Umeboshi and Maesil Rot

I opened up the two pressing vessels and repacked them into jars. One was seven days old, and the other was six days old.

They both had some moldy plums, so I pulled the moldy ones.

The mold problem wasn’t that serious. It was very little bread mold, and small spots of black mold. So, I tried to wash off the black mold. The ones that released their mold got put into a tumbler:

I added to this, layers of salt, and then filled it halfway with some of the sugar and sake mixture, and swirled it around. I figured the alcohol would keep the mold down.

Then, I put a pint glass full of water on top to press it down and expel more juice (aka vinegar). (I didn’t use any of the juice for this batch.)

The plums that were good were put into big jars, salt added (because @koreatownclass said it looked like it wasn’t salted enough) topped off with the vinegar (by which I mean juice), and then weighted down with water filled-jars, and the big jars gently shaken on a soft surface, to get the fruit to settle. After a couple hours, the fruit was completely submerged.

I wish I had pictures, but I forgot to take them.

Small Batch Redo

I was concerned that the small batch I made wasn’t salted enough, and might be moldy, so I dumped the plums and juice out into a big plastic bowl, and inspected.

Fortunately, it wasn’t moldy, but 2/3 of the fruit was hard, and didn’t appear to be salted enough.

My salting technique has been to sprinkle salt on damp ume, but I thought that wasn’t working, because I’m using coarse grained salt. So I added regular salt, and mixed it with my hands, to coat everything.

Then I repacked it, into the same green tupperware, with the hard fruit on the bottom and soft fruit on the top. I figured, that the hard fruit would be under more pressure, with more salt, and more juice surrounding it.

The jar went back on top, and was taped down.


I tasted the sweet maesil liquid, and it tasted like chamoy, without the chiles.

This has to be the origin of chamoy. I recently saw a video from Mexico showing how to make chamoy from umeboshi, but I’m pretty certain this sugar preserve is the actual origin of chamoy, because I’ve had chamoy candy from small markets (not the tamarindo pulp, but little sugared balls), and it’s the same flavor.

Also, the brown sugar tastes delicious.

I added more sugar to the big jar, and weighed it down with a pint glass of water, until the fruit was completely submerged under the liquid.

For reference, this medium/small sized jar of Vlasic pickles, and the generic pint glass, fit together perfectly for this.

The jar will hold around 20 fruit.

I don’t even need to move the fruit from the pressing crock to the storage.

For the rescue ume, I used a large Arcoroc tumbler, and a pint glass. It works okay, but I don’t think this combination is as good.

I had a coffee jar with some of the maesil in there, but repacked it into a smaller plastic jar, so that it would be “taller”, and packed more sugar on top.

In this taller jar, the liquid submerged more of the fruit.

Korean-ish Michelada Time

I had a can of Micheloeb Ultra, so, I used it to rinse out the sugar from the coffee jar.

I poured it into a pint glass, and then sprinkled some Korean chile on top. Then I finished it off with a squirt of lemon juice.

The chili was Wang Red Pepper Powder (Coarse). It’s not that spicy. 5000-10000 on the Scoville scale. It’s more bitter and smoky than hot, and tasted good with the bitter beer.

I stirred it up, and it was delicious. It was fruity, sweet, sour, dry, and bitter. It wasn’t salty like a michelada, because there’s no Clamato in there.

(I looked up if someone else had done this. Kenji Lopez-Alt did one, but didn’t use ume-infused sugar. His was more about chile.)

The Moldy Ones

I’m taking the fallen fruit and dropping them into a bucket of water, to allow them to ferment, so the flesh will come off easily.

The moldy fruit will be dumped into different buckets, for the same purpose.

I took the moldy fruit and let it rest overnight in water, with a little bit of bleach in it. In the afternoon, around 1/3 of the fruit was pretty clean. 2/3 was still covered with enough mold that I didn’t trust it.

I’m leaving them out for a day to finish ripening up.

Once they’re ready, they’ll go into water buckets.

As the flesh comes off, I’ll prepare them for germination, and refrigerate them.

Leave a Reply

Did you find this page useful? Donate via
Copyright 2023 and John Kawakami

Discover more from Bits of Advice

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading