Umeboshi Hummus

Looking for ways to incorporate more fermented foods into your diet? Middle East meets Far East in this mashup of hummus with umeboshi , Japanese-style pickled plums.

Note: This is a (non-fermented) hummus simply made with umeboshi chopped in.

Other hummus variations:

First I soaked dried chickpeas overnight and then cooked them.

Then I added them to a food processor along with some fresh diced garlic and salt and gave it its first spin. Then I add water and fresh squeezed lemon juice and gave it another spin, then tahini gave it another spin, and then I begin to drizzle olive oil into the food processor.


Now this is where we get to add the umeboshi, a Japanese salted pickled plum dish packed with umami and used to flavor other dishes. Umeboshi is often fermented a year or longer; this batch was from two years ago. I chop up the plums, removing the pits and I also pulled some shiso leaves (which fermented with the plums). Then I add these to the hummus and then give it another spin until it’s incorporated. I tasted it along the way and decided I could add one more plum then I felt like it needed a little more flavor, so I added umeshu, which is the brine that the umeboshi expressed when they were being processed and salted prior to fermentation.

Umeboshi Hummus

Prep Time 9 hours
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Japanese, Mediterranean
Makes 1 quart/liter


  • 250 g (8 oz.) dried chickpeas
  • filtered water
  • 85 ml (3 fl. oz.) tahini stirred well
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 75 ml lemon juice (about 2 medium lemons)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp.) plain kombucha or pickle brine
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 ml) fine sea salt
  • 3-4 umeboshi with shiso leaves Japanese pickled plums
  • 2 Tbsp. umeshu, plum vinegar from umeboshi


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Add kombucha or pickle brine to soaking water.
  • The next day, drain, rinse and cook beans until "al dente" on stove, simmering 45 to 60 minutes, or slow cook on low for 4 to 6 hours.
  • Drain cooked beans, and let cool.
  • Add beans, 1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) salt and mince garlic and add to the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze lemon juice in and add umeshu. Process on low to incorporate ingredients for 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Remove pits from umeboshi and dice finely, along with shiso leaves.
  • Add tahini, umeboshi, and shiso. Process until it starts to become smooth.
  • Drizzle olive oil into food processor while spinning.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve. Due to the high protein content, hummus is relatively perishable. Will keep for refrigerator for 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.

Inspired by Alton Brown’s “Hummus for real” recipe.

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