On Natto, Flower Bread and Apricot Dumplings

First of all I can say that my natto experiences finally proved successful.

Natto

While according to an instruction I found on the internet the natto had to be in the joghurt maker for 24 hours, then additionally in the fridge for 48, I observed that keeping the soybeans warm for 48 hours proved to be a more prosperous solution for my natto.

Also I had to increase the amount of natto I make to the maximum that fits in the joghurt maker, as I would eat so much of it, that it didn’t even survive those 48 hours in the fridge that it needs to settle.

When I bought the joghurt maker a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea what a handy bargain that would be, as now I am using it around the clock, literally.

The selfmade natto really tastes great and I made it part of my daily diet: twice a day I now enjoy a small portion of those fermented soybeans.

All natto aside, I also managed to try out some very nice bread recipe.

Sunflower Bread

Called a sunflower bread, it doesn’t actually contain any sunflower seeds, but it looks a little bit like a sunflower. I found the recipe on this website, and although google translate tries to convince me that it is Italian, I am actually quite sure the page is in Romanian (otherwise, where the hell would I get 500g of weasel?).

I’m not 100% pleased with the outcome yet, but it’s heading towards the right direction, and I think it really looks nice.

And finally I had another very delicious meal yesterday: my almost-mother-in-law made some wonderful selfmade apricot dumplings for me.

I absolutely love filled dumplings, and as I am not good at making them myself, I am always looking forward to when I get them made for me.

My noble plans of eating those 8 large dumplings over a period of 4 days were completely in vain though, they were so delicious, I hat to eat all of them on the very first day.

Apricot Dumplings

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…