How to Prepare Red Shiso Leaves for Pickling Ume

  • 01 of 07

    Wash red shiso leaves.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Red-purple perilla is called akajiso (red shiso). Red shiso leaves traditionally used to dye pickled ume (Japanese apricots or plums). It's good to use 1/2 - 1 lb red shiso leaves for pickling 4 1/2 lb ume plums. First, wash the leaves well and drain in a strainer.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Sprinkle salt over shiso leaves.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Sprinkle about 1-2 oz of coarse salt over shiso leaves.

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  • 03 of 07

    Rub shiso leaves

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Rub shiso leaves well so that dark purple liquid is extracted. This is done to remove the bitterness from shiso leaves.

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  • 04 of 07

    Squeeze shiso leaves.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Firmly squeeze liquid out of shiso leaves. Discard the liquid.

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  • 05 of 07

    Pour out umezu.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    The liquid extracted by pickling ume are called umezu (ume vinegar). Pour out umezu in the pickling container into another bowl.

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  • 06 of 07

    Put shiso leaves back in umezu.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka

    Put squeezed shiso leaves back in umezu. Rub the leaves with hand so that the umezu turns red.

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  • 07 of 07

    Separate shiso leaves from the liquid.

    Making Pickled Ume
    Making Pickled Ume. Photo (c) Setsuko Yoshizuka
    Place the red umezu and shiso leaves into two separate bowls.