The Real Know How

How-Tos, Videos, Tutorials — Ramping Up for the 21st Century

Archive for the category “fermented foods”

How to Make Vinegar

This following video was obviously a school project — but the two students do a really good job of showing how to make vinegar and giving the science behind it.

Musings on “the mother” and vinegar/fruit flies from goatkisses:

Erica shows us how she makes her own fruit vinegar. She usually makes it in the fall when it is apple and pear season. Erica uses the cores and bruised parts of the fruit to make the vinegar.

Here are a couple videos on making apple cider vinegar (the thick, brown kind). She talks about some issues you might encounter making vinegar with pasteurized apple cider. She gets pretty excited about vinegar.:

Siphoning and filtering a big batch of apple vinegar (made with apple peels):

Advertisement

Cultured Pickling

“Heres the clichĂ©: Alex Hozven craved pickles when she was pregnant with her first son, 12 years ago. And the twist: She started her own pickling business. The Cultured Pickle Shop sells pickles ranging from classic sauerkrauts to unusual kimchees and Kombuchas—way beyond the sour dill. But its the experiments, like the mysterious nuka pot or pickled blood oranges, that really get Hozven excited. Theres plenty of zing, zest, pow in all her pickles, though.”

Alex’s shop is in Berkeley, California.

Can I get botulism from fermented vegetables?

Sandor Katz, of wildfermentation.com answers the question.

Tempeh-making

This video with Jessica Baucom was great because she talks about how to make tempeh (a fermented bean cake) with all kinds of beans (not just soy) and explains in a simple way the critical points in making tempeh.

“Tempeh is a great source of protein (with zero cholesterol!) and easy to digest – it’s also a great meat substitute.”

Here Anna Antaki of the Weeping Duck Farm shows us her commercial tempeh making operation.

Both Anna and Jessica make their tempeh in plastic bags, but you can make it just as easily (without having to deal with plastic touching hot food) in pyrex dishes or cookie sheets. I’ve made it this way before and it came out fine, albeit with thicker white growth on the side of the tempeh not in touch with the dish. Traditionally, in Indonesia, where tempeh first originated they use large leaves, like banana leaves to package the tempeh.

Room Temperature Cultured Yoghurts

These are very easy to make yoghurts because you don’t have to mess around with warming milk or closely monitoring temperatures.

Instead, mesophilic yoghurts culture best at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and all you have to do to start them is to add the culture or already cultured yoghurt to milk and wait a few hours.

Really easy and all you have to do to keep things going is to feed the yoghurt with fresh milk or cream (these cultures love cream) periodically. They can be used to culture non-dairy milks also, but will also need to be fed dairy regularly to be kept healthy.

The mesophilic yoghurt cultures readily available online all come from the Nordic countries:

Viili which comes to us from Finland. Has a mild, creamy flavor and goopy texture (kind of like okra)

Piima, more of a buttermilk type of cultured product

Filmjolk, which has a cheesy flavor.

We’ve tried viili and piima and the viili won out. I keep a large crock, that I feed periodically in the fridge. It’s easy to keep going.

A Finnish friend of mine told me that her grandmother had a viili cabinet and I can see why, as the culturing is temperature sensitive and can be affected by drafts or even by higher room temperatures caused by cooking.

I’ve let mine go longer than I wanted/be out when the temperature was higher and got a thicker cottage cheese type culture (which we also liked). Our viili culture likes cream, sheep’s milk and full fat unhomogenized cow’s milk. It doesn’t perform so well with goat’s milk (the mixture stays runny).

Anyway, here is the CulturesforHealth video on viili (process is exactly the same for piima and filmjolk).

Cultures for Health is one of the sources for these cultures, but there are many others, including GEM Cultures. I shopped around and bought mine from Etsy.

Please let us know of your experiences with these cultures.

Making Preserved Lemons

This is an easy process (another lacto-fermented pickle) and a good way to preserve your bounty if you have a lemon tree or to extend your lemon-eating period if you eat seasonally.

Re ingredients, at its simplest, you just need lemons (in Morocco a specific kind is used, but any kind will do), salt and a sterilized jar. In this video, Jules also adds green bay leaves for color and a bit of flavor.

She ferments them for several weeks and says that the preserved lemons will keep in the cupboard, sealed, for about one year. Once open, she stores the jars in the fridge.

Tara shows you what the finished product looks like (she adds spices to her lemons in the jar) and tells you how to use the preserved lemons (you discard the preserved pulp and use the rind cut up finely to flavor dishes) and what they go well with. She says the unopened jars will keep “practically forever, really.”

Hakusai tsukemono (Japanese Pickled Cabbage)

Probably most people have heard of kimchee by now, but I’m guessing that fewer of us, unless we have Japanese roots or have lived in Japan know about hakusai tsukemono, Japanese-style pickled cabbage.

Apparently, it’s eaten flavored with perilla leaf (shiso), hot pepper, ginger and/or garlic with soy sauce as an after-fermentation-add-in, as a snack or light meal. Here are two versions:

QUICK

kenjisan makes his hakusai tsukemono which he says his family calls “koko” with chopped cabbage and perilla leaves as the base. After fermentation, to finish it offer, he adds ginger, garlic and soy sauce. Then it’s ready to be eaten with rice as a snack.

LONGER

superscheu shows us how to make pickled cabbage over three days. This version sees large Napa cabbages sectioned in quarters, salted and weighted and salted and drained repeatedly. The cabbage is flavored at the end stages with red chilies.

I don’t know enough about Japanese cuisine to weigh in on which method is more “authentic.” Maybe we can have duelling chefs. Anyway, my guess is that there are all kinds of variations on this pickle, though the differences in the two remind me of whole cabbage kimchee vs. the cut-up cabbage kimchee.

Beet, Carrot, Ginger Kraut

In this video, Diana Lehua shows us how to make a beet, carrot, ginger kraut. The kraut is a lacto-fermented food — so it’s made with salt and left to sit for a day or more to develop. Diana uses a plastic pickle press that forces the the grated vegetables down into the fermentation liquid and out of the air (where the fermentation bacteria won’t be active).

She doesn’t say if this recipe has a history, but it is a lot like Eastern and Central European fermented pickles. Lacto-fermented pickles have active cultures, don’t require canning and can be kept for stretches at cool temperatures. In both Europe and Korea where people make these kinds of pickles they are stored for months in ceramic crocks that let air circulate through the pickles and keep them cool. In Korea, they also bury their kimchee crocks to keep its temperature constant.

I haven’t made this recipe yet, but would probably add crushed garlic to it for more zing. I’d also rather make my fermented foods in glass over plastic and you can make recipes like this in glass by choosing the right size jar, packing it tightly and topping it up with brine if necessary.

Post Navigation