many canadians ask me if i miss japanese food for the past six years. my answer is YES. but when i say “japanese food”, i’m not talking about sushi, or tempura, or green-tea ice cream. they are japanese food and i like them, but i don’t miss them, i guess. i like sushi, but i’m saving my sushi-craving for edohei japanese restaurant in winnipeg. edohei is the best sushi on the prairie.
anyway, when i say “japanese food”, i’m talking about umeboshi. if i could have umeboshi for breakfast every morning, i might not miss japan… as much. umeboshi are pickled plums (“ume” means plum and “hoshi” (“boshi”) means to dry). they are sweet and extremely sour. mmm… just to think of umeboshi makes me feel sour. most commonly you eat umeboshi with rice. you can put it on top of a bowl of rice or you can put it inside of an onigiri (rice ball).
i had a huge craving for umeboshi a couple weeks ago. i needed to eat something sour. i could have eaten lemons, but i didn’t want to eat rice with lemon — too weird. i went to the asian market here in saskatoon, but they don’t carry umeboshi. it’s really more like a chinese market, they only carry a handful of japanese foods. i guess there probably isn’t a big enough japanese population here to support a japanese market.
my craving grew and grew…
so i phoned up my mom :D my parents live in wakayama prefecture, which is famous for… UMEBOSHI! they make the best of the best umeboshi in japan, more sweet and sour than salty. they make a special type of umeboshi with honey in it, that we call 優しい味 “yasashii” (kind + gentle) flavour. i love them. i asked my mom to send me some umeboshi along with some of my other favorite japanese foods.
a few weeks later, the package arrived! actually, i just got the notice from the post office to come pick up the box. the notice said that i wasn’t at home at the time of delivery, which is not true — i was home all day that day. i guess the mailman would rather make me carry the big box in my hands than put in on his nice red truck.
anyway, picking up the package and running a couple of errands was just enough time to make some rice. so i put the rice in the rice cooker and went out. it was a cold and snowy winter day, and when we got back, paul and i were ready to cuddle up and have some warm rice with umeboshi. this must have been the best umeboshi i’ve ever had. thanks mom!