See this jar of little misshapen potatoes?
They are plums, not potatoes.
They don't look like plums, and they certainly don't look like the umeboshi I was aiming for.
Well, they weren't ume plums to begin with, so what did I expect? They were unripe green gage plums, a little large, a little thick of skin. I tried anyway.
I couldn't be bothered to find fresh red shiso leaves, so I settled for a jar of dried red shiso flakes seasoned with salt and sugar.
The only other ingredient in the recipe is salt. As a first timer, I decided to shoot for a midrange level of saltiness, but day after day I found myself sprinkling in more shiso flakes, and the salt that came with them.
The plums never did turn red. They turned salty. But, to be fair, they taste deliciously of shiso. It's a magic, sort of licorice-y flavor.
At the end of the curing and drying period, Cranky and I sampled one plum. Salty. But, oh! It's... it's... an olive! With that magic shiso flavor.
I'd call it a success.