If you’re going to use cherry blossoms. The large frothy ones are just blooming here in the north. They have the most bite/substance and the aromatic marzipan flavour is best before fully opened. I have salted some I picked when the buds were still tight and dark and the aroma is extraordinary
Btw all cherries and all cherry blossom is edible.
Give them a soak to clean, and rinse off the debris then gently pat them dry, save the young leaves and leave stems attached
You can buy a special pot for fermentation or use a plastic food grade bag, or two ceramic bowls, one that fits inside the other. Whatever you use will need to be sterilised.
Use rock or sea salt. I had some pink rock salt I used. Its recommended that you use between 20-25% of the weight of whatever youre preserving. You should weigh carefully to make sure you use enough to inhibit the growth of any bad bacteria. Cover the blossoms evenly with the salt.
I packed mine into a ceramic bowl placing another on top with a weight. I placed a towel over and another bowl with wright on top as i wad leaving ot out on the worktop. You need to leave this for 2 or 3 days in a cool dry dark place
When you go back to this you will notice the aroma I described earlier! You may need to gently squeeze any brine out before placing them in another clean vessel or jar.
Fill with Ume Shiso (plum) or other pickling vinegar so the blossoms are just covered. One way to ensure they stay submerged is to leave enough space at the top to place a bag of water into the jar, if your using a kilner jar the lid screws on over the top do it lightly so as not to tear the bag
Let them sit another 3 days in a dark dry spot. They looked lovely in my cupboard 🙂
Then drain and place out evenly in a single layer to dry on a warm sunny day.
After drying pack them in a jar with salt to store in the fridge.
They will keep a long time. Rinse before use as you would capers.
You can use them in a roll with pickled plum, sushi rice and nori for a special spring celebration, you could make a tea from them to go with it.
They are beautiful garnishes and look amazing in clear jelly, and cooked with savoury or sweet rice where they will impart flavour too.I
I am adding pictures of a new batch as I go through the process.