The Curve is dedicated to exploring and feeling out the corners of complex, multi-dimensional, often hierarchical and always completely random subjects. The aim is to inform readers – in progressive, graduating fashion – on everything from gin and poems to cheeseburgers and trees.
Today, we speak with Brad Hendrickson, owner/chef at Biota Fermentation, about how to foster and feed a healthy fermentation addiction.
“Even though fermentation is all around us, people are unaware they are already enjoying the fruits of the labor from microbes. Things that we often don’t think about include coffee, tea, chocolate, cheese, bread and of course alcohol. Something I would suggest for a beginner is to try our mustards! Both our Charcuterie Mustard and our Grapefruit Mustarda are live ferments. Mustard was traditionally naturally fermented and Biota Fermentation has gone back to basics with a modern interpretation. Both are delicious on a sandwich, in salad dressings or, to go a step further, use it in rubs or marinades.”
“Once you get hooked on fermentation, it is quite the slippery slope. Start looking for the more unique products like Nato, a Japanese fermented soy bean characteristically know for the snotty, stringy trails made from the yeast. Biota Fermentation always has fun, less scary ferments. One of my favourites is our Garlic Miso Zuke. It is garlic that has been fermented in a miso bed. The miso’s bacteria and yeast render the garlic a beautiful earthy-sweet taste, almost like roasted garlic, with a soft garlic backbone without the astringent garlic flavour. It is awesome in miso soup, Butter Miso Pasta, or anywhere else you would use miso.”
”Now that you are hooked on fermentation, it’s time to start playing and experimenting on your own. But, before that, I would learn from an expert. If you are into learning about culturing and making plant based cheese, I would sign up for a class by Karen McAthy, the mastermind behind Blue Heron Creamery. I also do a workshop called “Introduction to Fermentation” several times throughout the year. Or look for the collaboration we are planning, ‘How to Cook with Ferments’.”
Biota Kimchi Soup Recipe
1/4 Cup Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
1 Tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Oil
3/4 Cups Biota Napa Kimchi
2oz White Onion, sliced
2 each Green Onion, sliced
225g Medium Firm Tofu, diced
3 Cups Mushroom Broth
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Gochujon
1/4 tsp Garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, ground
Salt and Korean Chili Flakes to taste
Put on a pot of steamed rice.
Soak Mushrooms in hot water for 15 minutes.
Strain mushrooms and reserve the broth.
In a pot heat the oil on medium heat until hot.
Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to caramelize.
Deglaze the pot with the mirin.
Add the onions and cook for about 30 seconds, until the rawness of the onions is removed.
Now add the kimchi, green onions, tofu and the broth.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
Finish with the remaining ingredients.
Serve in a bowl, garnish with green onions and enjoy with the steamed rice.