Pickled Japanese plums that are picked before they're ripe, then soaked in brine and red leaves, the latter of which adds flavor and a pink coloring. This Japanese condiment is very salty and tart and is a popular adjunct to most Japanese meals, including breakfast. Puréed umeboshi, called bainiku, is used as a seasoning. Umeboshi can be found in jars and cans in Asian markets and in some gourmet markets.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.