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Wherefore salted plums?

Holy crap. I bought a bag (dried). Ate one. I love salt. I lick salt. This was spittingly AWFUL. Not to mention hard. Are you supposed to rinse or macerate 'em first?

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  1. Nah, you just suck on them dry. :)

    One thing I love is to get some of the dried salted plums that come in pieces without the pit, slice up a tomato, and stab the pieces into the tomato.

    Salted plum powder is used as a common flavoring for fruit in Taiwan.

    Pop a few salted plums into a glass with Sprite or 7-up and you can make the salted plum drink you find in most Vietnamese restaurants.

    1 Reply
    1. re: huaqiao

      I love salted plums. You just pop one into your mouth and suck on it, and nibble the fruit off the pit a little at a time. You can also add a couple to a glass of limeade or lemonade, just like they serve in Malaysia -- very refreshing!

    2. Ah, xi muoi. You just eat them straight like a candy by nibbling and then spit out the pit. Once as a kid I ate a whole bag and vomited afterwards, though. Maybe the ones you got are old. They should be a little bit soft and fleshy.

      4 Replies
      1. re: luckyfatima

        I think these must be old. But so they're supposed to be covered with all that brownish crust then?

        1. re: tatamagouche

          They are supposed to be like that...and I couldn't stomach it either. I did a flickr search on "salted plum". Some are soft, some are hard.

        2. re: luckyfatima

          There are lots of different kinds. The ones I like are the red ones which are completely dry and hard. Then you get ones that are varying degrees of fleshy. Some of them are actually wet, but still can be called salted plums.

          In Taiwan, one of the things you see a lot is food carts selling cherry tomatoes stuffed with a piece of black salted plum which is of the wetter, sweeter variety.

          One of my favorite candies as a kid is a dry salted plum encased in maltose. You can actually buy a little tub of maltose and make that yourself or buy them pre-wrapped. I've seen Japanese versions of this candy as well.

          Salt with fruit, drinks, or desserts is something that a lot of non-Asians have a hard time getting used to.

          1. re: huaqiao

            But I don't have a problem. I love salted fruit/drinks/desserts. I'll salt anything. That's why I was so surprised I didn't like these.

            Is it not just salt but MSG?

        3. I use to have these all the time as a kid. As the other poster have already said, you just suck them and then gnaw off the flesh. My mouth is puckering just thinking bout them. They maybe an acquired taste.

          2 Replies
          1. re: KTinNYC

            Must be. They're on my list of things that I've tried once, but will never cross my lips again before I die. I just don't get them, either as a dessert or as a snack.

            1. re: Gin n Tonic

              They certainly were never served as a dessert and they don't make much of a snack! They were just something that were lying around and you would pop in your mouth like those weird hard candies. The combination of salty, sweet and sour is quite unique.

          2. Pickled and salted = umeboshi (literally "dried plums") in Japan. They are moist, being kept in pickle jar.

            Rice balls (onigiri) wrapped in a sheet of nori, with a prized umeboshi in the center, are the go-to lunch for traveling, hiking etc.

            http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Ume...

            3 Replies
            1. re: FoodFuser

              Nope, as I said, these weren't moist (or in a jar). These were rock-hard dried in a bag.

              1. re: FoodFuser

                Dried salted plums and umeboshi are not the same.

                Both have to be part of your diet when young. I still love ume but can no longer eat salted dried plums.

                1. re: FoodFuser

                  Well, salt me in my undies and hang me out to dry. :)

                  With grace, wit, and understanding, we can contemplate the full continuum of hydration of the salted plum.

                  Yep they're different. Yep they're similar. Two different points along the hoshi-boshi spectrum.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umeboshi

                2. It also depends on which variety you get. There are the ones with *just* salt but I like the ones that are sweet too. Yeah, the red ones are reliably sweet/salty, though my favorite are the gray ones. I find the just salty ones too salty.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PegS

                    Yeah, see, I love pickled plums. I thought I'd love these too. Sigh.