More Asian Food…

As yet my attempts to make my own natto have been rather unsuccessful.

Hard to believe, but it’s almost impossible to get soybeans in a city of over a million (at least if you refuse to withdraw further than 500 meters from your home due to two-digit sub-zero temperatures).

Therefore, my first natto-experiments contained not soybeans, but pinto beans, chick peas and white beans.
I am not sure what to make of the outcome though.
The natto bacillus definitely spread and grew and the beans and chick peas were soon covered with soft, slimy goo. Also, I survived eating that stuff, and it didn’t taste too bad either. But I’m afraid it was not much like real natto at all.

But when it was thawing yesterday, I finally dared leaving the house again, and I went shopping at another asian supermarket. It was much tinier than the other one, but the biggest difference was definitely the smell. They sold a lot of very exotic stuff there, including all kinds of seafood, and I think that may have been the source of this very strong smell, that was hard getting used to (and impossible to ignore).

Aside of that, they had a very interesting range of products, including so many different convenience foods, also all kinds of noodles, soy sauces, rice, fresh, frozen and canned goods, sweets and also non edible stuff like pots and tableware.

Among other things I bought different types of rice flour, rice vinegar, canned seitan und some weird mock meat stuff, black beans and soybeans. The best thing though: as this supermarket is much further from the city center than the other one, it was also far cheaper. I’m pretty sure I will be a regular costumer there.

The first thing I tried was the mock duck, made of soy and wheat protein, served with noodles and veggies. I am not quite sure what to make of it though – I don’t really like the idea of eating something that tastes like an animal. If I wanted to eat an animal (or even eat something that tastes like an animal), what would be the point of being vegan?

As I have never eaten a duck, I can’t really say if it tasted anything like it at all. Actually I think it just tasted like wheat protein with soy sauce on it (which is ok, I like that).

Also, I soaked the soy beans yesterday, and today, after cooking them, they finally were ready for my natto experiment.

Right now they are in the joghurt maker, hopefully fermenting and turning into natto. If I follow the recipe, I will have to wait for about three days until I know the outcome.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed…

Asian Food

I am a big fan of tofu,soy sauce and soybeans in general – also of rice, since I have a rice cooker that makes really perfect rice – so I was really excited this week to go for the first time shopping at an asian supermarket.

The products there were amazing, so many different kinds of noodles, nori, cans and condiments…It was quit a cultural shock though, seeing so many products and not knowing what they were, as I couldn’t read the characters of the brand names. Some of the foods are really foreign to me and I still haven’t found out what everything is (I really hope I didn’t spread shoe polisher on my bread – but if so, it was at least spicy).

Asian Food

One of the things I always wanted to try out was natto (fermented soybeans), and I finally got the chance to do so.It was a very tiny serving with miniature packages of mustard and soy sauce. It was slimy at first and got foamy when stirred and the smell reminded me of malt – very weird stuff.
I really liked it though and I decided to try to grow my own natto in my joghurt maker, as soon as I get hold of soybeans.


I also liked the canned seitan chunks and I decided to try to preserve my own seitan as well – my freezer just isn’t big enough for storing large amounts of seitan, so that would be a perfect, energy-saving solution.

I think some asian influenced recipes might be coming up soon…