Kari Kari Ume: Pickled Plums Different from Umeboshi
In Japan, plums called “Ume (梅)” are often used in various foods as an ingredient, and when people familiar with Japanese things think of the pickle made with Ume plums, I think many will probably bring to mind Umeboshi.
In fact, Umeboshi is one of the quintessential Japanese pickles, and many of us Japanese like to eat a bowl of plain rice with the pickled plums at meals.
Kari-Kari Ume (カリカリ梅)
In addition to the traditional pickle Umeboshi, there is actually one more popular Ume pickle in Japan, which is distinctly different from Umeboshi and is called “Kari Kari Ume (カリカリ梅)”.
This package of Karikari Ume that I purchased this time for this blog article was sold in the snack and candy section of a 7 Eleven convenience store near my house.
As you can see from the photo above, these pickled plums are made of unripe green Ume plums, whereas Umeboshi is usually made of ripe reddish Ume plums.
The Kari Kari Ume I bought today is uncolored, but some products contain Kari Kari Ume with a red color like Umeboshi in the package, which actually are colored with red Shiso (perilla) leaves or coloring agents.
In general, Kari Kari Ume is characterized by the crisp texture brought by using calcium, as in its name, “Kari-Kari (カリカリ)” is a Japanese term that describes a crisp sound.
These pickled plums are made with unripe green Ume plums and calcium, which prevents the resultant plums from becoming soft and limp like Umeboshi.
Compared to Umeboshi plums, these KariKari Ume plums are neither that salty nor too sour, and quite easy to eat. They contain quite a little moisture because they are not dried under the sun yet feature a delightfully crisp texture.
Ingredients and Nutrition Facts
Lastly, let’s see the ingredients and nutrition facts. Based on the lists on the back of the package, the main ingredients of these Kari Kari Ume plums are Ume plums, salt, Ume vinegar, brewed vinegar, starch syrup, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, honey, acidifier, and calcium lactate.
The calories of the Kari Kari Ume are 14 kcal per bag (48 grams) and it contains 2.4 g salt equivalents.
(Reference Page: Wikipedia カリカリ梅 )