiso leaf in a little water until wilted.

– Add the plums and sautee for about a minute. Retain the liquid. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature before adding the unpasteurized rice koji or miso.

– Now take the umeboshi plums and shiso leaf and add the miso paste or rice koji. We recommend using malted rice koji for better ferment and less salt use.

– Once fermented to one’s liking, blend the contents until it has the proper consistency and flavor.

– Pack this mixture into a sterilized container and allow to ferment at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. The fermentation time can be longer if desired.

Just like miso, the finished product is room safe or may be kept in the refrigerator.


This smooth, ruby red puree is a convenient kitchen delight as well as high-quality food. Spread it on sushi rolls, corn-on-the-cob; use it in tofu dips and salad dressings for a wonderfully tart, sweet-sour-salty flavor.

Happy Culturing! Live, Grow, Share Cultured Foods.