• “Have you done something new with your hair? You look ravishing.” (Kuwahara Natsuko)Source: Kuwahara Natsuko

Like her pet dog Kipple, Natsuko’s a keen baker and often pairs her fresh treats with a drink, in this case, ume juice made from preserved Japanese or regular plums.

400 ml



Skill level

Average: 5 (6 votes)

 What's Kipple thinking, you ask? “Have you done something new with your hair? You look ravishing.”


  • 6 plums
  • 2 cups (14 oz/400 g) sugar
  • club soda (soda water), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Standing time 1 month

Remove the stems from the plums with a bamboo skewer, then pierce the skin all over with a fork.

Put the plums and sugar into a sterilised jar. Seal with a tight-fitting lid and let stand for a month, shaking occasionally. Strain the mixture through a strainer (sieve) into a bowl or pitcher (jug), then pour into another sterilised jar, seal with a tight-fitting lid, and store.

To serve, dilute with water or club soda (soda water) to taste.


Recipe from Bread and a Dog by Kuwahara Natsuko, with photography by Kuwahara Natsuko (Phaidon Press, pbk, $19.95).


View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.