Tag Archives: fermented foods

Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

[continuing from: Kitchen: Umeboshi Time with Crock & Rocks (+ pickles & jam)Kitchen: Umeboshi update (drying after salting, before salting again) &  Umeboshi update, part 3 (adding shiso and back into the crock}

Ume Chronicles continue (catching up from April 16, 2021)

Last year June, we harvested a load of Ume (Japanese small sour plums of a sort) from the neighbour’s tree and made several items while coincidentally waiting for our little baby to arrive (as you can see from my *sophisticated labeling system*, was started June 16) Oh and the baby arrived a  few days later on June 23rd).

Continue reading Kitchen: Ume vinegar, syrup & cordial (bottling etc)

Kitchen: making Miso from scratch (ready in New Year)

Pretty sure I earned a Japanese merit badge today. Made our own Miso from scratch! Will sit in this old crock (found in the tool shed & same one used for umeboshi last year) for 8 months.

Summary: Soybeans, Salt, Koji & no air.

Here’s how it went down (lousy photos with annotations): 

Soaked for 24 hours and simmered for 4 hours and cooled down

Oh, this is what the salt and koji (culture) looks like

Mince up the beans with a, ummm mincer

Yup mix it all (salt, koji, miso) up

Squish out the air whilst making tennis ball sized chunks

Squish squish squish into the crock, no air remember

Fill a bag with salt to weigh it down and seal off the edges from air

Put on a label and wait for 8 months (cool place please, in our case, the kura barn) check in later to tell ya how it turned out

Cameo: Maniwa, Okayama Tourism Brochure

Well, I really hit the big time now ;)… If you look closely, I mean *very very* closely, you can see me in the brewing loft of the centuries old saké maker in our neighbouring region of Maniwa here in Okayama, Japan.

Background: Ryoko and I were invited along very special tour around fermented foods makers (2 saké makers, plus craft beer, wine/grappa/cheese, and miso/ vinegar/ shoyu/ koji)… along with a handful of international guests came a small legion of photographers/videomakers to document the event.

(Some of) the results appear in this lusciously-designed and luxuriously-produced brochure.

Aside: We had visited this area for Ryoko’s work a few weeks earlier, at which point I shared some thoughts about the changes going on in inaka/country areas of Japan (i.e. de-population, lack of investment, transportation links cut/reduced, so many elderly folks somewhat ignored, reduction of services in general, lack of appreciation for the important produce of these areas…) as so much of the attention and money and power is concentrated in the big cities (really, Tokyo). 

Anyway, there are loads are fantastic photos from this outing, and one tiny one appears here as a bit of a preview… (Really i will share eventually! It’s on my list but, so are a lot of other things, one of these days…) and you’ve maybe noticed of late I’m learning more about fermented foods (i.e. making pickles) with a big dream of making my own miso.

Anyhow, did you spot me? Might need a magnifying glass, like I said “big-time”. Let’s visit Maniwa next time you come to visit OK?