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Japanese Delicacy Guide: UMESUISHO

Ume Suisho, is a Japanese delicacy dish. Shark cartilage is mixed with umeboshi plum paste Food & Recipes

Umesuisho is one of the luxury delicacies as nibbles for alcohol lovers in Japan.

Ume-Suisho is compounded with two words-Ume means Japanese plum trees (or blossoms) and Suisho means crystal.

Since Umesuisho looks beautiful reddish pink and crystal color, this delicacy is called Umesuisho.

Then, what is Umesuisho made of by the way?

Addictive Combination Of The Shark Cartilage And Umeboshi Plum

Umesuisho is made of shark cartilage and Umboshi plums.

The shark cartilage is dried and sliced thinly and mixed with umeboshi plum paste.

The umeboshi plum is made from dried and pickled ume fruit, a type of fruit, (actually) more closely to the apricot family despite being called plum, and its taste is well-known for being super-sour and super-salty.

Umeboshi Plums 101: Health Benefits, How To Eat, How To Make Iconic Japanese TSUKEMONO

As the name of the crystal, boiled shark cartilage is transparent and coated with vivid reddish pink so that you can enjoy the dish visually.

It has a unique crunchy texture and a sweet and sour taste that makes it addictive once you eat Umesansho.

How To Make Umesansho

Get 200g of shark cartilage and boil…then…

No way!

I know.

Luckily you can make Umesansho with these substitutes.

Substitutes For Shark Cartilage

  1. Chicken Breast Bone- “Yagen” Cartilage
  2. Pig’s Ear
  3. Wood ear mushroom

Chicken Breast Bone

Eating chicken cartilage called “Nankotsu” is absolutely common in Japan, and it is an especially popular menu in Yakitori restaurants.

“Yagen” refers to the center tip of chicken breast bone which attracts the Japanese with its crunchy texture.

Well, collecting enough Yagen is quite hard (need to be patient) in the US, but, it is one of the substitutes for shark cartilage.

Pig’s Ear

Yes, literally, pig’s ear.

It’s a common editable part of the pig in some countries including Japan (particularly Okinawa).

Somehow when you can get pig’s ears, (hopefully, it’s ready to cook or already boiled…), make Umesuisho.

If the pig’s ears are not prepared to cook, broil the surface to remove hair.

Rince the ears thoughtfully and cook them in a pressure cooker.

Add the ears, salt, and water, and close completely the pot with the lid. Start to cook until the pressure is set.

(Optionally, you can add sliced ginger, garlic, and green parts of leeks.)

Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the ears for 3 minutes.

Release the pressure naturally and rinse the ears thoughtfully. (You should rinse the ears as soon as the pressure is released.)

Wood Ear Mushrooms

The wood ear mushroom is a fungus that is popular in Asian cuisine and is known for its crunchy texture.

The wood ear mushroom doesn’t have much flavor and just gives a crunchy texture to the dish.

Besides, these mushrooms are the easiest to get and cook in your country more than the two substitutes that I mentioned above.

Wood ear mushrooms are dried so that they need to be rehydrated before cooking.

Gently rinse the mushrooms off and then place them in a bowl of warm water and let the wood ear mushrooms soak for about 30 minutes.

How To Make Umesansho, with, chicken breast bones, yagen, pig's ears, wild ear mushrooms, Crunchy Sweet Sour Appetizer With Plum Sauce

How To Make Umesansho: Crunchy Sweet Sour Appetizer With Plum Sauce

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
Umesuisho is one of the luxury delicacies as nibbles for alcohol lovers in Japan. A beautiful reddish pink delicacy, you can make this with unique ingredients-chicken breast bones, pig's ears, or wild ear mushrooms.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2 servings

Ingredients  

  • 2 Umeboshi plums

Choose One Of Shark Cartilage Substitutes

  • 3.5 oz Chicken Breast Bone
  • 2-3 pig’s ears
  • 3.5 oz Wood ear mushroom

Seasonings

  • ½ TSP Hondashi powder
  • ¼ TSP Sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 TSP White sesame seeds

Instructions 

  • (Make Umeboshi paste) Remove seeds from Umeboshi, then mince the umeboshi flesh with a knife until it becomes smooth and pasty.
  • Prepare The Substitute.
    (Chicken breast bones) Remove extra meat from bones if needed, and slice them thinly. Bring water to a boil in a small pot, and add sliced bones. Cook for 2 minutes, drain, and rinse well with cold water.
    (Pig's ears) If the pig’s ears are not prepared to cook, broil the surface to remove hair. Rince the ears thoughtfully and cook them in a pressure cooker. Add the ears, salt, and water, and close completely the pot with the lid. Start to cook until the pressure is set. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the ears for 3 minutes. Release the pressure naturally and rinse the ears thoughtfully. Slice the ears thinly.
    (Wood Ear Mushrooms) Rinse the mushrooms off and then place them in a bowl of warm water and let the wood ear mushrooms soak for about 30 minutes. Slice them thinly.
  • In a mixing bowl, add the seasonings except for white sesame seeds and add the spice substitute.
  • Add half of the Umeboshi paste and mix well, then, Adjust the Umeboshi flavor to your liking.
  • Sprinkle white sesame seeds while crushing them with your fingers. Combine well, serve, and enjoy a crunchy texture.
Keyword Delicacy, Easy, Izakaya, Nibbles, Traditional
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