Raw Vegan Ume Pickled Plum Noodle Soup

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raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup no equipment recipes
Do you like umeboshi? Do you know what it is? If you do, you will love this noodle soup. This one is for the Japanese food lovers, who enjoy the subtle flavors of umeboshi. My raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup is a raw take on a Japanese noodle dish called “ume nyumen”. Traditionally, it’s made with “dashi” (fish flake and kelp) based broth with somen (thin, angel hair like Japanese noodles made of flour), and topped with umeboshi and shiso. I know I’m throwing in some unfamiliar words like “umeboshi” and “shiso” so let me explain.

Umeboshi is Japanese pickled plums. It might look a little weird to you if you’re not used to it, but this is a staple in Japanese food. Umeboshi is made by pickling a Japanese plum with salt and red shiso, then drying it in the sun. “Ume” is the name for Japanese plum, and “boshi” means to dry. Shiso is a Japanese herb, another staple in Japanese cooking. It is in the same family with mint, and is used about as often as basil is used in Italian cooking. There is regular green shiso, which is the most widely used in Japanese cooking, and red shiso which is used for its color in more specific dishes. Red shiso has a purple leaf and it gives out a great natural red color. Using the red shiso in the pickling gives umeboshi its red color. You can see the purple leaves mixed with the umeboshi. The leaves of the ume are edible as well. What does it taste like? It’s very acidic and savory. However it is alkalizing to the body. It can help alleviate fatigue, and soothes the stomach. We’ve been putting umeboshi on a bed of rice in bento boxes, or into rice balls for centuries to prevent the rice from going bad because of its anti-bacterial properties. It’s not just for flavor. Umeboshi is a vital ingredient in much Japanese cooking.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
You can find umeboshi at health food stores or Japanese markets, but be sure to check the ingredient list. The ingredient list should literally be ume, red shiso, and salt. Nothing else! Unfortunately, the majority of the umeboshi sold at Asian markets contain MSG and food coloring. When I go to a Japanese market, out of the 6 or 7 umeboshi being sold, only one or two is clean. So be sure to check the ingredients. Some health food stores carry Umeboshi from Eden Foods. This one is clean too.

Now that we have covered umeboshi and what it is, let’s start on the noodle soup! First things first, we need to prepare the “dashi”. Dashi is stock in Japanese cooking and is the base of most Japanese dishes. It is typically made from either bonito flakes, dried sardines, kelp, or dried shitake mushrooms, and sometimes a blend. I talked about dashi in my miso soup recipe so read more about it here. We are going to use a blend today of kelp and dried shitake (optional).

Dried shitake looks like this and is sold in Asian markets. It gives the dashi a subtle sweetness. If you don’t have an Asian market close by, you will most likely have to order online so you can omit it, if it is hard to get.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
You can find kelp at Wholefoods, health food stores, and Asian markets.

raw vegan spinach and corn miso soup
This is the brand I like using.

In 4 cups of water, add 2 dried shitake and 4″ x 4″ piece of kombu (if it’s shriveled up, just roughly measure the length) and let it soak in water overnight in the refrigerator. Take out the dried shitake and the piece of kelp when it is ready. The leftover soaking water is the dashi. You can cut the removed kelp into small pieces, freeze it, and add it into your smoothies for added iodine. The shitake can be used in cooking. Just cut off the hard stem before use.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
Once the dashi is ready, it’s time to prepare the noodles. Peel the skin off a zucchini and slice it into thin angle hair like noodles using a spiralizer. Cut up the noodles a few of times to shorten them up so it’s easier to eat.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
Transfer the dashi into a sauce pan or a small pot. Add in, salt, tamari, and the zucchini noodles, and heat on the lowest flame, while stirring constantly. Once the temperature reaches about 110℉ (the temperature will keep rising even after you remove it from heat), remove from heat.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
Transfer the noodles into a bowl and ladle in the broth. Top it with some julienned shiso leaves and umeboshi and it’s ready! By the way, shiso looks like this. You can find it at an Asian market.

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup
Serve the soup immediately before it cools off. Umeboshi has a hard pit inside, because it’s pickled whole plums. Japanese people break up the umeboshi in the broth with their chopsticks to release the ume flavor and to get rid of the pit. This also breaks up the meat of the plum so it is dispersed throughout the soup.
A warm bowl of noodle soup. That’s the ultimate comfort food for an Asian, or any noodle soup lover. Enjoy!

raw vegan ume pickled plum noodle soup

Raw Vegan Ume Pickled Plum Noodle Soup
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: raw food, raw vegan, gluten-free
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 piece of kelp (roughly 4" x 4" size)
  • 2 dried shitake (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1-2 teaspoons tamari (adjust to taste)*
  • ¾ teaspoon salt*
  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 2 umeboshi
  • 4 shiso leaves
Instructions
  1. In 4 cups of water, add 2 dried shitake and 4" x 4" piece of kombu (if it's shriveled up, just roughly measure the length) and let it soak in water overnight in the refrigerator. Take out the dried shitake and the piece of kelp when it is ready. The leftover soaking water is the dashi.
  2. Peel the skin off the zucchini and slice it into thin angle hair like noodles using a spiralizer. Cut the noodles a few times to shorten them up so it's easier to eat.
  3. Transfer the dashi into a sauce pan or a small pot. Add in the salt, tamari, and the zucchini noodles, and heat on the lowest flame, while stirring constantly. Once the temperature reaches about 110℉ (the temperature will keep rising even after you remove it from heat), remove from heat.
  4. Transfer the noodles into a bowl and ladle in the broth. Top it with some julienned shiso leaves and umeboshi. Serve immediately.
Notes
You can cut the removed kelp into small pieces, freeze it, and add it into your smoothies for added iodine. Shitake can be used in cooking. Cut off the hard stem before use and use as you would a regular mushroom.

Umeboshi has a hard pit inside, because it's pickled whole plums. Japanese people break up the umeboshi in the broth with their chopsticks to release the ume flavor and to get rid of the pit. This also breaks up the meat of the plum so it is dispersed throughout the soup.

*There is quite a bit of salt in this recipe. You are supposed to take some sips of the broth and eat the noodles, but not drink all of the broth. It will be too much salt!

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