Apologies for the wait. My fluffy tablet crashed and i ‘kindof’ lost all my data (including my almost ready book) so i was struggling with the online part of my life recently. Anyways.
So i did a second round of my cashew cheese project inoculated with koji spores. This time i was trying out some red rice koji spores and the importance of the salt in the whole process. Overall i learnt much more but the results were slightly less satisfying than in the first attempt.
- increasing the soaking time for the nuts are also increase the risk of a too early lacto fermentation (i left my cashews for 48 hours instead of 24 – the lacto fermentation started way too early which gave me a very ‘airy’ texture of the final ‘cheeze’)
- im not sure why but i assumed that the dominant spore is more likely to be the black awamori one – so when i made the 2 batches i did first the white one (its actually green and the name is red rice koji :) so many colors) then the awamori. Turned out that the white spores contaminated the black cheese in a significant way
- TOASTING. While i toasted the cashews for the first experiment – i ‘forgot’ to do it this time. Not only changing the flavours (less deep) but also might have a major role of the happening of the early lacto fermentation
- SALT. I wanted to try what is the final ‘koji’ flavour without the salting. This hasnt happened 100% because of the too harsh lacto fermentation – but basically these nut kojeese also needs salting – just like the other normal dairy friends – to open up the real umami flavour. Like miso paste without salt. Just feels ‘the magic touch’
So had 3 types from both ‘green’ and ‘black’ kojeese.
- no salt GREEN
- no salt BLACK
- salting for 1 hour GREEN
- salting for 1 hour BLACK
- 20% brine for 1 hour GREEN
- 20% brine for 1 hour BLACK
OVERALL conclusion – all need a bit more salting – the texture was great, moist so maybe just increasing the salt content of the brine (to 30%?). Toasted seeds are more flavourful and 1 day of soaking is more than enough. Working clean to avoid early lacto fermentation (we dont mind if our lacto friend is joining us at the end of the process for a great finish). Used same additional ingredients: the cooked rice, miso paste and coconut oil (brushing with gorse vodka).
- no salt green/white koji. Lack of salt. Missing deep umami and complexity. Bit sour, texture pleasant but nothing else.
- no salt black awamori koji. Lack of salt. Compared to the white one – more complex flavour but nowhere near to what we are aiming for.
- salting green/white koji. Needs a touch more salt. Flavour is more moldy in a gentle way – bit boozy. Complexity is there – bit more sour what i would wish for.
- salting black awamori koji. More complex and seems like the salt is enough here.
- brine green/white koji. The best texture of all. Needs a touch more salt, complexity is there but flavour stays mild. Avoid more sourness.
- brine black awamori koji. This one feels boozier than the rest. Sour. Needs a touch more salt again.
3rd round will come up. Im not fussing with the ‘mild version’ for now – will focus on the black koji. Avoiding lacto fermentation and getting the salt ratio right. And make sure the cashew muts are fully fully roasted this time. Crazy so much to learn. :) Lovin’ it. Keep reading.
Open up your mouth…!