How to Prepare Red Shiso Leaves for Pickling Ume

  • 01 of 07

    Wash red shiso leaves.

    Red shiso leaves
    The Spruce / 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 to one pound red shiso leaves for pickling 4 1/2 pounds 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.

    Salt on red shiso leaves
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka

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

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Rub shiso leaves

    Rubbing red shiso leaves
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka

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

    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Squeeze shiso leaves.

    Squeezed red shiso leaves
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka

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

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Pour out umezu.

    Poured out ume liquid
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka

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

    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Put shiso leaves back in umezu.

    Shiso leaves in umeza liquid
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka

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

    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Separate shiso leaves from the liquid.

    red umezu and leaves in separate bowls
    The Spruce / Setsuko Yoshizuka
    Place the red umezu and shiso leaves into two separate bowls.