Dried, salted plums have a tart, almost excruciatingly salty flavor that you really have to grow up with to love, says akq. “It’s an acquired taste, usually acquired in childhood.” “They’re for salt addicts; and I think you have to have gotten started on them early in life,” says Sam Fujisaka.

The intense flavor can be diluted into other dishes. Salty sour plum powder is a particularly versatile cooking weapon. “In Hawaii, li hing powder has been ‘hot’ for years now—it’s added to all kinds of things, including cocktails!” says akq, who also likes li hing vinaigrette. “In Taiwan, one of the things you see a lot is food carts selling cherry tomatoes stuffed with a piece of black salted plum which is of the wetter, sweeter variety,” says huaqiao.

Board Link: Wherefore salted plums?

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