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Pickled plum and calamari salad (Ume ika somen)

Whether it’s in an Izakaya (Japanese tapas bar) or a more refined Kaiseki(where 14 courses is the norm) restaurant, Japanese people are into having a variety of small plates. Like Spanish tapas, these aren’t really big enough to be considered a course by American standards and the idea is to order a bunch of dishes.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Shellfish
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Fat, Pescatarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 large Umeboshi (pit removed and minced)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 ounces sashimi-grade squid (sliced into thin noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons asian pear (cut into small dice)
  • 2 green shiso (sliced into thin ribbons)


  • Prepare the dressing by mixing the umeboshi and olive oil. Add a bit more olive oil if it seems to pasty.
  • Add the squid, pear and shiso leaves and mix to combine.
  • Serve immediately. This also goes well on slices of cucumber.