Neri Ume: How to Make Mild Tasty Umeboshi Plum Paste

At meals, we sometimes eat “Umeboshi (梅干し)” pickled Ume plums with a warm bowl of white rice.

Additionally, many Japanese home cooks like to place a piece of Umeboshi at the center of rice packed in the bento box or put it inside Onigiri.

As you may already know, Umeboshi is a traditional Japanese food with more than 2,000 years of history originating from China.

In general, the pickled plum is so sour and salty that you will either like it or hate it.

Indeed, traditional Umeboshi usually has extreme sourness, but there is a way to make it mild and tasty. 

The method is familiar to many Japanese, and I think it is worth trying if you don’t like or can’t eat the plums.

Neri Ume (ねり梅)

Umeboshi plum on top of rice

The method I want those who dislike Umeboshi to know is to make the plum mild and tasty by making it into a paste or puree and adding seasonings,

such as sugar, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), dashi broth mix, or foods like Katsuobushi dried bonito flakes and honey.

Those seasonings and foods can add umami depth to Umeboshi and make it easy to eat.

By the way, the resulting Umeboshi plum paste is generally called “Neri Ume (ねり梅: Kneaded Ume)”.

If you are interested, try adding some of the seasonings (sugar, mirin, dashi broth mix) and foods (Katsuobushi, honey) to Umeboshi paste several times.

And you will be able to find the mixing ratio you prefer. I recommend adding at least one sweet thing (sugar, mirin, or honey).

Popular Recipe

Neri Ume Umeboshi PasteImage and Recipe:

For your reference, lastly, I will give you an example of how to make mild, tasty Neri Ume paste. The recipe is popular on the leading Japanese recipe site

Ingredient Quantity
Umeboshi 2 pieces
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Mirin 1/2 teaspoon
Katsuobushi (bonito shavings) 1 gram
  1. Remove seeds from the Umeboshi plums.
  2. Combine the plum flesh with the sugar, mirin, and Katsuobushi shavings, and mince it with a knife until pasty.
  3. Now it’s ready to eat. Enjoy the Neriume paste with rice! Or use it as a seasoning for pasta or other dishes!


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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