Linda - SURVIVAL HEALTH > Survival Recipes of the World

Ancient Japanese foods for on the road: Salted Umeboshi plum rice balls, etc.

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Dried salted umeboshi plums rolled up into a rice ball... simple good an ancient travel food the Japanese have used for ages...
I first heard about it in the 1970s. I used to eat the dried salted umeboshi but never have made the rice balls.
I think this would be a good survival food, long lasting and gives some variety from other foods on the road.
Will be posting a couple recipes and a video here.
- Yowbarb

If anyone knows a good source of the umeboshi plums, for use n the rice balls. please post ehre.
Will be looking for that. The umeboshi rice balls are a good travel survival food. - YB

Umeboshi Plums, Sea Salt, Beefsteak Leaves (shiso)

From Dirk Benedict's website, a recipe for the umeboshi plum balls. Some may remember Dirk from the A Team TV series and Battlestar Galactica. Dirk has been macrobiotic since the 1970s.

Posted by: DonnaRedRockMom of Louisville, KY

"I have been asked for this recipe by several people so I thought I would share it here with all interested:

Rice balls can be made ahead of time and kept for several days without refrigeration making them very convenient for travel, picnics, and just about anywhere you need a quick pick me up without is the perfect food for a person on the go Aveline Kushi calls them the macrobiotics’ alternative to fast food:

1 sheet nori
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 - 1 umeboshi plum

Toast a thin sheet of nori by holding the shiny side about 10-12 inches over a low flame. Rotate for 3-5 seconds, or until the color changes from black to green. Fold the nori in half and tear it into 2 pieces. Fold and tear again. There should now be 4 pieces (3x3)

Add a pinch of salt to a dish of water and use it to wet hands. Form a handful of rice into a solid ball. Press a hole in the center with your thumb and place a small piece of umeboshi inside. Then close the hole and press the ball together again until it is slid. Cover the rice ball with nori, one piece at a time until it sticks. Dampen your hands occasionally to prevent the rice and nori from sticking to them but do not use too much water.

Variations: Rice balls can be rolled into toasted sesame seeds, green veggies, shiso leaves, dried wakame sheets, or other things you think of.....experiment and can also try other things inside like fish, veggies and other things you careful about what you put inside as some things will need to be eaten right away or refrigerated.

Enjoy...and experiment while cooking you never know what you might discover."



--- Quote from: Yowbarb on August 22, 2011, 09:54:33 AM ---From Dirk Benedict's website, a recipe for the umeboshi plum balls. Some may remember Dirk from the A Team TV series and Battlestar Galactica. Dirk has been macrobiotic since the 1970s.
--- End quote ---

Wow, what a small world. Dirk (his real name) Benedict (not his real name) grew up here in White Sulphur and graduated high school here in the nineteen sixties. His mom (still lives here) is our good friend. He stated frankly on a TV show called "The Other Side" that when, in his twenties, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, he refused the recommended treatment, came home, took a bag of rice and some vegetables, and "went to the mountains for six weeks." His cancer disappeared and he's been vegetarian (macrobiotic) ever since. I'm about to visit his website.

(So what does that have to do with anything?  Nothing much.  :D)

Here is the ehow recipe for the rice balls with salted umeboshi plum.

Posted farther below is a video, just some info on the various types of rice balls which are prepared, how to open them, etc.
Best bet probably to make your own. Still looking for a good video on that, how to make your own - in English.   BTW this ehow recipe articlesays they keep 3 days I had thought they kept konger than that, based upon something I read inna macrobiotic book in the 1970s. Will look into that more. - Yowbarb
How to Make Macrobiotic Rice Balls
By Liza Blau, eHow Contributor

Read more: How to Make Macrobiotic Rice Balls |

Things You'll Need

    Short-grain brown rice
    Nori seaweed
    Umeboshi plums

Read more: How to Make Macrobiotic Rice Balls |

Macrobiotics is a predominantly vegetarian diet that combines yin (expansive) and yang (contractive) foods to promote health, well-being and longevity. Macrobiotic philosophy believes that an imbalance in the body of yin and yang energies is what causes health problems. The macrobiotic meal recommendations consist of grains, beans, vegetables and other locally grown, seasonal food. Macrobiotic rice balls combine rice (yin) with seaweed (yang) for a perfectly balanced snack that keeps up to three days without refrigeration.



Boil or pressure cook 1 cup of short-grain brown rice. Short-grain brown rice is the most balanced variety of rice. The recipe for boiled rice is 1 cup of rice to 2 cups of water, cooked for 1 hour. Pressure-cooked rice requires 1 cup of rice and 1 1/2 cups of water, cooked for 50 minutes. Pressure-cooked rice tastes a bit sweeter.


After the rice cools, wet your hands and shape the rice into several small balls. Pack the rice as tightly as possible.


Poke a hole in the center of each rice ball with your thumb and insert a small piece of umeboshi plum or 1/2 teaspoon of umeboshi plum paste. Umboshi is a Japanese pickled plum renowned for its healing, digestive and strengthening qualities. The pickling of the umboshi plum transforms the yin nature of the fruit, making it more yang and balanced. Close the hole and pack the rice ball until it's solid again. Umeboshi plum also helps keep the rice balls fresh without refrigeration.


Toast a sheet of nori seaweed by holding it for a few seconds over a gas flame or hot stove burner until it turns dark green. Tear the sheet into four equal squares, pressing each square tightly around the rice ball until the nori sticks to the rice, and the ball is completely covered

Read more: How to Make Macrobiotic Rice Balls |


Uploaded by japanvideophoto on Dec 30, 2010

I show 3 different types of Japanese Rice Balls which are called Onigiri in Japanese お握り or 御握り. I also show a Nattou なっとう Temaki. Onigiri are a very popular and traditional snack food in Japan. If you go into any convenience store they will all have a wide selection of rice balls on sale. So if you ever visit Japan, I recommend you at least try a few Onigiri. Most people think of Sushi when it comes to Japanese food, and some even mistake onigiri as being sushi (which they are not). Japan has so many unique and delicious foods to try, so if you ever get the chance to visit be a little bit adventurous and experiment :)



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