Umeboshi Onigiri with Samphire
Mock-Goose Satay with Brackish Chimchurri
Bushfire Cocktail
Umeboshi Onigiri with Samphire
Umeboshi Onigiri with Samphire

Making Umeboshi

(From Preserving the Japanese Way by Nancy Singleton Hachisu)



10 pounds (5 kg) sour plums (ume) [I used unripe vampire plums grown in Western Australia.]

Place plums in a pail and run cold water over them to fill. Soak overnight in a cool spot . Dump the water the following day, transfer the ume to a large wooden , ceramic, or food-grade plastic tub , and measure the salt over the ume. Distribute the salt with your hand , making sure not to make cuts on ithe fruit with your fingernails. Place a clean muslin (or food-grade plastic) sheet across the surface of the salted ume and drape it down the sides of the tub . Lay a drop lid on top of the sheet and weight with rocks or similar heavy items equaling the weight of the ume .

(Alternatively, you could line the tub with a thick food-grade plastic bag,squeezing out the air, and cinch it up before laying tile drop lid.)

Store these salt-weighted ume in a cool dark spot , but check after 2 or 3 days to make sure the brine has surfaced . If it has not , massage any residual bottom salt up to the top fruit . The ume should remain in ithe brine for several weeks until the weather turns sunny [almost all the time in Western Australia], but check periodically to make sure no mold is forming (if it has, pick the mold off carefully).

After brining for at least 3 weeks (2 weeks for small ume), dry the ume for 3 days in the bright sunlight (they do not have to be consecutive days) on rattan mats (or the equivalent) stretched across a wooden frame for good air circulation. [I used an old window screen] At night return the ume to the pickling pot. On the last day of drying, strain the brine left over in the bottom of the salting tub through a fine-mesh strainer and store in a clean jar or bottle . This is called plum 'vinegar' or 'umesu' [It makes a beautiful dipping sauce or base for a salt plum tea.] Refrigerate your umesu, and pack the salt-cured plums into resealable gallon sized freezer bags or pickling jars. Ume will keep for a long long time, but be sure to check them every one in a while to make sure they aren't molding.


To Make your Onigiri, make a batch of sushi rice, tear off a small piece of seaweed, and make a small rice cake in the middle of your seaweed. Place your piece of umeboshi in the middle along with a piece of ethically foraged or grown Samphire. Enjoy.

Mock-Goose Satay with Brackish Chimchurri
Mock-Goose Satay with Brackish Chimchurri

This is a simple Vegan dish of skewered Mock-Goose (an alternative version of Satan) grilled and topped with what we call a Brackish Chimchurri.


Brackish Chimchurri Recipe:

1 packed cup of parsley

1 cup of saline plants such as Salt Bush or Samphire

1 hot chilli deveined and deseeded.

2 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 cup Olive Oil.


Put ingredients into blender or food processor and pusle into a paste. Skewer Mock-Goose and sear on a hot grill. Just before serving brush on Brackish Chimchurri. Voilà!


Bushfire Cocktail
Bushfire Cocktail

This is a recipe which is inspired by The Spectacles, a wetland in East Kwinana that has been a gathering place for various forms of life for countless generations. The water cocktail was presented as part of a story which imagines a future of brackish water rising in a time of global drying, leading to shift in dominant species that are also likely to burn.

2 oz. Desalinated Water

1 oz. 'Nectar' (50/50 Honey & Water)


Mix with ice and strain into a bottle.


Smoke the water with a saline tolerant plant, such as Melaleuca (i.e. Paperback Tree).


Pour into a glass and serve with a bruised aromatic leaf, such as wild mint or coastal sage.