Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Inside the Outside In

I went out and bought this massive stainless steel tub (18" diam X 5.5" deep) to make my Hanguk Saffron for The Outside In Artisanal Food Bazaar. Eight pounds will be portioned into 2 oz. foil packs available for purchase. I’ll also have kimchee and fresh-baked kimchee biscuits on hand for tasting.

My vegan kimchee is fermented in glass containers. Although food grade plastics are an industry standard, they always leave me a little weary. When I started making my own kimchee about eight years ago I used both plastic and glass containers. Over the course of two years the plastics containers became thin and brittle, which means I’ve been eating plastic. I was advised that I should discard the plastic containers after a couple of uses. So plastics... industrial grade food containers are currently not recyclable; even at that, where do our regular recyclables really go? What is it doing in my body? I’ve been using the same 16 oz mason jars for at least six years, replacing the lids as they wear out. I find I have better control over the quality of fermentation.
It takes roughly over 30 lbs of fermented kimchee (and brined root vegetables) to dehydrate and mill into eight pounds of powdered seasoning. After kimchee is treated with heat it looses its pungent quality and takes on other characteristics; for one thing, it’s sharper.

My Hanguk Saffron has a savory flavor that’s slightly sweet with a pronounced tang. It’s mildly spicy with notes of ginger, sesame seed, Korean chili and garlic. I sift my Hanguk Saffron three times to get a silky texture and a well blended flavor that lends itself to cooking. I like using is as a dry rub, especially for pan-seared foods; it adds depth to soups, stews and noodles dishes. It’s great for grilling delicate foods like shrimp or fish, but it definitely adds life to that ho-hum burger. I’ve used to flavor cream sauces for pasta, especially gnocchi. Well, maybe I’ll some left for me after this event in Piermont.

for more information about The Outside In, go to:

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