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Ume Leftovers: 5 Delicious Possibilities

Umeshu in bottle

Making umeshu (plum wine) is a relatively simple process that involves steeping green, unripe ume, Japanese plums (or apricots, depending on who you ask) in hard liquor and rock sugar for 6–12 months. The end product is a sweet, golden liqueur, perfect for summer drinking, while a pile of wrinkly, leftover fruit rests at the jar’s bottom. 

After the ume have been steeping for 12 months, it is generally recommended they be removed from the jar, and the umeshu strained before being enjoyed. 

But then you may wonder what to do with the leftover ume. Thankfully, you have several options, like chopping them up and adding them to cakes and muffins or creating an ume jelly. There are also plenty of savory options like Chinese-style stir fry or gravies and sauces for roast duck or pork.

Don’t know where to start? Here are five simple recipe ideas!

1. Umeshu soda fizz


With a little bit of ume, lemon and soda, make the perfect summer drink.  Photo: iStock/ Food-Photographer

Start basic by simply adding a leftover ume to your umeshu soda fizz! 


  • leftover ume
  • ice
  • soda water


Put one or two leftover ume at the bottom of a glass, top with ice and pour over equal parts soda and umeshu. Use a muddler or a straw to help break up the ume at the bottom.

You could also add a leftover ume to other cocktails, such as an ume highball or umeshu cooler.

2. Ume jam


Plum jam and yogurt to kickstart your day.  Photo: iStock/ Hana

Source: Japan Today