When the weather gets hot and sticky, I try to minimize my time in the kitchen, even if there is air conditioning. That often means that I like to prepare a large amount of meat that can be sliced up and conveniently used in several meals.

This nibuta (simmered pork) fits the bill perfectly. Umeboshi (pickled plums), a classic summer flavor, are added to the simmering liquid. They impart a subtle flavor and also help make the pork really tender. The simmered pork is very versatile and can be used as you'd use chāshū pork — as a topping for ramen and hiyashi chūka (cold Chinese-style noodles) or chopped up and put into fried rice, salads, sandwiches and more.

I recommend using a cut of meat that's sold as rōsuto (roast), which comes from the shoulder or back. You can also use pork belly, but the results will be rather fatty, although still quite tasty. I've also included instructions for an ume plum dressing that's perfect for a salad featuring this sliced pork.