Salted Cherry Blossoms

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It was recently cherry blossom season and I had been wanting to salt them for many years. I usually end up missing the chance to forage for them and by the time I think of it, the season is over. This year I was able to get my hands on a handful of blossoms. Since I’ve never salted them before, I wasn’t sure what to do and only wanted to make a small batch. I love the taste of cherry blossoms. They have a unique floral flavour that is hard to describe but they remind me of a pickled plum.

To preserve the blossoms begin by washing and removing any woody parts of the cherry blossoms. You mostly want the pink blossoms. You also want to harvest the blossoms when they just about to fully bloom. Using a paper towel, remove as much moisture from the blossoms as possible. Leave it out to dry for a couple hours.

In a flat bottomed container, layer some sea salt. On the layer of sea salt, lay out the dried blossoms. Using a weight (in this case, I used another container), to press the blossoms into the salt. Let the blossoms sit overnight.

In the morning, the blossoms would have released more of its liquids. Using a paper towel, blot as much liquid as possible.

The next step involves pickling your blossoms. Add some vinegar (I used rice vinegar but traditionally you use ume vinegar). Cover the blossoms with a little vinegar and more salt. Add the weight back onto the blossoms. Let this sit for another 3 days.

After the third day, drain any liquid from the container and let it air dry. It usually takes a day or two or maybe longer depending on how much liquid is remaining. Once dry, store the blossoms in salt and stick in the fridge. The blossoms should last a long time. They can be used as garnish for desserts, salads or salad dressings. I just like eating them as a salty little snack. Next year, I’ll make sure that I gather a bit more since a handful ended up with just a few morsels. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Cherry Blossoms
  • Sea salt
  • Vinegar

Directions

  1. Wash and remove any woody parts of the cherry blossoms. You mostly want the pink blossoms.
  2. Using a paper towel, remove as much moisture from the blossoms as possible. Leave it out to dry for a couple hours.
  3. In a flat bottomed container, layer some sea salt. On the layer of sea salt, lay out the dried blossoms.
  4. Using a weight (in this case, I used another container), to press the blossoms into the salt. Let the blossoms sit overnight.
  5. In the morning, the blossoms would have released more of its liquids. Using a paper towel, blot as much liquid as possible.
  6. The next step involves pickling your blossoms. Add some vinegar (I used rice vinegar but traditionally you use ume vinegar). Cover the blossoms with a little vinegar and more salt. Add the weight back onto the blossoms. Let this sit for another 3 days.
  7. After the third day, drain any liquid from the container and let it air dry. It usually takes a day or two or maybe longer depending on how much liquid is remaining. Once dry, store the blossoms in salt and stick in the fridge. The blossoms should last a long time. They can be used as garnish for desserts, salads or salad dressings. Enjoy!

If you liked this recipe, check out the other ones on our blog.

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