Ume Kombucha: Plum-Flavored Kelp Seaweed Tea
As I wrote in this post, Japanese Kombucha is a seaweed tea made from salted pulverized kelp dissolved in hot water and is different from the one seen outside of Japan.
Japanese tea beverage companies, like Ito-En (伊藤園), traditionally flavor the seaweed tea with a plum fruit called Ume (梅), native to East Asia, and the variant is called Ume Kombucha (梅こんぶ茶).
Ume Kombucha (梅こんぶ茶)
Ume Kombucha is as popular as regular Kombucha in Japan, loved by all generations since a long time ago, and whose base powder is available in most supermarkets and even convenience stores.
As you may know, the main ingredients, Kombu (kelp) and Ume are both very familiar to Japanese people.
The former seaweed is a good source of glutamic acid known as an umami component, while the latter plum features its refreshing sour taste, commonly used in Japanese candies like these.
Ume Kombucha, thus, is an umami-rich tea accompanied by a pleasant aroma of Ume plums. It has a subtle acidity and is more refreshing than regular Kombu tea.
The preparation is the same as regular Kombucha. First, put about 2 grams of the base powder into a cup using the accompanying plastic spoon.
Then, pour about 100 ml of boiling water and mix well. The kelp plum tea is usually served hot, but you can also enjoy it cold as a refreshment for the summertime.
As with regular Kombucha tea powder, Japanese home cooks commonly use these granules to make vegetable pickles.
For people curious, I recommend this article on one-seasoning easy Asazuke recipes.
|Salt, Sugar, Umeboshi (pickled ume plums), Pulverized Kombu (kelp), Salted red shiso leaves, Starch, Amino acid seasoning, Flavoring, Acidifier|
|Salt equivalents||1.2 g|