It’s the season when asparagus is available in markets. Wild asparagus gets foraged this time of year in the Northern part of the US well, along with fiddlehead ferns, mushrooms, and other things.
Asparagus has somewhat of a bad reputation. It’s smell a little woodsy and like dirty hay if not properly treated, although some people like that directness. Salting it down s for kimchi, or any of the ways we prepare it removes that while highlighting the vegetable’s unique taste.
For our month long series of events on Sundays this June for Asian and Asian American Cultures and Ferments we recorded videos on using asparagus, domesticated or foraged, in several ways.
How to make Asparagus Kimchi, Asparagus Chawan Mushi, Stir Fry Asparagus – the videos describe techniques, and ingredients. They includs recipes. Their point is that they encourage no waste, use of local or readily accessible and inexpensive ingredients, and are pretty easy to make.
Our videos try to include vegan, or vegetarian versions, but we are not against using anything that will deliver taste, and nutrition based on available ingredients – even ones that are not organic. If can only access or afford celery, for example, or foraged fiddlehead ferns – they work.
Knowing the techniques of cooking, fermenting, and culturing – and when to apply them – sometimes simply by just salting or soaking ingredients down before rinsing and using them in a recipe, allows you to make tasty things that look great, and are nutritious.
If you have, and know how to use liquid salt koji (shio koji) from a bottle you can take fresh asparagus or anything else really, and improve its taste. You don’t have to make it yourself.
And, frozen or canned ingredients, even ones that contain ascorbic acid or citric acid, for example, are often great workarounds if you can’t get anything fresh or local within your budget range.
Cultures and Ferments
The Cultures and Ferments events and videos are part of a Cultures.Group Annual Membership. You can watch any videos for as many times as you like, whenever you like, as an Annual Member. Each month the passcodes change for both old and newly released videos. We’ll email them to you when they do.
The price of an Annual Membership is $75 only until June 1. Then, it’s $150 for 2023, if there any slots available. Membership includes event invitations. Participation involves no additional fee, and is offered first to members.
Once you register at Paypal.me/FermentsandCultures you’ll receive the addresses and passcodes for videos that are stored at our Vimeo.com site: https://vimeo.com/culturesgroup (See below for some of them).
You also gain borrowing privileges to our huge library of books, scientific papers, etc. We require at least 48 hours to respond to requests, and can only lend you what we can access.
We now also have a Substack account to which you can subscribe to receive links to at least 5 videos a month, as well as written material that is available only to subscribers: https://culturesgroup.substack.com.
The Substack subscription is $12 a month.
Both annual members and paying Substack subscribers receive emailed invites to events. Annual Members that have not RSVP’ed seven days before any event are not guaranteed a space. When there are open spaces for an event we post notices to our non-paying substack subscribers, and social media account followers.
Annual Membership 2023
Ferments and Cultures
($75 only until June 1, 2023) Annual Membership includes access to every event in 2023, and all available archived and new videos from now until the end of 2023. January 1 to December 31, 2023. Plus all events and videos of the last ten years as they are edited.