Umeboshi plums are Japanese ume or green plums that are salt-cured and sun-dried, then combined with purple shiso leaves. They are incredibly healthful. They can be found in health food stores and sometimes in the (refrigerated) Asian section of some supermarkets. If you don’t have or can’t find any, use any of the subs listed.
1 head Napa cabbage (about 3 lbs)
3 – 4 T sea or kosher salt
6 umeboshi plums, pitted and minced; or 6 t umeboshi paste; or 6 T miso; or 6 t soy sauce
1/4 c mirin; or 1/4 c sweet sherry; or 1 T sugar mixed with 1/4 c dry sherry, sake, or white wine
1/4 c unseasoned rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1. Halve cabbage lengthwise, core if you like, and cut crosswise into 1-inch wide strips, or simply shred. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the salt, separating the strips or shreds as you toss. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for one hour.
2. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Rinse cabbage in a colander and drain. Take handfuls of the cabbage and either squeeze to remove excess water or put in a kitchen towel and press to remove the water. Transfer to a clean bowl as you do so. Stir in the umeboshi mixture, cover, and chill for at least one hour, stirring occasionally.