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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Lime, Vanilla Bean, and Tarragon Pickle


See The Kimchi Method video for the treatment of cabbage and other vegetables for fermentation or picking. Otherwise, salt down your green, leafy nappa cabbage cut in eighths lengthwise for about 4 hours. Squeeze out very well. Taste for salt. It should be a little too salty, definitely not saltless.

If you don’t have fresh tarragon, dried works very well. You could also use a tablespoon of high quality vanilla extract instead of a vanilla bean, or a teaspoon of toasted cardamon seeds – not cardamom pods. Lavender and tarragon also make a great combination if you don’t want to use vanilla.


  • 1 cabbage: 1 1/2 pounds or 650 grams
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 whole lime cut into slivers or 1 TB dried or fresh lime zest
  • 1 TB black peppercorns, toasted in a pan.
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt for pre-treatment of cabbage
  • 1 TB coarse sea salt
  • 5 each scallions or 75 grams
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and chopped. (See alternatives)
  • 1/2 yellow or 60 grams onion
  • 1 tsp dried garlic

After you have salted down the cabbage, squeeze as much water out of it as you can. Add the tarragon leaves. Cut the well washed and scrubbed lime in half, then slice in very thin slices. Peel and thinly slice the two peeled onion halves.

Toss with roasted, dehydrated garlic, or garlic chips or powder. You could also use fresh garlic. Toast and grind the black peppercorns, or grind in 1 to 2 teaspoons of black pepper. Add the tablespoon of salt and let sit after mixing well.


Roll the cabbage around the other ingredients as if you were stuffing them.

Lay out the cabbage on a cutting board and place all the other ingredients along the wilted cabbage. Roll up as best you can. Stuff into a well washed jar or another container. Press the pickles down with something heavy, or even a bag of marbles or salt.

Put a very clean drip bowl under the pickles. After 24 hours at room temperature check the pickles. The juice will have likely leaked out of the lightly screwed on top.

Pour it back in and run a chopstick or knife down the side of the jar to ensure the liquid gets in. Let ferment for about 5 to 7 days.

You could keep fermenting it for a few more weeks if you like, or refrigerate it. It should last at least a few months if you keep it covered, and free from dirty forks or spoons.



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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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Making Koji Flour, Controlling Water

We have thousands of videos we want to share and hundreds of thousands of videos, but to what end? Information changes so quickly that trying to keep up with it prevents people from learning from each other, let alone even listening.

So, we’re going through them all and only posting the ones we think are useful now and in the next year at the very least.

If you have a specific question after you watch one of our videos or read one of our posts, please ask. We will distill your questions into compact, easy to understand posts and videos as best we can.

This video is about the role of water in chemical and other enzymatic reactions. In other words, knowing how to manipulate the water content of food on a macro or very microscopic level is the key to preserving food, fermenting food, cooking food or just preparing it to ingest it.

Hopefully, the videos will help you to see how we apply our knowledge of both science and cooking to create great tasting foods and beverages. The only thing you won’t learn about here is how to buy something we make or write.

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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.