Sakura Shiozuke (pickled preserved Sakura cherry blossoms)
The unique flavour and aroma of salted pickled cherry blossom is very distinct and if you are a Japan lover you will know this smell automatically. In Japan the Sakura bloom for a very short time the fleeting essence of nature is celebrated by all things Sakura themed in Spring. You may have seen me in the past use shop bought salted pickled cherry blossoms in some of my recipes. They are used around Sakura season in Japan to decorate cakes, cookies and desserts and can also be used chopped in onigiri. One of the most popular is a wagashi called Sakura Mochi .
I decided to make my own Sakura shiozuke as they are preserved you can use them any time to make my Sakura cookie recipe or other recipes that call for salted Sakura.
Why not give making salted pickled Sakura blossoms a try. You will need to pick the pink Pom Pom looking double flowers known as Yaezakura.
Pick the blossom and put them in a bowl I used around 100g of blossom . Gently wash them.
Then add salt make sure it’s well mixed in . I added quite a bit about 20g. Then cover with cling film and put a plate on top and weigh it down further with smaller plates then leave them over night .
The next day take off your plates. I bought ume su ( by clear spring ) and added to the blossom about 1/4 of the bottle.
Put the plastic wrap over and put the plates back on . Then leave that for three days . After this time pick out the blossom and put them on a wire rack with kitchen town in a warm place for 2 days .
Then peel them off the kitchen towel ( they are nearly dried but not quite at this point) put them on a bamboo tray you could use a few rolling matts or something like that and leave again to dry for a few more days .
At this point they should be dry and you can store them in a jar adding a bit more salt and save them til next year or use them straight away!
Happy Sakura Season !