Like Cherry Blossoms themselves, the cherry blossom leaves are edible too. We often use the preserved cherry blossom leaves for Japanese sweets and desserts. Like the blossoms, the leaves have a beautiful scent of their own. The fragrant leaves are always a good way to add a hint of “spring” to your dish and presentation. Here is the link to my Tokyo Style Sakura Mochi recipe.
To make the preserved cherry blossom leaves, you want to pick the soft young leaves. Like with the blossoms, finding the perfect leaves depends on the timing. If the leaves are too mature they will be tough to chew. The double-flowered cherry blossom tree produces leaves with a beautiful fragrance.
Preserved Cherry Blossom Leaves
· 100g tender leaves from the double-flowered cherry tree
· sea salt
· 100cc of 20% salt water
1. Wash the cherry leaves well.
2. Boil a few cups of water and scald the leaves quickly.
3. Remove from the hot water and immediately cool down in a cold water bath.
4. Wipe the leaves dry.
5. On the tray, sprinkle a light layer of salt then lay the leaves on top of the salt then sprinkle a light layer of salt on top of the leaves. Repeat this several times and finish with sprinkling salt.
6. Pour the 100cc of salt water over the leaves and cover with plastic wrap. Place a flat weight on top of the plastic and store in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.
7. Remove the weight and store in the fridge until needed.
8. Desalinate the leaves before using. Soak the leaves in water for 5 to 10 minutes then pat dry. You can store the leaves in your fridge for up to 1 year.