Have you heard of Umeboshi plums? One of our members recently wrote to comment that, “Your Ume plum is the best in Manly!! Thank you for providing us the healthy Japanese products.” Along with the comment Mayumi shared a traditional recipe for a cleansing dish called Ochazuke.

umeboshi plum and broth bowl


・ Ume plum
・ Spring onion
・ White sesame seeds
・ Steamed rice
・ Shiitake broth, dashi or tamari soy souce and hot water

OCHAZUKE is one of Japan’s soul foods. Before we got the rice cookers, we made the steamed rice with a pot (I make these with a pot also). OCHAZUKE is a good idea for eating leftover, cold rice, because the hot dashi soup warms up the rice. Dashi means broth in Japanese. Japanese normally use the konbu or shiitake mushrooms or katsuo (fish) broth but any broth could be used. We use the cold rice for the OCHAZUKE, but the OCHAZUKE is a hot dish.

The premise of this dish is the Japanese ancient philosophy to avoid ‘left-over food’. The toppings are up to you. I normally put the Ume plum, spring onion, white sesami and the dash.( but you can pour the tamari soy sauce and hot water as well.)

When your stomach is exhausted with eating and drinking too much, you need to eat the

Recipe courtesy of Co-op member, Mayumi
umeboshi plum bowl

Michael Wynne is also a member with a true passion for all things Japanese. Michael has spent time living in Japan and sees an alignment between the Co-op values and the Japanese way. He puts it like this:

The essence of traditional Japanese food is to balance harmony of five flavour profiles (salty, hot/spicy, sweet, sour and bitter) and each has a harmony with the seasons. When food is prepared for a particular person it becomes medicine and is often preventive. No part, either flavour or colour is more important. The same goes for the people who grow (and the soil), those who sell and those who consume the food. This is all based on the laws of nature Tao/do.

Simple toasted nut mix

These dry roasted sesame, sunflower and pepita seeds complement Japanese food. This nut mix is also really good as a nourishing bushwalking snack.


Use a heavy skillet and start by adding sesame seeds (use whatever quantities you like). After approximately 5 minutes on medium heat add in sunflower seeds. Keep stirring for 2 or 3 minutes  more and then add pepita seeds. Note that it’s easy to burn the seeds so keep an eye on them. Switch off heat as soon as seeds start to brown and enjoy the nice fragrance! Wait at least 5 minutes breathing deeply before adding shoyu (wheat free) to taste.

You can find another Japanese recipe supplied by Michael in last week’s blog, a blog on sauces and one on Japanese teas. Enjoy