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Stir-fried Vegetables with Pickled Plum Sauce

July 29, 2013

Umeboshi paste adds a delightful piquancy to this healthy vegetable dish.

Serves 4



  1. Put the kombu and water in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer, uncovered, over a medium heat, then simmer gently for 5 minutes. Remove the kombu and keep it to use another time. Add the umeboshi and mirin to this kombu stock and mix well, leaving it ready for later.
  2. Cut the Chinese cabbage in half again lengthwise, then core it and slice the leaves crosswise into 2cm wide strips. The core can be used if very thinly sliced. Quarter the red pepper, remove and discard seeds and inner white membranes, then thinly slice on the diagonal. Top and tail the snow peas or mange tout, removing any stringy bits.
  3. Heat the oil over a medium heat in a wok or big frying pan. Drain the lotus root and sauté it briefly. Add the red pepper, then the Chinese cabbage, then the spring onions, sautéing for one minute after each vegetable is added. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the snow peas or mange tout, toss, cover and cook for one more minute. Uncover and remove from the heat.
  4. Dissolve the kuzu in 30ml cold water and add to the kombu stock. Pour the stock over the vegetables and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring gently. Simmer for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve as a vegetable dish on its own, or as a topping for noodles.

*Japanese pestle & mortar. 


John & Jan BellemeJohn & Jan Belleme

John & Jan Belleme are leading autorities on the healing powers of traditional Japanese foods. Before turning his focus to food and health, John was a research biologist for the Veteran's association in Miami, Florida, and he worked in laboratories at the Universities of Miami Medical School and Harvard University Medical School.

For more than twenty-five years John has applied his background in medical research to interpreting the literature on traditional Japanese medicinal foods.

In 1979, after living and studying in Japan for over a year - where the Bellemes learned the craft of miso making firsthand - they co-founded the American Miso Company, one of the world's largest producers of traditional miso.

Since the 1980s the Bellemes have researched and written, and in many cases illustrated, over 130 published articles on the subject of Japanese foods, including four books: Culinary Treasures of Japan; Cooking with Japanese Foods: A Guide to the Traditional Natural Foods of Japan; Clearspring - The Real Taste of Japan and The Miso Book.

John and Jan travel throughout the eastern United States giving lectures about authentic Japanese foods, and every winter, with partner Sandy Pukel, organise a week-long health cruise that features prominent experts in macrobiotic cooking, healthy living, holistic medicine, yoga, meditation, shiatsu, Pilates, and natural beauty aids. They live in Saluda, North Carolina.

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