whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

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(Non)Magic Mushrooms

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So, again I find myself unable to find something here in Korea that I can easily acquire back home.

Nama Shoyu.

Nama whaty-what? you might ask?

Nama Shoyu is a Japanese soy sauce made of soybeans and whole wheat. Basically shoyu in Japanese means sauce. Nama = raw. Nama shoyu is the raw version of soy sauce. It has the same dark brown colour and rich, intense flavour, however because it is fermented and aged in wooden cedar barrels for a minimum of 4 years, it requires less salt to boost flavour, resulting in a layered, deeper, more full-bodied, smoother, (obviously) less salty taste.

Nama Shoyu - Raw Organic - 10 oz.

Nama=raw. Shoyu=sauce.

However, technically raw in this case is raw=unpasteurised. There’s no way you can create the brewing and fermentation required without boiling these soybeans and wheat grains well above the allowed raw food qualifying temperature of 40.2 degrees celsius.  With normal soy sauce, the mashed soybean and wheat grain mixture continues to cook in big vats to pasteurise; which quickens the process of enhancing flavours that usually takes many years in traditional wooden barrels. Hence the higher price of Nama Shoyu and Maserati like status.

It is still considered a raw food because similar to other fermented products like kefir and kombucha, it contains living enzymes. In normal recipes the amount of nama shoyu or other non-raw items like toasted sesame oil (toasting releases the aroma and warm, nutty taste from the sesame seeds) is so minimal in comparison to other ingredients used, yet the flavour brings such a depth and satisfaction to recipes, the rule is usually relaxed here.

Nama Shoyu (and also lemon juice) can be used to marinade raw vegetables to soften them. Simply add 1 tablespoon to a cup of vegetables, toss and stir occasionally, leave sit for 30 minutes and wa-laaa, relaxed, chilled out vege.

However, since in Korea I have started using Tamari, (I find normal soy sauce too salty and bitey/vinegary) which is also gluten and wheat-free, made purely by extracting the liquid from soybean miso. The flavour is more mellow and less salty. I find it gives the perfect umami flavouring to everything from soups to crackers.

Although, for an upcoming raw workshop I have become conscious of every single product I use. Trying to be as raw as possible I went to my faithful companion iherb.com to buy Nama Shoyu, only to find it unavailable for the past two weeks! Seeking another raw alternative I trawled the internet trying to find something magical.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot with this little number:

Take 3 simple ingredients:
Water, portobello mushroom and salt.

Blend.

Ta-daaaa!!!???

Now, I don’t know whether it’s because we don’t have portobello’s here, (which I’ve been informed by foraging man Dustin are basically “week old white buttons {a mutant of the crimini but exactly the same}, aka portabellos are fully grown white buttons without the white mutation at the store we get baby ones… the difference is about 2/3 days) or whether it’s just something I don’t like, but it didn’t have a rich, deep flavour.

Or even a rich, deep colour. Mine was reddish/pinkish and tasted exactly like what it was; blended white button mushrooms with some salt.

There was no transformation into savoury, umami, salty sauce goodness.

No magic in these mushrooms dammit.

So, onwards, I’m sticking to my Tamari for now. I’m partial to salt. If you’re not, stick to good ole’ local soy sauce. Your wallet will thank you.

We can get too bogged down in minor details, sure Tamari’s not raw, or I might use sesame oil, and I also enjoy many vegetables cooked vs raw, but I don’t subscribe or even pretend to be a raw food purist.

I understand the science and belief behind it, and will try to include these principles as much as I can in my daily life, but I’m not gonna be dogmatic about it, or lose sleep at night because I used Tamari and not some 100% salty mushroom water smoothie….

Faux nama shoyu, I challenge you again when I am in Australia next where “big old non white mutated agaricus bisporus” roam wild and free, and I expect to see some magic, psilocybin or sauce like, I don’t mind, it’s all raw, right?!

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 20, 2012 at 14:36

All apologies

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Many, many apologies.

It has been far too long between posts.

Life became crazy busy, things kicked off for whole*istic faster and bigger than ever expected. Collaborations with Cafe Suッkara and High Street Market, stalls at the Marche Festival , quitting old jobs, starting new jobs……phew.

What a crazy couple of months it has been.

But I’m not complaining, it has all been an unbelievable ride. A sleepless ride. A test of strength, determination, integrity and self-belief. And it’s only the beginning….

A slideshow of what’s been happening, more in depth accounts soon…….so much to write about, so little time.

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 19, 2012 at 15:39

Vanilla bean infused coconut oil

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Don’t throw away the used pods of the vanilla bean!

There’s still many precious vanilla seeds trapped in the pod that the spoon can’t reach.

Simply place the used pods in a jar, add a few tablespoons of coconut oil, shake, shake, shake and let sit for at least 3 days until ready to use.

Use the oil in any recipe that calls for coconut oil and vanilla, like cheesecakes, biscuits, cakes, or even for savoury dishes like quiches, breads…..ooooh la la, the options are endless.

Keep adding used pods in the jar and topping up with coconut oil so you always have some on hand.

An easy-peasy trick for achieving an extra depth of flavour and a touch of decadence

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 21, 2012 at 01:21

High Street Market Collaboration

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Sooooo, a bit of a shameless plug.

High Street Market, located on the cusp of Itaewon and Hannam-Dong, is the boutiquey gourmet deli that I like to frequent when I’m missing Australia and in dire need of a slice of home.

The interior is warm and cosy and laid out like a typical delicatessen that would fit right in amongst the trendy Emporium or James Street shops back in Brisbane. Since moving to Korea one year ago, I’ve seen the store grow and morph, offering not only long lost items like dried beans, rolled oats, a massive selection of cheese, cured meats, lamb, peas and a good range of baking supplies to incorporating a cafe and dining area and also offering a growing range of hand crafted snacks and ready to go meals such as good breads, hummus, ricotta cheese, lasagne, thai rice dishes and…….whole*istic!!!

That’s right! This Saturday, 20th October, 2012, whole*istic snacks and desserts will be available in store.

crackers and dip

whole*istic menu
all items :

VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE

NO REFINED SUGAR (Fruit, Maple syrup, date sugar) OR SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

NO WHEAT FLOURS. NO XANTHAM GUM.
ALL ALMOND FLOUR

Crackers
₩2,900 p/10
brown rice, quinoa & tamari
rosemary & fig
black sesame, onion & chia

Dips
₩5,900 – 200g
roast beetroot & walnut
semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed
roast carrot, ginger & coconut

Desserts
₩6,000
raw blueberry cheesecake
raw apple crumble pie
raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie
chocolate caramel tart
pumpkin pie

Energy Balls (all raw)
₩1,800
apricot & almond
peanut & oat
raw cacao & hazelnut

Rosemary & fig crackers, roast beetroot & walnut dip

Black sesame, onion & chia crackers and roasted carrot, ginger & coconut dip

Brown rice, quinoa & tamari crackers and semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed dip

Mix and match

Energy Balls. Can someone please help me think of a better name?? Orbs?
Yup, I spelt hazelnut incorrectly.


raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie

chocolate caramel tart

pumpkin pie

raw apple crumble pie

raw blueberry cheesecake

Get to high street market this weekend, or email me direct for any orders:
mail@wholeistic.com

Open: 10:00am – 21:00
Phone
 : 02-790-5450
Address : 2F, 737-24, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 19, 2012 at 06:20

Summer’s over but semi-dried tomatoes are here forever

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The taste of the Mediterranean – homemade here in Korea, for 1/4 of the shop price

Although the leaves are yellowing, the air is more crisp and the time spent frolicking in the sun (who has the time to frolic? But the idea, or word is lovely) is becoming shorter, I’ve found a way to savour the taste forever!

Like everything exotic and non-korean in Korea, avocados, watermelon, baby spinach to name a few, the price is excruciating, unbelievable, ridiculous. Semi-dried/sun-dried tomatoes are no exception. ₩9,000 on special? ₩13,000 – ₩20,000 for a small jar?

Sure, I’ve nothing better to spend my money on than eating.

Back home I’m used to picking up a couple of hundred grams for $3 – $5, of varying dried-ness, immersed in different oils or vinegar’s, with different herbs and accompaniments, full fat, fat-free. Pro-choice tomatoes, oh yeah!

So, figuring it’s just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, spices, sun and time, I thought, I could make my own. Except, ah, the long hot summer days are over here – thank my sweat-free brow – so what to do, what to do….

Oven-dried tomatoes! Looooooong, sloooooooow dehydrated tomatoes result in the sweetest tomatoes with a soft inside, encased by a not-too-hard, ever so slightly chewy and dried out shell. Dehydrating them with a dash of olive oil that has been infused with Himalayan rock salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, enhances each flavour, bringing out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I used cherry tomatoes here, because that’s what the ajumma was selling near my flat that day

Although I don’t label myself with a food label anymore such as vegetarian, carnivore, vegan, raw foodist; I eat 80% vegan and raw as much as possible (although since preparing samples and market prep for whole*istic snacks and desserts, my diet has changed to 80% DESSERTS! HELP!!)  and meat/fish if my body truly is craving it or someone has been so nice as to cook for me.

I found that it has been easier to make more conscious decisions this way, without placing limitations and expectations on myself and removing the ‘banned food’ list – which actually makes me want them even more.

Bu,t I digress.

A dehydrator is just as vital to a raw foodist as the holier-than-thou blender, the VitaMix – which you cannot get in Korea! Here I was ready to part with my ₩600,00 on a blender, but it’s not even possible. (Post to follow on what I did actually get)*be warned – it will be a rant, as after having acquired the most powerful, expensive blender in Korea, it DIED on me within 24 hours, 2 batches of energy noshies, 1 pie crust and halfway through a ‘cheese’cake…breathe in, breathe out….I am floating on al lily pad down a….one day, it lasted one day!!!! …..down a clear, tranquil blue stream….. But as I’d just received a new large, 4 rack oven, I had been reading that food prepared at 48°C or less, can technically be considered ‘raw’.

Which isn’t very hot at all. I’m sure the Bikram yoga room has been hotter than that before.

So anyway, if you’ve got an oven that can function at 48°C, lots of fresh tomatoes (it’s too time consuming to just do a punnet), and lots and lots of time for these babies to dehydrate – read on my friend, read on……

All you need is love! And time, and a big ass oven.

Oven-semi-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 kg tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (this is more ‘salty’ than salt, so use less at first – then to taste)
1 tsp black pepper – 5 grinds?
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used a mix of basil and Italian parsley)

*Add all spices/seasonings to taste. I LOVE garlic so my recipes are heavy on the garlic, taste as you go, to your liking. Add anything you like. Just remember, the dehydrating will bring out the flavours more.

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a screw top glass jar.
Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture.

2. Wash tomatoes. Cut in half. If using cherry/grape tomatoes place on greaseproof paper lined baking tray, cut side up.
If using larger tomatoes, scoop seeds out (can add to a smoothie, dip, pesto, sauce, eat, whatever – just don’t waste it)

3. Drizzle some of the oil over the tomatoes.
I used about one tablespoon per line of tomatoes.
There should be about 1/4 cup of oil, more or less, remaining for you to sit the tomatoes in after dehydrating, or to use as a dressing. Beautiful!

4. Place in oven at 45°C.
For 2 large trays of cherry tomatoes, they took 5 hours and were fully dried.
4 hours would create a more juicy, semi semi dried tomato.

Will keep in a sealed jar, covered in the remaining oil for a month? 2 months? Although, I don’t think they’ll last that long….

Cherry tomatoes: 2 hours in

Ta-da!! The finished product – 5 hours on


Drizzle garlic olive oil. Whiz into a pesto or dip. Top a salad.
Eat. Straight up.

I blended mine into a basil, sunflower seed pesto and served atop fresh squash, black sesame tofu (I’ve never liked tofu until moving to Korea – its baffling me -)

Looks like a raw, vegan nachos???

For 2 large trays of Roma tomatoes, well, they’ve been in for 3 hours last night, sat overnight, and we’re up to hour number 2 as we speak.

They’re getting close, but still very juicy

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 17, 2012 at 02:35

Fusion cooking: Kimchi quinoa kimbap 김치쿠이 노아 김밮

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I’m a bit of a mixed bag. More a mixed bag of nuts as I’m kinda nutty, more crazy than quirky.

I grew up in a very Australian household enjoying barbecues several times a week, salad optional; minimum 2 varieties of meat essential, vegemite sangas and sao’s with cheese and tomato. With my Scottish mum designated to preparing meals,(very typically reflective of most baby-boomer nuclear households) there was also a strong British influence. I have very strong and fond memories of casseroles, soups and mince and tatties; not to mention Coronation Street, Heartbeat and whisky.

By face value, I apparently have a very Korean face, but my fashion sense and makeup is not very Gangnam style, or actually my face – no plastic surgery here….yet!

But anyway, I’ve been described as a banana before, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Actually a term of affection or endearment….not as derogatory as it sounds or to be confused with being FOB-by (Fresh off the boat – an Asian in a western country, not assimilating and acting, well, very Asian….I don’t make these things up!!)

So I thought it finally time to embrace my banana-like, Konglish, fusion culture and make food reflective of my own culture. To share my relatively new found love of Korean food mashed together with all the best, fresh elements of Australian food.

Kimchi quinoa 김치쿠이 노아 with sesame leaves 깻잎, tofu 두부, cucumber 오이 and lotus root 연근

Kimbap 김밮, directly translating to seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) is as revered as tteokbokki 떡볶이 in the hearts and s(e)oul of all Koreans, bringing back memories of childhood, picnics and uni days. Both are cheap, tasty eats available at all street vendors or quickly slapped together by mothers as a snack food with limitless variations.

Tteokbokki 떡볶이: soft, chewy rice cakes simmered in hot pepper sauce with fish cakes.
Pretty tasty. Extra tasty after soju.

Kimbap is the equivalent to a sandwich. Similar to sushi, (but don’t mention that to hardcore patriotic Koreans, may as well ask them if Dokdo belongs to Japan) Kimbap is rolled rice, usually short grain white rice seasoned with sesame or perilla oil and with a variety of fillings; usually the ubiquitous yellow pickle, sweet marinated lotus root, bulgolgi ham, egg, tofu and sarimi stick. Due to the heavy lashings of sesame oil, no other seasoning is usually required making it the perfect snack/meal on the run.

Traditional Kimbap 김밮: yellow= egg, orange = carrot, dark brown = marinated lotus root, pink/brown= ham, translucent yellow = pickle, green = ? cucumber? probably another bloody pickle?

Quality varies from the GS25 roll or Samgak kimbap 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbap); that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, to the skinny, uniform rolls at any street vendor, battered, deep-fried and deep-fried again as you please! New restaurants such as School Food are revamping humble Korean staple foods by substituting white rice for black rice and more gourmet fillings.

Fancy pants School Food kimbap


Still-life artistic triangle kimbap shot

And then, there’s me, committing cardinal Korean food murder, fusing together well-known foods from Australia, like quinoa and cashew chive pesto and salad fillings such as mixed greens and cucumber with traditional Korean ingredients. Yet to try a hamburger with the works style with beetroot, bacon and a fried egg, but never say never, right?

Some worked, some didn’t.

I liked them all, and so did some friends and random taste testers, but when you’re messing about with very traditional Korean food, with tastes that are ingrained and reliably taste the same wherever you go in Korea, there’s going to be some resistance.

It’s like changing a cheeseburger. Or leaving out the beetroot on a hamburger.

You’re messing with the food gods.

But it’s a start, and generally feedback was good, although the flavours need to be very strong for the korean palette. The kimchi infused quinoa was more popular, as there was some familiarity.

Looking forward to more experimentation with new flavours, bases and fillings, let me know if you wanna be a taste tester!

Kimchi Quinoa kimbap: Attempt #1
Kimchi and green pepper to be mixed with quinoa.
Marinated lotus root for filling

Added in green pepper, kimchi, sesame seeds and yellow capsicum to the cooked quinoa

Pressed out the kimchi quinoa onto the kim (roasted seaweed)
Added some marinated sesame leaves in soy sauce  깻잎 장아찌

Added the marinated lotus root 연근조림 – yeongeun jorim
Should have divided this quantity with cucumber to provide a refresher from the spiciness of the peppers and kimchi.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Arg, is that Limp Bizkit? I don’t even like Limp Bizkit…..Except for that Faith cover.
I should delete that.

Continuing on…I don’t have a bamboo mat for ease of rolling, so you can sub with greaseproof paper or seran wrap just fine.

Second variation: quinoa cooked in coconut milk mixed with capsicums and a crunchy mix of toasted peanuts, sunflower and chia seeds.

Added lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts

Kimchi variation #2
No peppers this time in the quinoa, added fresh sesame leaves, tofu, lotus root and cucumber.

Ta daaaa!
Make sure you cut the kimbap with an extremely sharp knife.
Running the knife under hot water will make your life easier

Bottom kimbap was quinoa mixed with cashew chive pesto and black sesame seeds with cucumber, carrot and tofu

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 07:30

Cafe Able: Serosugil, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu 서올시 강남구 신사동

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Meandering around Garosugil this week, see post here, I discovered a newish cafe that has become my favourite southside hangout.

Not to sound all wanky and cliched and stuff, (these disclaimers always mean something wanky and cliched will follow) but the universe has a funny ‘ole habit of pulling you in the direction you need to be. Or meeting people who share common interests. Or realising that living life by the magic 8 ball app is probably quite foolish.

Though life may throw some curve balls and some straight out air swings, I’ve found that everything in life, positive or seemingly negative, leads you to where you have to be. I’m always where I need to be.

And on this bright, crisp Autumn arvo, I was led here.

Cafe Able, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu.
Down the right hand side streets of Garosugil

They are part of the emerging ‘slow food’ movement in Seoul.
Apparently they have their own rooftop farm, however I couldn’t go up to see on this day, or I needed a Korean friend to help me with the language barrier.

They also had a workshop area for cooking classes, craft workshops

They also sell delicious treats, pickled products

Beautiful, eco inspired cafe with good spatial design with different areas.
Communal spaces for bigger groups, workshops, intimate areas for private occassions or a vibrant, social area for a quick bite or long lunch.

Jumping on the oh-so-trendy-but pretty mason jar trend, the menu was a selection of fresh, energising juices and coffee’s; light meals such as beautifully executed salads, sandwiches and soups served on individual wooden bread boards.

Refreshingly tart and delicious.
Green Vitamin; kiwi, orange & celery.

How to get there: Get yourself to Garosugil, Sinsa-Dong. Line 3 (orange) Sinsa – Exit 8.

From exit 8 end, walk all the way down the end, Forever 21 end.

As you see Starbucks on the left, take the the right hand street, before Starbucks. Follow to next intersection and turn left. Cafe Able is on the left hand side, near the corner.

Address: 2F, 547-6 Sinsa-Dong 서올시 강남구 신사동 547-6 2F *Don’t rely on google maps – It will send you to the wrong place.

Phone: 010-6219-7264

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 06:46