whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘raw food

(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

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