Salt Cured Cherry Blossoms

READY IN: 2hrs
YIELD: 1 cup


  • 200
    g cherry blossoms (1/2 to 2/3 open blossoms)
  • 40
    g salt
  • 70
    ml ume vinegar or 70 ml liquid, from the cherry blossom juice below
  • 4
    tablespoons salt


  • Since full blossom is missing the taste and aroma, it's best to pick the blossoms when they are about 1/2 to 2/3 open. Cut off blossoms making sure to keep some of the green stems (see picture).
  • Using lots of water, soak the blossoms to wash. Several changes of water.
  • Dry the blossoms completely. Lettuce spinner works really well here.
  • Add 40g salt to the blossoms, salt the container and the layers of blossoms.
  • Water will start to float up. Lightly squeeze the blossoms. If you have ume vinegar you will use ume vinegar next, but if you do not have ume vinegar, then do not discard the liquid from squeezing the blossoms because you will use this.
  • Lightly spread out the blossoms. Straighten the blossoms and stems and place them carefully in the container. Pour in the ume vinegar or if you do not have the ume vinegar, the liquid remaining from squeezing out the blossoms. Place a stone or heavy object to pickle. Keep pickled for 1 week.
  • After 1 week discard the liquid and spread the blossoms on flat bamboo or plastic container for drying (with holes for air) outside in the shade. Do not squeeze the blossoms because the aroma and taste will be gone if you squeeze too much. The final result should be somewhat damp blossoms and not dried out blossoms.
  • Gather the blossoms and mix gently with 4 T salt and bottle. Keep in refrigerator - keeps for a long time.
  • To use, remove the salt by soaking in water or gently washing in water first.