Women and Koji Making June 15th, and Mas Cultivos Y Fermentos on June 19 (Español)


Register Now for either event.

Women and Koji Making
Women and Koji Making: June 15, 2020: 9:00 AM EDT to 5:30 PM EDT (2 Sessions) – List in formation, pre-taping of add on events has already begun!

Mas Cultivos y Fermentos
June 19, 2020 : 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (9:00 to 1:00 PM EDT. 1 to 5:30 PM EDT)

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Women and Koji Making June 15th, and Mas Cultivos Y Fermentos on June 19 (Español). Register



Microbes, Koji, Ferments
Meeting ID: 822 9354 4287 – Password: MKF1
2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598 – Password: MKF2

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST – Password: CF1
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

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Schedule/Links/Money for May 23, 2020


Welcome! On Saturday May 23, 2PM EST to 11:30 PM EST you have to call into each Session when it opens at the scheduled time. No one wanted to stay on a 7 1/2 hour call/event so it was broken up into 3 sessions. Click the name of the session below, and it will take you to the Zoom event. You need a password for each session. They are below.

Note: You will be muted upon entering. You can use the chat. The co-hosts will monitor it for questions. Do not post off topic chat notes or try to advertise anything during any session. You will be blocked from chatting if you do.

You can’t upload files. You can’t share your screen. The co-hosts will decide if you get unmuted. But, that really creates a lot of noise and ruins the recording according to the people that are attempting to record this. Please do not ask about recordings again. Thank You for your interest!


SESSION 1 – Password: MKF1 – Microbes, Koji, Ferments 2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST. Meeting ID: Meeting ID: 822 9354 4287

SESSION 2 – Password: MKF2 Microbes, Koji, Ferments, Part 2 6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

SESSION 3 – Password: CF1 Cultivos y Fermentos – 9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Payment/Donation/Confirmation

There are two ways to send money to support our work. Make a donation of $20 or more US dollars. Venmo or PayPal will give you a receipt. You don’t get a payment confirmation from us. Again, the links and password for May 23 are above.

Cultures.Group

Pascal Baudar – Wildcrafted Vinegars



Microbes, Koji, Ferments

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST Meeting ID: Meeting ID: 822 9354 4287

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Presenters Bios and Pictures


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Fermentando Resiliencia – Esteban Yepes Montoya



Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598
2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Presenters Bios and Pictures


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Kojicuterie – Meats and Koji (麹)



Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598
2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Presenters Bios and Pictures


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Chef Sean Doherty


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Presenters Bios and Pictures


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Kirsten K Shockey and Christopher Shockey



May 23 Links





Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Presenters Bios and Pictures


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Microbes, Koji, Ferments 八つ


May 23 Links


Presenters Bios and Pictures


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST


Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Cultures.Group navigation links:

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Microbes, Koji, Ferments 七つ


May 23 Links


18 month mexijang and roasted porcini miso

Presenters Bios and Pictures


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281


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Microbes, Koji, Ferments 四つ


May 23 Links


Here is where people Register
Here is the General Schedule
Here are the Zoom links at each Session Section


Presenters Bios and Pictures


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST


Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598


Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281

Alex Lewin (and Raquel Guajardo)

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Microbes, Koji, Ferments 三つ


May 23 Links


Here is where people Register
Here is the General Schedule
Here are the Zoom links at each Session Section


Presenters Bios and Pictures


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598


Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281



Check Cultures.Group‘s latest videos:

Microbes, Koji, Ferments につ


Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST


Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281



Check Cultures.Group‘s latest videos:

Microbes, Koji, Ferments 一つ


May 23, 2020

This is the second of a monthly or bi-monthly series of culturesgroup’s Zymes2020 program. Our first event has been recorded at our Vimeo site. Although there are already planned events for the series, it is our goal to not publicize these until the previous event has been finalized.



Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST


Microbes, Koji, Ferments, 2

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST
Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

Cultivos y Fermentos

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 833 1798 7281



Check Cultures.Group‘s latest videos:

Zymes 2020 – May 23, 2020


To REGISTER click on the word REGISTER.


SESSION 1 – Microbes, Koji, Ferments – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

2:00 PM EST to 6:00 PM EST

Tepary Bean, Corn and Pepino Tempeh from Ferment.Works

SESSION 2 Microbes, Koji, Ferments, Part 2 – Meeting ID: 812 4792 9598

6:00 PM EST to 9:00 PM EST

SESSION 3 Cultivos y FermentosMeeting ID: 833 1798 7281

9:00 PM EST to 11:30 PM EST

This is the second of a monthly or bi-monthly series of culturesgroup’s Zymes2020 program. Our first event has been recorded at our Vimeo site. Although there are already planned events for the series, it is our goal to not publicize these until the previous event has been finalized.


Check Cultures.Group‘s latest videos:


Cultures.Group

Session Recordings – Cultured & Cured

All Session recordings are at our vimeo site.



Session 2Cultured & Cured


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

 

Zymes2020 – Video/Next Event/Last Event Schedule

Upcoming May 23rd 2:00 to 11:30 PM EST. Details Friday, May 8th. No Fee. Pre-Registration Required. You must be validated with Zoom. Again, details this upcoming Friday. New York Time. Recording from previous event below. More coming! Thanks!

Koji Mushroom Making Video: https://youtu.be/Y7cUB4yBltU

May 3 Schedule and Presenters

All times are EST (New York) Click on the name of the presenter to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do. Because there are space limits, you have to register once for Zoom, then for each Session you want to attend.


Session 1- Flavor of Hands Fermentation and Koji 101 


Session 2 – Cultured & Cured


Session 3 – Hops, Trees and Really Wild Ferments


Session 4 – Fermenting with Flowers, Fungus and Bacteria


Black Soybean Taucho (B.subtilis) Pesto

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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

 

Flavor of Hands and Koji 101

Flavor of Hands Fermentation and Koji 101 – Session #1. All times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • 4:00 to 4:30 PM – Opening Chef Ken Fornataro
  • 4:30 to 5:00 – Chef Rick Porter Sowden
  • 5:00 to 5:30 – Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey
  • 5: 30 to 6:00 – Marcus Im

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Using Microbes to Preserve/Ferment/Extend Food Resources

How Bacteria, fungus and other microbes can keep your food and drink safe and tasty. Also, how pickling, fermenting and kojifying food can help to use things that would otherwise not be edible such as beans, vegetables, and inexpensive meat or fish.

Chef Ken Fornataro has a vast knowledge of the science and techniques that all but disappeared with the industrialization of food. Ken’s knowledge of microbiology and rigorous methodology has helped him greatly in the kitchen where he employs koji and bacteria and enzymes to create tasty and nutritious food and beverages. He is currently the Executive Chef/CEO (pro bono) of https://Cultures.Group


Golden Millet Koji with A.oryzae and R.oryzae

All Koji isn’t Created Equal

Chef Rick Porter Sowden will offer a Koji 101 primer for professional Chefs, cooks, and hobbyists that believe they know koji. 

Rick Porter Sowden is a Chef, Charcutier, Culinary Mycologist, and Food Technologist with Native Son Koji, a Native American owned and operated company. Native Son Koji designed, developed and adapted equipment for a modern, semi automated, in-house koji making process based on traditional standards & practices. The products and proprietary processes they developed and perfected are unique, as such, are not replicated anywhere else, in the world. 



Sour Corn in the time of Corona

Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey will talk about fermented corn. Obviously. Sofkee is a fermented corn drink or porridge (grits and mush). Typically consumed by indigenous peoples of the Southeast, and the loss of the tradition amongst the Haudenosaunee. I’ll talk a bit about how to make it, and the rediscovery of lost traditions amongst indigenous people. 

Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey is Executive Chef/Instructor/Co-Founder of Local Pop, Augusta Boucherie and Corn Mafia.


American Kimchi & Sohn-Mat – Making kimchi authentic to your self and environment

As a first-generation American, the exploration of authenticity is a life-long journey. What does it mean to be authentically Korean and American at the same time? Food, locality, and wild fermentation allows for the bubbly celebration of our cultures. There is as authentic American kimchi as Korean.

A Korean concept called “sohn-mat” literally translates to “flavor of hands”. It’s used colloquially to compliment a chef for their oustanding cooking, but traditionally, it carries a connotation encouraging the use of your hands. The wisdom of “sohn-mat” especially rings true in kimchi making, where the maker’s unique touch becomes their signature. 

Marcus Im is a Korean-American fermentation fanatic, teacher, and writer currently in Brooklyn. 


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

Cultured & Cured

Cultured and Cured Session #2 Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • Introduction of Session – Sandor Katz
  • 6:00 to 6:30 PM – Alex Gunuey and Amy Kalafa of A-ray.tv
  • 6:30 to7:00 – Dr. Johnny Drain
  • 7:00 to 7:30 – Dr. Darra Goldstein
  • 7: 30 to 8:00 – Dr. Ken Albala

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Cultured & Cured

Cultured & Cured explores the art and science of cultivating microbes for good health and fabulous flavors. Featuring top professionals in the world of fermentation, brewing, curing and pickling, Cultured & Cured goes beyond food trends, illuminating the biological activities that make food naturally delicious and super-nutritious.

Chef Ken Fornataro of Cultures.Group with Amy Kalafa

Amy Kalafa is a long-time advocate for sustainable food. Her award-winning film, Two Angry Moms created a media sensation and ignited a nationwide movement for better food in schools, resulting in food policy reform locally and nationally. Amy’s book, Lunch Wars: How to Start a School Food Revolution and Win the Battle for Our Children’s Health (Tarcher-Penguin / Random House) was nominated for a Books for a Better Life Award.  She’s been a writer, producer and editor for Martha Stewart Living and Lidia Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italy PBS series and appeared as a guest chef on the PBS series Cultivating Life. Amy has an MBA in Sustainability. She is also a Certified Holistic Health Counselor and holds a Lectureship at the Yale School of Medicine and Psychiatry.

Co-Host Alexander Gunuey won a James Beard Award as Broadcast Producer for the PBS series Lidia’s Italy. He won an Emmy Award as Senior Editor for Martha Stewart Living and is acclaimed as the editor of A Tribute to Julia Child. Alex is a chef and a specialist in traditional French food preservation from confit and terrine to cornichon and confiture. At the invitation of the Obama’s chef Sam Katz, Alex visited the White House on behalf of Chefs Move to Schools along with Marcus Samuelson, Bea Smith and 1000 other American chefs.  Alex is a co-founder (with Amy Kalafa) of the east coast’s first Certified Organic poultry and game bird farm, Animal Farm. Their innovations in pasture ranging and herbal diets drove demand from Dean & Delucca, Anthony Bourdain, and numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in New York City.


Dr Johnny Drain: researcher, fermenter and food designer. Master of microbes!

MOLD and/or creating tasty things from food waste

Johnny creates delicious things for the world’s best restaurants, bars, and food brands. He’s a world expert in fermentation, using it as a tool to amplify flavour, create new products and increase sustainability. He writes and speaks about the future of food and challenges in global food systems through his work with MOLD, a critically acclaimed editorial platform about designing the future of food.

Combining his PhD in Materials Science from Oxford and years of cooking experience, his clients and collaborators have included the Nordic Food Lab (established by Noma), the Argentinian Ministry of Agriculture, Mirazur (#1, World’s 50 Best 2019), and Dandelyan (#1, World’s 50 Best Bars 2018). He set up the Cub Cave in London to provide research and ferments for Cub, founded by drinks wizard Ryan Chetiyawardana, and zero-waste chef Douglas McMaster’s restaurant Silo, using innovative techniques to turn food waste and by-products into delicious things to eat and drink.

Exploring how to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050, MOLD works with next generation food brands, commissions products from emerging designers, and has run summits for Copenhagen’s TechFest. A visionary voice on the future of food, it was described by the New York Times as “one to watch” in a new generation of independent food magazines.


Darra Goldstein (Photo by Stefan)

Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore

The founding editor of Gastronomica, talks about her new cookbook, Beyond the North Wind: Russia in Recipes and Lore, and Russian practices of fermentation, which go back over a thousand years. Most people are familiar with lacto-fermented vegetables like dill pickles, sauerkraut, and salted mushrooms, but the Russians also ferment fruits like apples, watermelon, and tomatoes in a light brine that yields a beautiful wine-like flavor. Russians are perhaps most famous for kvass, a lightly fermented alcoholic drink most often made from stale black bread. It can also be made from fruits and vegetables. 

Dr. Darra Goldstein has spent much of the last four decades falling in love with Scandinavia; its people, its landscape, and most of all, its food. She is the founding editor of the James Beard Award-winning journal Gastronomica and a professor of Russian at Williams College. Goldstein has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including The Georgian Feast, which won the 1994 IACP Julia Child Award. She lives in Williamstown Massachusetts.


Living with Microbes

In the past century modern society has waged a speciesist war against bacteria, fungi and molds. Assuming the only good microbe is a dead one, we wiped them off our countertops, out of our soil and nearly purged them completely from our bodies. There are of course pathogenic germs and “good” microbes that have been used for millenia, but it is only recently that we have begun to appreciate what we have lost in terms of the pre-pasteurian food supply. Award winning historian Ken Albala will ramble on about bread, cheese, cured meat, pickles and answer any questions you have about the very unscientific approach to living with microbes. 

Dr. Ken Albala is Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where he teaches food history and the history of early modern Europe. He is also a Visiting Professor at Boston University, where he teaches an advanced food history course in the gastronomy program. He earned an M.A. in History from Yale University and a Ph.D. in History from Columbia University. Professor Albala is the author or editor of 16 books on food. His four-volume Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia was published in 2011. He is also coeditor of the journal Food, Culture & Society and general editor of the series AltaMira Studies in Food and Gastronomy, for which he has written a textbook titled Three World Cuisines: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, which won the 2013 Gourmand World Cookbook Award for Best Foreign Cuisine Book in the World. In 2009, he won the Faye and Alex G. Spanos Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of the Pacific. Other books include Eating Right in the Renaissance; Food in Early Modern Europe; Cooking in Europe, 1250-1650; The Banquet: Dining in the Great Courts of Late Renaissance Europe; and the award-winning Beans: A History. He also coedited Food and Faith in Christian Culture and A Cultural History of Food in the Renaissance, among other books.nd co-authored “The Lost Art of Real Cooking” and “The Lost Arts of Hearth and Home.”


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

Hops, Trees and Really Wild Ferments

Hops, Trees and Really Wild Ferments Session #3 – Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • 8:00 to 8:30 PM – Chris Cuzme of Fifth Hammer Brewing
  • 8:30 to 9:00 – Chef Sean Doherty
  • 9:00 to 9:30 – Mallory O’Donnell

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Hops, Brewing and Fermenting

Chris Cuzme and Mary Izett of Fifth Hammer Brewing 

Listen and watch a uniquely talented brewer and fermenter, co-owner of Fifth Hammer Brewing Chris Cuzme of Fifth Hammer Brewing along with his equally brilliant brewing and fermenting partner Mary Izett. 

You can still get some of their amazing brews in Long Island City. And hopefully someday have another meeting with all the incredible fermenters and microbe wranglers that meet there only due to the generosity of The Fifth  Hammer Brewing team. Chris and Mary also host https://heritageradionetwork.org/series/fuhmentaboudit/ “Ferment About It! (Fuhmentaboudit!), aims to demystify the art of home fermentation with a primary focus on home brewing beer. Chris and Mary take listeners on a journey through fermentation, sharing history, practical methods, recipes and anecdotes from personal experience as well as from those of guest fermenters both amateur and pro.”


Thai Fermented meat called Naem (sour) using Beef and Fish


The Thai fermented meat preparation that Chef Sean Doherty will demonstrate is called Naem (sour). He will use both a beef tri tip and a filet of Cobia. This type of fermentation employs lactic acid bacteria so it’s essentially a “souring” taking place. The meat/fish are safely preserved by these (food safe)bacteria which is possible through precise ratio of salt combined with sticky rice plus fresh garlic. After the items are sufficiently fermented, they can be grilled, deep fried, etc., with no need to rinse off the cure. This only contributes to the flavor, becoming crispy and deeply satisfying. This is a relatively unknown method that could very well be the next “umami bomb”.aem (sour) using Beef and Fish. 

Chef Sean Doherty earned a Grande Diplome from the renowned Le Cordon Bleu program in 2004. Having worked with great chefs such as Larry Matthews Jr. at Back Bay Grill and Melissa Kelly at Primo, Sean was tapped by Harding Lee Smith to be the opening Chef of two of his successful restaurants: The Corner Room and The Oyster Room at Boone’s Fish House shortly after. Sean has spent the last ten+ years learning the ‘oldways and traditions of food preservation’ which includes fermentation, foraging, baking, and brewing; with a strong focus on Asian pathways (koji, miso, soy sauce, garum and vinegars). He now resides in Brunswick with his wife, two daughters, and countless culinary experiments. 



How to Ferment a Tree – Wild Food Fermentation with ingredients from the Trees – Flowers, Conifer Needles and Tips, Ornamental Flowers, Sap, and Syrup

Sauerkraut and kvass are two vegetable ferments that require a minimum of special equipment and Mallory O’Donnell is a wild food gatherer, cook, writer and teacher who focuses on sustainable and ethical ingredients. Many of the most abundant foods come from ornamental or invasive plants,  common garden weeds, and native or introduced trees. These ingredients not only tend to be the most nutritious but also are often the most culinarily intriguing. Items like the Japanese sansai taranome (collected from the invasive Aralia elata), the sap, flowers and leaves of the Norway Maple, and the flowers of ornamental quince, cherry and crabapple trees can and should be used by both enthusiastic amateurs and world-class chefs. When it comes to fermentation, these ingredients also excel, providing exciting flavors that can be added to conventional ferments as well as used to create unique original concoctions.


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

Fermenting with Flowers, Fungus and Bacteria

Session #4 – Times are EST (New York) Click on the Session # to go to the Zoom Link. You need to sign up with Zoom, a very easy thing to do.

  • 9:30 to 10 PM – Kirsten Shockey
  • 10:00 to 10:30PM – Alex Henao
  • 10 30 to 11 PM – Heidi Nestler 
  • 11:00 to 11:30 PM – Josh Hembree
  • 12 to 12:30 PM – Alex Lewin

You are invited. Register in advance for this meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Also listed on Instagram here and MeetUp here. The Zoom links for all sessions are also listed there.


Flower Yeasts to make Alcohol and Vinegar

Kirsten to discuss how to make vinegar and alcohol from yeast collected from flowers.

Kirsten Shockey is an author, writer, educator and speaker who has co-authored 3 books including “Miso, Tempeh, Natto & Other Tasty Ferments”, and two others that are available through the https://Ferment.Works website or any independent bookstore. They just started an online fermentation school at fermentation-school.thinkific.com . Their first course is out: “May Flowers bring June Brews. Learn to harvest wild yeast for delicious wild brews.” It includes 11 videos and a 20 page mini-book workbook. 

Ferment.Works Tempeh (look for the upcoming online class!)

How to preserve and add digestive value to foods using Koji products

Alex Henao is a chef by trade. Mostly self-taught, he is always striving to learn from new people, anyone willing to share and from unconventional sources. Over the past few years, Alex has been interested in the micro world around us we so unknowingly depend on, and the chemistry of bacterial and enzymatic fermentation. Mostly focused on preventing food waste, and promoting Indigenous type food systems emphasizing food sovereignty, local community farmers and keeping most food in the local markets, and of course broader trading of excess and regional specialties.


Making natto with soy and other beans

hoto by: @sandrinehahnperez

Natto truly is a superfood superstar.  Typically eaten as part of a traditional Japanese breakfast, natto is rich in Vitamin K2 and the enzyme nattokinase, which are important for bone and cardiovascular health.  Natto is also highly probiotic and has been used for centuries in Japan as a folk remedy for an upset stomach.  Heidi will show how she makes natto using soybeans and other beans.  Also she will share some recipe ideas- both traditional and more unexpected. 

Heidi Nestler is the owner of Wanpaku Natto and one of the organizers of the Portland Fermentation Festival, now in its 11th year.  She also teaches fermentation and cooking at the non-profit Quest Center for Integrative Health in Portland, Oregon. www.wanpakunatto.com


Sake, Sake Lees and Fermentation

A presentation on sake, sake lees and fermentation. 

Josh Hembree is an American sake brewer at Setting Sun Sake (www.settingsunsake.com)


Covid Cabbage and Confinement Kvass

Sauerkraut and kvass are two vegetable ferments that require a minimum of special equipment and ingredients. Sauerkraut is a great way to keep a vitamin- and enzyme-rich raw vegetable food for years, without the need for refrigeration. Kvass is a versatile fermented health tonic that can also be used as the basis for soups, as a cocktail mixer, and much more.

Alex Lewin is the author of “Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen” and the co-author of “Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond”.

Alex will demo sauerkraut and kvass, talk about ways to eat them, provide lots of context, connect the dots with the current challenges in the world, and answer any questions.

Seeking to remove barriers to home fermentation, he offers simple processes and recipes that are easy to execute in home kitchens, using as little special equipment as possible.

More generally, he seeks to create a healthier, tastier, and more just world by spreading the good news about fermentation and nutrient-dense real food. He leads fermentation classes and workshops in the US and abroad. He served on the opening board of the Boston Public Market, an indoor, year-round market selling only local food. He has also been involved with the Boston Fermentation Festival since the beginning.

He believes that applying high technology to food has caused many of the problems of the last hundred years, and that applying more high-tech may not help: part of the path forwards is a return to low-tech foodways. He lives in Cambridge, MA and Oakland, CA.


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Contact us through the following means, or join our MeetUp or Facebook group. All these meetings are listed at out MeetUp page.

Bones and Scraps and Mold


Cooked for less than 2 minutes this koji cured pork is both tender, tasty and cheap. The stock that we also use for ramen is explosively tasty. Made from koji cured bones and meat scraps.

We’ll be posting lots of videos that you can watch on the subject., and make sure to follow us on Instagram or join our MeetUp (See below). We are having four fermentation and preservation and cooking forums online this Sunday and Monday that you need to see. Join us!


Koji cured pork in koji cured bone and scrap stock with lacto-fermented celery root, poblano and onion pickles with kombu.


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Fermentation Saves Cultures


One of our signature misos we developed for home cooks that want great flavors and the benefits of miso. Add to anything hot when below 140F, or whip up with avocado, coconut oil, cashew cheese or butter!

One of the things bwe will stress mosy heavily in all four forums we are having this upcoming Sunday may 3 into Monday May 4 – hey tnhe West Coast people and people in Europe want in – is the knowledge gained and shared by native Americans and other indigenous peopls around the world about how to survive during a food shortage or access crisis.

We’ll be posting lots of videos that you can watch on the subject., and make sure to follow us on Instagram or join our MeetUp (See below).

A tablespoon a day should do the trick. Make as many variations as you like.

This could be made with sourdough bread koji, but you could use whatever type of koji you wanted to. Brown rice koji or barley koji are great in this. You could also buy some miso thatwe discuss in the next post. Or make your own.

We will be posting lots more miso making, fermentation and cooking videos as well. We are grateful for the opportunity to help people to survive, and cultures to carry on!


Miso selections
Pick me!

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Functional Miso Butter



Getting miso into your daily routine is pretty easy. You should try to do that. It’s really tasty. It actually does help in your overall digestion. Miso can also replace some very high sodium seasoning pastes and cubes, while adding more flavor and no chemicals.

Miso aids in digestion. It may have other beneficial effects on the human body as well. Pre-digesting complex starches into simpler sugars certainly does.

Foods that work like that are called functional foods. If you are going for those benefits, it’s recommended that you never boil anything with miso. If you are adding it to soup, make sure the broth is under 140F when you add it.

Or add it last minute to your favorite mac and cheese when it’s not super hot. If you add it to a salad dressing you get all the taste and health benefits without the worry of destroying any beneficial enzymes and probiotic bacteria and yeasts.

In fact, you can marinate all types of things in it, increasing the flavor and upping the nutritional benefits while reducing any residual toxins. Add it chilled, or at room temperature.

We make miso dressings that are kept in the refrigerator for years while they develop more layers of flavor. We also actually often find them stashed away somewhere years later.

In this case, however, we were going for both flavor and functionality. We used a readily availble sweet white miso. We make ours. We have lots of videos and more to come on bhow you can make misos as well – from almost anything.

It’s easy to buy miso though, although it can be really expensive for the good stuff.

This recipe is so easy and so versatile. The flavor combination with the cultured butter gives it a savory caramel taste.Don’t want to use butter? Use tahini or nut butter.

And get all your five tastes – or more – in what you eat. Balance your food tastes, balance your energy!


Recipe
  • 1 TB or 1 ounce or 32 grams of miso (Sweet white, sweet red, baked corn miso)
  • 5 TB or 3 ounces or 85 grams unsalted, cultured butter

Toast with miso butter. Compound butter for chicken kiev. See the next post for a really cool way we used our compound miso butter!


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Cilantro and Mustard Seed Pickle


See The Kimchi Method video for the treatment of cabbage and other vegetables for fermentation or picking. Otherwise, salt down your quartered green, leafy nappa cabbage for about 4 hours and squeeze out very well. Follow the recipe below. Make sure to toast the mustard seeds in the mustard oil until just about smoking. If it is smoking, pour it into a heat resistant container as quickly as possible while removing from the heat. Put the hot pan in a cool place, but not near water or an open flame.




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Mushroom and Dried Shrimp Kimchi


We used Alex’s dried Hen of the Woods mushrooms, and some dried red shrimp we always have on hand to make my favorite kimchi. The technique is pretty well described in the video class on fermenting using the kimchi technique below.

We are assuming you watched the previous short intro video to treating cabbage for kimchi.


  • 1 Medium sized green, leafy nappa cabbage or about 1 1/2 pounds to 2 1/2 pounds
  • 2/3 cup or 20 grams dried red shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons or 5 grams pan roasted black peppercorns
  • 5 to 8 cloves garlic cloves or 36 grams
  • 1/2 cup or 50 grams coarse salt for pre-treating cabbage
  • 1 cup Hen of the Woods Mushrooms, soaked briefly in the juice of the cabbage (see video)
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt

Chef Ken Fornataro demonstrating the kimchi technique, applicable to hundreds of other types of pickles.

You could use red pepper flakes if you like. You could also omit the shrimp and use fish sauce, or even a little soy sauce with another mushroom. You could even use candied ginger if you can’t get any fresh ginger. It’s excellent!

But this is absolutely my favorite combination of ingredients, especially with the delicate young ginger and roasted black peppercorns. Ready in seven days, too.

It will leak out of the jar without a container underneath it. Make sure the bowl or whatever you use to catch the spill over is as clean as the jar so you can put the juice right back in and rinse off the jar and bowl. Great way to catch the bacteria and yeasts you want in your kimchi.

Also, this gives off very much less strong odors that a full on fermented shrimp and hot pepper based kimchi. on’t worry, we’ll post some unique recipes for that type as well.



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We’re Kimchi-ing. Bright Green Kimchi-ing.



Although most people associate kimchi with spicy red peppers and some type of fish or fish sauce, we consider kimchi to be a method of preparing pickles. Before Koreans started using red pepper flakes and fish sauce in their national dish, they had already created an amazingly tasty spectrum of fermented things with or without cabbage, with or without fish or shrimp.

If you are using cabbage here is an introduction to how to pre-pare it for kimchi, or even saurkraut. Or any numbers of wildly diverse pickles. If you want to attend an online class on making my favorite kimchi just go here.

The kimchi method is pretty well described in the video class on fermenting using the kimchi technique below. The salt amount you use to pre-treat your cabbage, or most other vegetables, isn’t precise.

We estimate that if you are going to use a medium sized head of green, leafy cabbage that weighs about 1 to 2 pounds or 675 grams to make about a quart or liter of kimchi, you will need about 1/2 cup or 50 grams of coarse sea salt or kosher salt.

  • 1 to 2 pounds or 675 grams leafy green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup or 50 grams coarse sea salt or kosher salt


Pickling season has officially begun. Besides, this can take less than a week and will provide a quart or liter of kimchi. Almost instant gratification. And if you only have carrots available? Slice them up and follow the same method. We also love celery kimchi. Or Cucumbers!


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Truffle Fritters


Truffle flecked chicken fritter.
A light colored seitan (wheat meat or plant protein) – don’t stew it in soy sauce – also works incredibly well in this recipe.

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 680 grams boneless chickens thighs or breasts cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup or 112 grams truffle shio-koji (or mince a truffle or dried mushroom into shio-koji)

Marinate the chicken in the truffle shio-koji for two hours. Add the ingredients below to the chicke and marinate again for 2 hours.


In the meantime we started wilting spinach – use whatever greens, including alfalfa and corn sprouts, that you have – with a tablespoon of very finely minced preserved lemon to serve with the fritters. You don’t need oil for this salad if serving with the fritters.

  • 3/4 cup or 118 grams sake
  • 1 egg or 56 grams

Chicken bathing in sake and truffle shio-koji

Rub the sake and egg into the chicken, blending it together with the truffle shio-koji. Marinate for another hour. Wipe off the chicken as best as you can into the bowl with marinade. Try to save ever last drop of the marinade.


  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup or 184 grams all purpose flour or corn flour
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Oil for frying (about 4 cups)

Mix the baking powder, salt, and flour together. Add to the reserved marinade. It will be pretty thick at this point. Dip the chicken pieces in this and let them sit for as long as you like in the fridge. Or fry immediately. Try and get batter on each piece of chicken as you slide it into the heated oil.

Add the chicken a piece at a time while turning up the heat for just a few seconds until you get half of the chicken in the oil. You need to make this in two batches (or cut the recipe in half). After the first batch skim the oil well, removing any browned bits.



Make sure the pieces are not sticking to the pan. Shake the pan very gently or give them a little push with your tongs or chop sticks

These will cook and brown very fast so turn them over after two minutes at medium high heat. Then let them fry for another 2 minutes at best. Remove from the oil and let drain if you don’t serve them right away on a bowl of rice or another grain or mashed celery root (celeriac).

I typically have a second pan waiting to heat the oil up for a second batch, after I strain the oil through a very fine mesh strainer.


Fine Mesh Oil Skimmer/Strainer. Also works very well to strain gallons of tea made with loose leaves, or even a soy sauce or shoyu after a first bulk straining.

If you don’t serve this right away, or eat it all chill it overnight in the fridge and eat it cold with a truffle oil mayonnaise, or a simple mild vinegar based vinaigrette.

This is also a great way to make a fast chicken parmiggiano. Place whatever type of cheeses you like over the chicken – truffled cheese, mozzarella, parmesan or even Gruyere or Emmental heat in a 400F oven for 15 minutes.

Also, if you don’t have truffles or mushrooms, shred some perilla or shiso leaves into the shio koji before adding the sake and egg. You could also use milk kefir, buttermilk, chicken stock or cold miso soup instead of the sake. You could also use a light colored seitan or other plant protein – just don’t stew it in soy sauce – instead of the chicken.


Super Powers – Rice Koji with R.oryzae and A.oryzae


An in depth discussion of how to grow koji on fragrant long grain rice using a combination of A.oryzae and R. oryzae cultures or spores from these filamentous fungi.

In the coming weeks we will be publishing quite a few recipes that use this super enzyme charged rice! Using this you can both preserve and extend and improve the life and quality of what you eat.

Perfectly Steamed Rice Yearning for Spores

Kojify All the Things with All The Spores!


A discussion of all the things you can make koji on. With All The Spores.

Make koji using A oryzae, or combined Rhizopus oryzae and A.oryzae for koji or tempeh. Also, intro to make koji on green coffee, chocolate, toasted rice, rice flakes, soy grits, corn bran and more.


Three Misos


We made a big batch of basic miso – over a gallon – using converted brown rice and canned organic chick peas. It’s very tasty, easy and inexpensive. As is, it makes a great basic miso. It’s also gluten free and contains no soy products.

However, we added some really special ingredients to it to make 3 different kinds of miso. It’s something we like to do when we make miso. If you have the base, why not create variety? So we made a black garlic miso, a koji cured bacon miso, and a truffle shio-koji miso.

Roasted dried mushrooms of any type work really well if you can’t get truffles. You can add just about anything to it, including dried or partially dried vegetables, or even dried fish.

This is a 4 part series. If you have any questions or think something was left out let us know.


  • 2700 grams rice koji (koji recipe)
  • 5 cups or 850 grams canned chick peas, cooked and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups or 385 grams of coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup or 150 grams of black garlic
  • 1/4 pound or 106 grams cooked bacon (koji cured preferred, but smoked is okay)
  • 1/4 cup truffle shio koji (or dried mushroom powder)

After you have bought or made your rice koji, grind it up if dried or mash with the salt while still fresh and slightly warm. Let sit for an hour or more, then add in the cooked and very well drained garbanzo beans. The beans should have been pressure steamed for 10 minutes, or just heartily boiled for about 15 minutes.

If you mash up the beans before hand they will easily mix with the rice. As you mix, the water inside the beans will make it so that no additional liquid is necessary. After mixing, let sit covered for up to 48 hours at room temperature before remixing and packing it into a container. You could also just pack your miso into a container straight away.


Quick Box Koji



Powdered Rice Koji. It’s a thing. A Smart Thing.

  • 5 pound bag of parboiled rice
  • 1 tsp Aspergillus oryzae

We had a leftover, heavy cardboard box that was the perfect size for making rice koji in. We took a 5 pound bag of parboiled rice and rice it off very well. We then put it in a preheated 350F oven in a stainless steel container. The rice was well wrapped with foil to prevent dryness or steam escape.

As soon as we put the rice in the oven we turned it off and let the rice sit undisturbed for 12 hours. It easily fluffed up and was cooked but not at all mushy. We then added a teaspoon of Aspergillus oryzae (tane koji spores) and grew the koji out on the rice. We then made 3 different types of miso from the koji.


Awasemiso

Some people actually start off to make miso with an eye towards using some or all of that miso at a later date, typically to blend with another miso. A blended miso is called an awasemiso.


Awasemiso

We considered awasemisos as a way to build layers of flavor. Let’s say you took a sweet red miso and blended it with a mellow white miso. Is there a way you could have just made that blended miso from the start?

You could get pretty close, but why would you lessen the number of miso types you had to chose from? You couldn’t unblend it if you wanted to use mellow white miso.



That’s why we try to always create distinct items that can be blended with something else, or have something added to some of it to create a new item. Although this onion awasemiso is a blended miso, it can still be considered a distinct item.

You can use it just about any way that you would use chicken soup if you added some to hot water. You could use it just like you would a chicken bouillon cube.

Take a tablespoon of this miso and add iot to an oil and vinegar dressing, or a cup of mayonnaise. Then dress greens, or steamed vegetables or a pasta salad with it. Mix it wit buttter and use it as a bread sprea. Or like a compond butter.


  • 1 cup or 154 grams kosher salt
  • 2 cups or 180 grams dried onions
  • 3 cups or 552 grams ground rice koji
  • 18 – 20 cups or 4000 grams miso

This recipe combines multiple techniques such as slow baking (or sun dehydrating) a miso for several days, or even freezing it when you want to stop it’s fermentation. We used baked corn and aged corn misos. You don’t need additional. Just keep mixing the miso.



If you start off with a wheat and soybean free base, like we did here, everything you create from there on out can be wheat and soybean free. If that’s not a concern, use soybeans. It’s very hard to beat the protein content of soybeans, although some people prefer garbanzo beans.

After a while, most misos and soy sauces begin to taste the same. That’s why we always have shio-koji on hand as well. Because that, too, can be blended with a miso to make a really spectacular awasemiso. Or used instead of miso if you don’t want that miso taste.

Taste. That’s another reason why we like awasemisos so much. Let’s say you have a 3 month old miso that you had planned to cure for 9 months. At 3 months most misos taste pretty good. A little young and not quite ready maybe, but still tasty.

Specialty misos made with roasted corn, for example, really taste like fresh corn. At 9 months the fresh corn taste might turn into s more mature deep taste that isn’t so corn forward. So why not bake or sun dry some of that, and add some older corn miso, thereby memorializing that young corn taste?

That’s what we do here. But we also do something that makes it more of a namemiso. We add more ground up rice koji, and in this case lots of dried onions.

In 30 days, this will be a explosively tasty miso that will make anything you put it in be several times tastier than it was before. And it will be ready to do that for whatever you have on hand.

Have some fresh gardens vegetables. Wash, trim them and remove some of the water from them if you like by salting them down. Add some miso, and possibly some vinegar or oil. We do that with fresh tomatoes all the time.

When you aren’t really sure what you’ll have access to, having this suoer tasty miso on hand makes whatever you can get taste great, and be super nutritious as well.

五味 – The Five Flavors

The taste of Sour is associated with Spring (and one of the five elements, Wood).  Sour foods are said to be good for the liver and gall bladder. Vinegar, sauerkraut and other lactofermented foods, citrus fruits, and sourdough bread are classified as sour foods. 

Chef Ken Fornataro will discuss food and beverages based on the principles of five elements traditional Chinese medicine, and the five tastes. A specific organ or organ system of the human body is nourished by each of these tastes. Each taste has either warming or cooling energy, as well as a season.

Combining one or more of these tastes, like adding lemon or ginger to a piece of fried fish, creates compelling taste sensations while balancing the body’s energies. 

Ken’s Instagram virtual event on April 19th from 6 to 6:45 will include ways to create these flavors using cultures, alone or in combination:

  • Aspergillus (chhu or koji) and other filamentous fungus types grown on substrates including rice, millet, wheat, chocolate, mushrooms, seaweed, meats, fish, brans and bogassa
  • Rhizopus grown on rice, corn, fruits, fish, nuts, shellfish, squash, beans and other vegetables to make interesting fermented, preserved and inoculated foods and beverages such as #miso, baking flours, amino sauces and pastes, wines and other unique beverages.
  • Enzymes, Bacteria, Acids, and Yeasts, including malts, isolated out to create cultures to make functional and filling foods and beverages. For example, specific enzymes that come from koji can make doboroku, a country style sake, as well as barley malt or rice syrup.

Using these cultures, Ken will demonstrate how we create the five flavors by making five dishes that combine one or more of these cultures to make different types of kojis, misos, sauces, pastry and pickles.


  • Chocolate koji, corn, chipotle, and pickled onion mole
  • Peanut Koji and Sweet Shrimp Kecap Manis
  • Double fermented baked awasemiso
  • Tempeh and red pepper shoyu
  • White Soy Sauce with koji cured mushrooms

Ken Fornataro appearing at the Florida Fermentation Fest
We’ll have lots of recipes and additional videos at https://www.a-ray.tv/work-in-progress-cultured-cured and at https://Cultures.Group for those who send us their contact info including mailing address. Because you never know what really cool thing will arrive in the mail. 

Ken will demonstrate tasty, functional, medicinal, balancing, and strengthening food and beverages based on the principles of five elements traditional Chinese medicine, and the five tastes that have underlined all the worlds greatest cuisines for over ten thousand years. In combination, the above categories can create amazing, layered taste sensations.

Ken’s Instagram virtual event on April 19th from 6 to 6:45 presentation will briefly discuss:

  • Aspergillus (chhü or koji) and other filamentous fungus types grown on things (substrates) including rice, millet, wheat, chocolate, mushrooms, seaweed, meats, fish, brans, and bogassa to make fermented, preserved and inoculated foods, beverages, baked goods, pickles, sweets, and condiments.
  • Rhizopus grown on rice, corn, fruits, fish, nuts, shellfish, squash, beans, and other vegetables to make interesting fermented, preserved and inoculated foods and beverages such as tempeh, baking flours, misos, amino sauces and pastes, wines and other unique beverages.
  • Enzymes, Acids, Bacteria, and Yeasts, including malts, isolated out to create cultures to make functional and filling foods and beverages that are tasty as well as easier to make. For example, we’ll use specific amylase enzymes that come from rice koji to make doboroku, a country style sake. You could also just use the rice, but this is an example of the conveniences created by science.

Corn with A.sojae
Mixed Filamentous Fungus Corn Mochi Koji for Shoyu

As promised, we will further discuss the physiology of taste, and the receptors that influence how and how much we taste and smell, but also health. Combination therapy is the key. Properly balanced or combined as demonstrated in the food and drinks we describe, new flavors are unlocked, and new tasted are unbound. 

In the last 100 years spectacular advances in food microbiology have demonstrated how traditional techniques were well reasoned out. They worked in the context of the place they were made in. They provide a roadmap to adjust to ever changing resources and food supply and accessibility issues, climate change and cultural changes. 



We hope to be able to show you how to make many different types of koji, jiangs, soy sauce, shrimp miso, green tomatillo ketchup, koji and rhizopus cured coffee, manis kecap, tempeh flours, pickles, fruit and herb shrubs, malted sweets, and fermented chocolate breads. If we don’t have time, you’ll see recipes and hopefully videos for these very soon.

Always with an eye on affordability, accessibility and functionality. 


With
@sunshineandmicrobes
@hanihoneycompany
 @stpeteferments
@kirstenkshockey
@contrabandferments
@sarah_c_owens 
@sandorkraut
@fermentationonwheels
@theblacksheepschool
@goenfermentedfoods
@rgbpurafermentacion 
@zukemono
@kombuchakamp 
@rootkitchens
@awakenkombucha
@gystmpls
@culturesgroup
 @flyingboatbrewing


Cooking Parts – Baking and Donut Math

Doughnut Math

Remove 1 part and this is a doughnut. Do the math.

Muffin math first, though. In part I we made muffins and tea cakes based on the math that the doughnuts, popovers, tea breads, waffles, fritters, muffins and pancakes are based on. When you see how removing 1 part from the recipe will get you some amazing apple cider donuts or cruellers, you realize how important this is. And the popovers into cream puffs with chocolate icng trick. Read on.

220 grams (around 1 3/4 cups flour) is 200% or 2 parts of the recipe. That means that one part for this recipe and any recipe in this group requires 110 grams of something. You really need a scale, but we provided approximate volume amounts.

For 6 muffins and a a small tea cake that’s okay. But if you were making 60 of these in a professional bakery being off by 200 grams of any ingredient would really matter.

For muffins and tea breads the ratio is always 2 parts flour to 2 parts liquid. So if you have 220 grams ( 2 parts) you need 220 grams (2 parts) of liquid. In this case we used yogurt. That counts as a liquid ingredient. It happened to be a cup of yogurt that weighed 220 grams.

Any muffin or quick bread has another ratio. You need 1 part egg and 1 part fat. Now you could use bacon fat for a savory muffin that everyone would love you for, or shmaltz in a mushroom muffin, or melted butter in a peach and caramelized almond muffin, but it has to weigh 110 grams. That is what we said 1 part weighs.

So, you need 110 grams of eggs. Good thing that 2 large eggs almost always weighs 110 grams. Don’t sweat about 10 to 20 grams over or under for such a small batch of muffins. It’s close enough.

Now, as for the salt and baking powder (and 1 tsp of baking soda because we used yogurt) this recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 2 tsp of baking powder. I always use 1 TB of baking powder because I usually have a lot of add ins, but the 1 tsp of soda that interacted wit the yogurt made up for the rising ability of that other teaspoon of baking powder.

Depending on the add-in I can get away with up to 1/2 to 1 1/2 parts. In the recipe above the bananas were 1 part, the raisins one half part. Don’t fill the muffin tins more than 2/3 full. Extra batter could go into making two baby tea cakes. I threw some minced toasted brazil nuts I had lying around in those. So do you want to make waffles and pancakes, fritters, doughnuts or popovers next?

Cooking Parts – Baking

Let’s say you didn’t grow up in a family that loved to bake. I did. Or even steam fermented doughs or buns made with some type of wild yeast or active ferment. Ditto. It was a very complicated multiple cultures and ethnicities thing.

Everything almost always goes back to that triangle of the Chinese, Arab and Indian people thousands and thousands of years ago. When they migrated outward they brought with them things that the people of their new homelands turned into unique and amazing things using ingredients and techniques associated with those countries or people and their terroir or climate.

In the history of fermentation the development of a way to grind up grains into flour on a large practical scale shifted the almost universal use of rice and millet as the basis of all fermentations to wheat.

Barley was pretty much sprouted to make sugar or malt when the natural amylase enzymes that break down the starches in things like grains and beans once activated. Typically, barley doesn’t contain enough gluten to make anything but softer, cake type things. You could add a little ground barley flour to anything you bake, but almost every all purpose flour on the market already contains sprouted barley flour.

The items listed are pretty much all the same recipe with very minor variations. The difference between a tea cake and a muffin is really just container you bake it in. Got leftover pancake batter? Add a little more fat such as butter or oil and some fruit or cheese or vegetables to make a sweet or savory tea cake or muffin.



Then again, have any leftover fritter batter. The batter to make fritters is waffle or pancake batter without fat. The more fat contained in something you fry, the fattier it will be, so a great fritter shouldn’t have any fat in it. Likewise, with doughnuts. Had to tell the difference between those two except for the shape.

Doughnuts are usually just fritter batter with some type of leavening like baking powder or maybe yeast. With doughnuts with added ingredients like applesauce you might want to reduce the liquid amount. Add the apples to the liquid and weigh it. The important thing is that you maintain the basic recipe ratios..

Popovers are the item here that usually doesn’t contain any leavening other than egg. The fat that they are cooked in is usually a great source of flavor. Yorkshire Pudding are popovers that use the caramelized drippings and beef fat from roast beef.

To a professional Chef or Baker the goal is maintain the ratio of flour to water. Or Starch to liquid. Then you add small amounts of other ingredients, but always in what are called baker’s percentages. If you use baker’s percentages you just really need to know the weight of any ingredient you want to add.

When making bread, the flour is the cornerstone of bakers percentages. You can do the same with quick breads, which are basically breads without yeast. But right know I need to make muffins.

I need to make muffins (but not these this time) for breakfast. So I have a few items I want to use up. Some yogurt, some dried out raisins, toasted hazelnut oil, over ripe bananas that I could easily make into vinegar but I need muffins now. Part II coming up.

Muffins and a Little Tea Bread



  • 1 3/4 cup or 220 grams flour (100% AP or 165 grams AP and 55 grams sorghum)
  • 1/2 cup or 110 grams organic dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

If using salt instead of shio koji mix in with the above ingredients. The idea to is to blend them together very well so it will be easier to very quickly mix in the liquid ingredients.

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup ( yogurt or nut, cow, rice or soy milk) or 220 grams
  • 2 eggs or 110 grams eggs
  • 3/5 cup or 110 grams toasted hazelnut oil (or any oil)
  • 4 ounces or 110 grams or 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 2 TB shio-koji or 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup or 55 grams plumped raisins

Mix the liquid ingredients together very well. Then, dump the dry ingredients on top of the wet ones and mix gently until they just come together. You can start mixing, then wait ten seconds, then start mixing then wait another ten seconds to allow everything to be absorbed.

Do not whip or beat the ingredients. Use your biscuit hand! What does that mean? Gently mix ingredients slowly so as not to create heat nor gluten. Always best to do this is a colder area when possible. Some people like to chill their wet ingredients.



MushroomとSake Miso


味噌 (Miso made with sake and mushrooms)

  • 5 cloves or 25 grams fresh garlic smashed
  • 42 grams or 1 1/2 cups dried soaked and rinsed porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups or 615 grams namasake (or just add 3 cups water and 2 TB vinegar)


Pour the sake onto the drained mushrooms and soak. Drain them by lifting lift them up like lettuce. Then, drain the liquid with a very fine sieve or tea strainer. Add the crushed garlic cloves. Boil the mixture down very slowly in a stainless steel or non-reactive pot to 1 1/2 cups or 275 grams.


  • 1 cup or 350 grams mellow white miso
  • 2 1/2 cups or 350 grams ground basmati rice koji (or another rice type)
  • 1 TB or 20 grams coarse sea salt


When the mixture has cooled to 140F mix the mushroom garlic mixture with the salt and ground rice koji. Mix very well. Let sit until room temperature then mix in the pre-made miso thoroughly.


Let sit 30 minutes to several hours at room temp. The mixture should be fairly loose but still capable of holding a ball shape.

Place in a glass tray, covered, and inoculate at 105 F for 48 to 72 hours.

Remove and let sit for 12 to 24 hours after stirring. Lasts indefinitely in the refrigerator fridge if you don’t get anything in it. You can use it right away or let it age for a few days.

It can also be aged at room temp (68 to 72F) for as long as you like. Pack like regular miso after adding a teaspoon of course salt and blending well.

Cultured Orange Cake


Remove the peel from the oranges with a vegetable peeler and blend with the rest of the orange when making the cake. This will ensure better distribution of orange (or whatever citrus) flavor you choose.

We made this cake first with chopped up whole oranges with peel removed for better distribution made like betterazuke pickles. Those are the type of pickles usually layered with a whole lot of salt, sugar and koji. They are often aged for a long time. Let us know if you want to do that.

Otherwise, a hack just requires some pre-made rice koji. An even easier all purpose hack is bto use kasu (the dregs from making doboroku or sake) with salt.

The easiest thing of all would be to just use your favorite sake or liquid shio koji.

Whatever you decide to do, this is a really tasty, versatile and easy to make pound cake like treat with just a blender.



Ingredients
  • 450 grams or 16 ounces cultured butter
  • 2 TB shio-koji (salt koji or liquid shio koji)
  • 294 grams or 2 cups organic coconut palm sugar
  • 3 extra large or 200 grams of eggs
  • 420 grams or 1 to 2 navel oranges, pureed.
  • 1 TB lemon, orange, or vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 486 grams or 3 cups flour


Liquid shio-koji can now be purchased online or from many Asian grocery stores. Our friends at The Japanese Pantry and at MTC Kitchen also sell it (and lots of other really cool ingredients). Check out your local Sunrise Mart near Brooklyn Kura if you are in the area.

There is really no difference between liquid shio-koji and the pastier version except for perhaps salt content and a little water. You can blend your butter with liquid shio koji and let it ferment for days or weeks in the refrigerator. You can do the same with the oranges, as we did for four weeks.

Let them ferment for as long as you like. Or not. It’s all good. You can also blend rice koji with water until a paste forms. Add more water and some salt and you have shio-koji. Keep it at 135F for 6 hours and you have the same exact shio-koji that people take weeks to make. The enzymatic activity is the same.

The salt reduces the amylase enzymes that digest sugar and increases the protease enzymes that like proteins. But it will still be a fleetingly sweet and savory marinade and all purpose condiment.

Again, you can always just take out your blender and make a thick paste of the wet ingredients and blend into the flour mix. Simplest, best cake ever.


Icing

The icing for this was originally made by creating an amasake type paste using tapioca starch and Aspergillus oryzae (koji) grown out on orange peels. Perhaps this is a new technique to you.


Orange and shio-koji and tapioca sugar icing

As I described this was recreated from the notes from researchers working with spent coffee grinds, cassava peels, fruit waste, peanuts, wheat bran, soybeans, ad other things that were of enormous interest then and now.

By then I mean in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We will be publishing a whole lot more on these things with recipes using a wide range of Aspergillus types as well as other filamentous fungus (like the ones used to make tempeh) we’ve been making since the 1970s.

Here is a really easy and very tasty way to make this very quickly just like your grandma did back then. We just finished filming a series of videos about making and using shio koji or salted rice koji, but you could also follow the old school way we describe here that most people still think is the way to make shio koji or just buy some from one of the many online or retail outlets that sell it. Either the liquid shiio-koji or the paste works as well.


Ingredients
  • 2 TB fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 cups or 56 grams confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp teaspoon liquid shio-koji
  • More confectioner’s sugar as desired if you want it thicker)

Whisk everything together really well. Either serve on the side of the cake when the cake is completely cooled down on a towel, or drizzle over the cake.

Blend together the pureed orange and egg base with the flour and soda. Bake at 350F for 45 to 50 minutes. Let the cake sit outside the oven for at least 30 minutes before removing from the pans. Let cool completely before icing. The icing is not required – you could just dust it with confectioner’s sugar – but it’s sweetness coupled with the orange zest and juice brings out layers of flavor in the cake.


Either drizzle the icing on the cooled cake, or serve on the side. You can add more citrus juice to the icing and let it soak in as well, but this cake is not at all sweet despite two cups of organic coconut palm sugar.

Kombu Creations and Class

  • Learn about the five basic tastes, the relation between tastes and the representative chemicals that bring out the flavor in foods, which daily diets include umami components, and how to enhance the umami flavor.
  • Experience comparison tasting tests of several kinds of Dashi, soup stock which is essential for Japanese cuisine, and learn about washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) to explore why Dashi is the key of Japanese cuisine.
  • This forum will give you hands on experience making dashi from kombu from Japan, where it is typically grown on ropes in the cold seas.
  • Sunday, March 1, 2020 2:00pm-3:30pm at RESOBOX in the East Village at 91 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10003 (Map) Event Fee: $15

Kombu

Kombu belongs to the brown kelp family. It contains fucoidan, a substance that researchers have been studying as a treatment for kidney diseases and disorders for decades.

It also has been studied for rheumatoid arthritis, colon cancer prevention, and is a great thing to add to beans to help break down sugars such as raffinose that can be very hard for humans to digest.

Kombu is a nutritional powerhouse that should be included in everyone’s diet, if only for the glutamates, and of course their digestive properties. But you really have to know how to use it correctly.

Kombu is well-known as an essential raw material for making a soup stock called Dashi for Japanese cuisine. It is significantly rich in umami components, such as glutamate. The umami taste can be enhanced by 7 times with the other umami components from meat or fishes.

This is called “umami synergy” and is used in a lot of cuisine around the world. In Japan, dashi with its enhanced umami is used for many dishes, including miso soup, nabe (Japanese style hot pot), simmered dishes, pickles and salads.

This presentation is led by Shunsuke Kondo. Shunsuke-san is an experienced chemist who graduated with a master’s degree in chemistry. He’s working with RESOBOX and culturesgroup for this collaborative event.

Okui Kaiseido Co., Ltd. will provide the konbu. This company is one of the oldest – founded in 1871 – and most famous Kombu makers in Japan.
https://www.konbu.jp/


Taste Comparing Tests:

Try tasting the enhanced flavor of umami in this event and enjoy several Dashi made from different kinds of Kombu!

・Dashi from only Kombu
・Dashi from only dried bonito
・Dashi from Kombu and dried bonito (called “Awase Dashi”)
・Awase Dashi with salt
・Awase Dashi with miso
・Dashi from several kinds of Kombu
・Seasoned Dashi, “HONDASHI” (containing MSG)

Attendees will have the option of trying a cup (about 50-100mL) of Seasoned Dashi (Hondashi which contains MSG) but only as a tasting comparison.

The other dashis will not have any MSG in them and will be made of natural ingredients (please see the full list above).

Of course, there is no need for participants to try that specific dashi and they will be informed if they would like to opt-out of trying it.



Chocolate Cake #7


Fold a sheet of parchment paper across the pan to lift the cake out after it has cooled.

This version of a versatile chocolate cake base is one of our favorites, not just because of taste but also the variations in ingredients that can be made.

You can easily make it a vegan, and gluten free cake. We’ve done that using an egg substitute made with nut or rice milk. We like the egg white and old sourdough rye starter more because we often have those lying around.


Dark cocoa and dark rye sourdough starter

You could replace the sourdough starter with mascarpone cheese or cultured butter or cocoa butter. Otherwise, the only fat would come from the finely ground almonds and the unsweetened chocolate you chose to use instead of the cocoa powder. It’s all good.

The version that results from the recipe below is not at all sweet, has very little fat, but is very satisfying with something to contrast all the deep goodness of the cake. Black coffee or milk kefir or nut milk or tea all work well. As does cow’s milk. People say this cake rocks with a stout beer.

You could simply slice and serve this cake. In this case we made an orange infused maple syrup, and served it with some cinnamon infused milk kefir for a probiotic kick.

You can also use maple syrup, infused or not, to soak the cake then freeze in slices for super easy ice cream sandwiches. Or you cold coat then with a semi-sweet chocolate coating – like tempered chocolate with a little corn syrup or a little maple syrup – then eat them straight out of the freezer.


This also makes a great bread pudding with eggs, milk, butter, sugar and sour cherries.


Ingredients
  • 112 grams or 1 cup fine almond flour
  • 55 grams unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 278 grams old sourdough starter
  • 55 g or 1/4 cup unrefined, organic sugar
  • 6 egg whites
  • 110 grams or 1/2 cup mirin (honey or rice syrup work as well)
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 TB chocolate extract

Directions
  • Preheat your oven to 350F
  • Grease a 9 by 5 inches pan. Line with parchment paper to lift out.
  • In a large bowl, whip cocoa, sourdough starter and mirin
  • Whisk the eggs whites and the sugar side to side until peaks form.
  • Add the blended almond flour, baking soda and baking powder.
  • Add the sourdough, cocoa and mirin mix to the batter until blended. 
  • Pour into prepared pan
  • Bake for 45 minutes or 190F

Serving suggestion