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Tasty Pastes

Tasty Pastes

Old 12-27-2020, 08:38 AM
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A new year is about to start, so why not try some new foods while we're still sheltering in place. I've been looking through my cookbook, Miso, Tempeh, Natto and Other Tasty Ferments, A Step by Step Guide to Fermenting Grains and Beans, by Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. (I highly recommend this book!)

Tasty pastes are something new to me, but they sound so intriguing! Basically, they are miso, fermented with different things. My favorite one that I want to try, is Shitake Tasty Paste. I love miso, I love shitake mushrooms, what could go wrong with that combo? The basic recipe takes chopped up shitake ushrooms, a couple tablespoons of white miso and ferments them together for a couple of months. The result is a thick paste that can be diluted into a broth, or used in eggs, stir fries, or maybe even as a spread on cracker. It's supposed to taste very, very mushroomy. An added plus is that as it ferments, it also develops some liquid on the top, aka mushroom tamari. I've got to try this recipe.

Other recipes for tasty pastes in this book include: Nut and seeds TP, Apricot TP and Macadamia Tasty Paste. I want to try them all!
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Old 12-27-2020, 05:07 PM
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What's the advantage of eating these? Sounds interesting.
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Old 12-27-2020, 05:58 PM
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You are far more adventurous on your food choices then I am so I cannot offer an opinion.😁
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Old 12-27-2020, 06:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Pinkiris View Post
What's the advantage of eating these? Sounds interesting.
Well, besides being "tasty," as their name implies, they are also a fermented food. Fermenting a food can make it more nutritious than if it were not fermented. Fermentation can offer more nutritional benefits such as antioxidants, fiber, vitamin B complex, as well as much needed probiotics, which help in food absorption and maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. There are other suggested benefits that researchers are finding out about them. Please check online for more info.

It is interesting to note that any foods that we eat every day are indeed, fermented: Yogurt, chocolate, soy sauce, miso, cheese, sauerkraut, beer, wine, coffee, tea, sourdough bread, salami...the list goes on and on. It's just been lately that fermented foods have been super trendy and talked about so much. We've been living with them all along.
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Old 12-27-2020, 07:56 PM
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We eat a lot of fresh sauerkraut. Growing up there was always a big crock of it fermenting. We eat it with pork chops, hot dogs, spare ribs, corn beef, fried potatoes, beans... It's a great side dish. The can stuff is awful. There is good sauerkraut in the cold cut dept. Usually in a bag. Don't buy the most expensive brand, the least expensive is better. I put it in a quart air tight jar and keep it in the fridge.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
We eat a lot of fresh sauerkraut. Growing up there was always a big crock of it fermenting. We eat it with pork chops, hot dogs, spare ribs, corn beef, fried potatoes, beans... It's a great side dish. The can stuff is awful. There is good sauerkraut in the cold cut dept. Usually in a bag. Don't buy the most expensive brand, the least expensive is better. I put it in a quart air tight jar and keep it in the fridge.
We don't have sauerkraut in our deli. However, sauerkraut is very easy to make. It's just shredded cabbage and a little salt. I store mine our outside outside pantry and burp the jars occasionally.
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:16 PM
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That mushroom/miso ferment sounds amazing! I'd love to hear how that goes... so, what temp does it need to be to undergo fermentation? Do you need a special container? (I suppose I could just look that book up, lol) I've never tried anything more exotic than a sourdough starter, but I do love adventurous food!
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Cheshirepat View Post
That mushroom/miso ferment sounds amazing! I'd love to hear how that goes... so, what temp does it need to be to undergo fermentation? Do you need a special container? (I suppose I could just look that book up, lol) I've never tried anything more exotic than a sourdough starter, but I do love adventurous food!
Cheshirepat...if you are into unusual and exotic foods and like to ferment things, then you really should look into getting this cookbook. It's very thorough and sooooo much fun! I've had it for about a year and in that time, I've made homemade miso, tempeh, natto and a few other fermented things.

The Shiitake Tasty Paste requires Koji, which is a type of mold that is used to start miso, sake, shoyu, etc. It's usually grown on a bed of rice, or barley, then used in a recipe. You'll have to go shopping for that first. There are several sites that I've found that sell it. Try GEM Cultures, Cultures For Health, or South River Miso.

You'll also need a fermentation vessel, which ban be as simple as a mason jar, with a sauerkraut weight in it. I just bought a couple of special, fermentation crocks that came with weights in 2L and 5L sizes. I can hardly wait until they get here!

As for the aging...a medium, cool, dark place, around 78 degrees f is just perfect, but it can vary somewhat. I keep mine outside in a pantry and it gets colder than that at night...close to freezing. My miso came out fine in that temp. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

Have fun!!!

~ C
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Old 12-28-2020, 03:16 PM
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Interesting article on Koji! https://www.epicurious.com/ingredien...to-use-article
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:41 AM
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Yes! Very informative. Koji has been the hot ingredient in gourmet cooking lately.
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