Vegan Carrot Peel Honey

This recipe produces a delicious syrup which makes a great vegan substitute for honey. It’s perfect for glazes, salad dressings, or any recipe where you’d traditionally use honey.

This recipe is perfect for creating a zero waste kitchen – utilising carrot peelings that normally go to waste – but if you prefer/don’t have enough peelings you can use whole carrots instead.

The recipe begins by making a carrot amazake, which is then freeze clarified and reduced to a syrup. It takes a while to make, but most of the steps require simply waiting – the actual time spent making this honey is quite small and is well worth it if you’re looking to create stunning vegan dishes!

Vegan Carrot Peel Honey

Make a vegan delicious honey from carrots scraps
Prep Time1 d 40 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Freezing time8 hrs
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: British
Keyword: amazake, carrots, honey

Equipment

  • Dehydrator/slow cooker Something capable of holding food at 60C
  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 200 g White Rice Koji
  • 200 g White Rice Cooked
  • 400 g Water
  • 125 g Carrot Peelings or Carrots

Instructions

  • This recipe is perfect for creating a zero waste kitchen - utilising carrot peelings that normally go to waste - but if you prefer/don't have enough peelings you can use whole carrots instead.
  • Puree all the ingredients in a blender
  • Transfer to a jar, cover and leave in a dehydrator set to 60C for 8 hours (or use a rice cooker/slow cooker/sous vide/any other kitchen gadget that can hold food at 60C)
  • Freeze the mixture (which is a carrot amazake) and then leave the block to melt through a muslin. This is a great way to clarify the solution.
  • The carrot amazake melts to leave a clear solution
  • Place the clear liquid in a saucepan and heat on low until the liquid reduces to thick syrup.
  • Enjoy your vegan carrot honey!

Kinzanji Miso

Kinzanji miso is different to most other misos in that it is not used as a seasoning, but is designed to be eaten as a side dish. It is made by fermenting vegetables with koji to create a dish that is sweet and sour – the perfect accompaniment to most Japanese dishes.  It is also frequently used as the Japanese equivalent of sofrito or mirepoix – saving the time needed to fry the vegetables used in the base of dishes.

Very little information about kinzanji miso is available in English, so I’ve researched Japanese texts to discover everything I can about this dish.

Traditionally kinzanji miso is made using a combination of three kojis – rice, soy and barley – all in equal proportions. The other ingredients are harder to tie down – it’s the sort of dish where every family seem to have their own version. The common themes are that they have 6% salt (5.8% according to the Standard Food Composition Table of Japan) and an equal amount of sugar. Most recipes also call for double this percentage in honey, although if you’re not a fan of sweet dishes, or looking to create a vegan version, this can be left out.

Another ingredient that is in almost all versions is ginger, although the amount varies wildly – some contain a tablespoon, whilst one recipe I found had 1.5Kg of ginger in a 7kg recipe! In the recipe below I’ve used a more moderate amount of ginger, but feel free to increase this if you’re a big ginger fan.

The vegetables used also vary – aubergine, daikon radish, courgettes, melons, burdock root, shiso leaves and various seaweeds are the most commonly mentioned, but modern recipes also tend to include carrots, peppers and garlic.

Some recipes also called for the addition of sake, mirin or soy sauce, but mostly in very small amounts. I’ve chosen to leave these out as they didn’t appear in the older recipes I found; but feel free to experiment by adding them to your dishes.

Note: I’m unable to eat soy or wheat so have created a recipe to avoid these ingredients. If you’re looking to make a traditional version, replace the rice koji and beans in the recipe below with a mix of rice koji, soy koji and barley koji.

Kinzanji Miso

Kinzanji miso is different to most other misos in that it is not used as a seasoning, but is designed to be eaten as a side dish. It is made by fermenting vegetables with koji to create a dish that is sweet and sour – the perfect accompaniment to most Japanese dishes.
Prep Time20 mins
Fermentation Time30 d
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: fermented, Koji, miso
Servings: 24
Cost: £10

Equipment

  • 1 Steamer optional
  • 1 jar

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Umami Chef Rice Koji (200g) For authentic kinzanji miso replace the koji rice and cannellini beans in this recipe with 400g of mixed rice, soy and barley koji)
  • 60 g salt
  • 60 g sugar
  • 100 g honey
  • 150 g aubergine cubed and steamed
  • 100 g courgette cubed
  • 150 g carrot cubed
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced/grated
  • 200 g cannellini beans cooked

Instructions

  • Mix all the ingredients together, then pack into a jar.
  • Over the next few hours the vegetables will begin to release moisture, press the vegetables down until this liquid covers all the ingredients.
  • You now have a choice. You can either place a weight on top of the mixture, to keep all the ingredients submerged. Or you can stir it once a day, to prevent mold growth on the surface.
  • Cover with a cloth to prevent insects from entering. Then leave the miso at room temperature to ferment. In a hot room/airing cupboard (25'C) this might be as little as 3 weeks. In a colder room (15'C) this might be 8 weeks. It is edible throughout, so just taste and when you like it place in the fridge to stop the fermentation. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Note: I’m unable to eat soy or wheat so have created a recipe to avoid these ingredients. If you’re looking to make a traditional version, replace the rice koji and beans in the recipe with a mix of rice koji, soy koji and barley koji.

Mushroom Crackers – Vegan Alternative to Prawn Crackers

Mushroom Cracker

These vegan alternative to prawn crackers taste delicious! They require a bit of effort to make, but are well worth it for the knowledge they contain no colours or preservatives. 

The addition of shio koji means that these vegan crackers are just as delicious as the prawn version.

Enjoy!

Mushroom Crackers

Vegan alternative to prawn crackers
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time7 mins
Dehydrate12 hrs
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: crackers

Equipment

  • Dehydrator
  • Steamer
  • Deep fryer
  • Food Processor

Ingredients

  • 200 g chestnut mushroom
  • 150 ml shio koji approx 7% salt content
  • 75 g red onion
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 400 g Tapioca Flour
  • 100 ml water

Instructions

  • Blend mushrooms, onion, shio koji and pepper to a puree
  • Add tapioca flour and water and mix
  • Place a layer of cling film onto a baking tray. Pour in a thin later of the mixture, then use a second layer of cling film to create as thin a layer of batter as possible
  • Steam for 7 minutes
  • Gently peel off the cling film
  • Place in a dehydrator and dehydrate until sheet is so brittle it snaps easily (mine took 12 hours at 50'C) Note: The bottom corners of this sheet are too thick, for the perfect cracker it should be transparent at this stage. Thick bits can still be fried, but they aren't as light and crispy.
  • Break the sheet into pieces (this sheet shows desired transparency)
  • Deep fry at 170'C until crackers puff and rise to the surface. Drain on a piece of kitchen towel and enjoy!
    Mushroom Cracker

Wild Garlic Preserved in Simmered Shio Koji

Wild garlic in shio koji

A twist on the Korean, Kkaennip Jorim – which normally uses perilla leaves. This version uses wild garlic, but you could use other similar leaves – like spinach, chard or the original perilla leaves.

I also used strained shio koji instead of soy sauce – creating a gluten free, soy free side dish. Strained shio koji is obtained by filtering out the rice solids from shio koji. This can be done with a strainer or filter, to produce a clear liquid. You could use a light soy sauce instead.

The finished product is a delicious side dish. Perfect simply served with plain boiled rice, or with a range of other Korean dishes.

Wild Garlic Preserved in Simmered Shio Koji

A twist of the Korean side dish Kkaennip Jorim, this side dish uses wild garlic instead of perilla leaves.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
2 d
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: shio koji, wild garlic
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 150 ml strained shio koji Remove the rice solids from shio koji with a filter/strainer to create a clear liquid. Or use a light soy sauce.
  • 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
  • 2 cm ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Korean chilli flakes
  • 200 g wild garlic

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients, except the wild garlic to a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Leave to cool
  • Transfer to a jar and then add the wild garlic
  • Add a weight, to ensure nothing floats above the surface
    Wild garlic in shio koji
  • Leave for at least two days, then enjoy as a side dish

Blue Pea Miso Soup

This quick, sweet miso makes a soup that tastes just like a British Green Pea soup. Once the miso has matured the soup is ready in the time it takes to boil a kettle.

Blue Pea Miso

This quick, sweet miso makes a soup that tastes just like a British Green Pea soup. Once the miso has matured the soup is ready in the time it takes to boil a kettle.
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: British, Japanese
Keyword: miso, soup

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place the peas in a bowl, cover with water, then leave to soak in a fridge overnight
  • Rinse the peas, transfer to a saucepan and then boil gently, until soft (approx 45 minutes)
  • Drain, then leave to peas to cool. Once cool, add the koji and salt.
  • Blend until well combined. If using for a soup a smooth paste is best, but feel free to leave chunky if you're using the miso in other ways.
  • Press the miso into a clean jar, ensuring all air pockets are removed. Then lightly sprinkle surface with salt. Cover (eg. with a muslin secured with an elastic band), then place in a warm place (eg. in an airing cupboard) for 10 days.
  • After 10 days, scrape off the salt and transfer to a fridge. To make the soup, just stir a tablespoon of miso into a mug of stock.

Brown Butter Miso Spread

I think this might be my favourite thing to make with miso. It tastes like condensed milk and toffee, with a depth of savouriness that is impossible to describe.  It’s so delicious I’ve been eating it straight from the jar – not something I advise as it is basically just butter, cream and miso!!

This brown butter spread can be used in all your cake/biscuit recipes to replace the normal butter – giving all your bakes an extra depth of flavour that will impress even the most sceptical of miso eaters. Or it can be spread onto pancakes, waffles, or anywhere else you need butter with an extra special quality.

This recipe was given to me by the incredibly knowledgeable Cooking with Q. Follow him on YouTube or Instagram for lots more ideas for cooking with fermented foods. 

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Miso Brown Butter Spread

This butter will add an amazing depth of flavour to all cakes or biscuits - or you can spread it on pancakes/waffles. You can even eat it straight from the jar!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Fusion
Keyword: Butter, miso, spread

Ingredients

  • 300 g double cream
  • 300 g unsalted butter
  • 75 g light olive oil
  • 200 g miso (a sweet white miso gives a sweeter taste; whilst a darker aged one will give one with a deeper flavour)
  • 75 g water
  • 5 g lecithin

Instructions

  • Gently boil the double cream until most of the water has evaporated and the cream begins to change colour.
  • Add the butter and continue to boil, stirring frequently. It will look as though it has curdled, but don't worry - this is normal!
  • When the butter begins to change remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool.
    Brown butter
  • Whilst the butter is cooling, add the miso, water and lecithin to a blender and blend until smooth. With the blender still running, slowly pour the oil into the mixture.
  • When the butter has cooled, slowly add the butter mixture to the running blender, ensuring all solids are transferred across too.
  • You can now transfer the mixture to a freezer for long term storage or whip it with a hand mixer to produce a fluffy pale mixture - which can be used straight away or stored in a fridge for a few weeks.

Koji Beer

Koji Ber

Koji beer is a fusion of east and western styles of beer. Sake is generally called a rice wine but it is in fact more like a beer than wine. It is made using rice and top quality koji and this formed the “Eastern” element of the brew. When making sake, only rice and koji are used and a special yeast which can reach the 18-20% ABV levels in sake (although it is often diluted down to 15% when sold commercially).

The Western part of the brew was a mash made using extra pale malted barley and flavoured with Saaz hops (which are used in European beers like Hoegaarden). These two elements were blended together and fermented using an American yeast which gives a crisp finish. This is a truly international beer!

The final ABV of the beer was 7.8% which places it fairly well up the normal beer ABV range of 3 to 9%. It fermented most of the sugars out to give a fairly dry finish similar to traditional ciders but without the astringency. This is a very different tasting beer and one which goes well with dishes made using koji.

 

Koji Beer

A beer made using koji rice, giving a dry, sour characteristic to the beer
Course: Drinks
Keyword: beer

Ingredients

  • 1 kg flaked rice
  • 400 g Umami Chef koji
  • 2 kg Simpsons Extra Pale Malt
  • 1 SafAle US05 Yeast
  • Saaz leaf

Instructions

Rice Preparation

  • Wash the rice and then add at least 2 litres of water.
  • Leave to soak in a fridge overnight.
  • Rinse and then boil for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the rice and then leave it to cool.

Koji Fermentation

  • Add the rice and the koji to the nylon bag. Place the tied nylon bag into a 3 gallon fermentation vessel.
  • Cover with 3 litres of cooled, boiled water.
  • Place a lid with an airlock on top and leave at room temperature (21'C) for 4 days.
  • Filter the rice from the liquor.

Beer

  • Make the beer with 2kg of Simpsons extra pale malt and saaz hops in a kettle ready mash at 66'C. 25g of saaz leaf is used as a bittering hop, boiling for 60 minutes. Add a further 15g with 15 minutes to go and 10g with 5 minutes to go. (Note: The initial gravity of this wort was 1055.)
  • Add the liquor from the koji (3.3 litres) (Note: The initial gravity of the koji liquor was 1072 and when combined it was 1063) Giving a total volume of about 11 - 12 litres
  • Add SafAle US05 Yeast and fit a lid with fermentation lock.
  • Leave to fermet out, about 5 days. (Note: Final gravity 1004 - giving 7.8% ABV)
  • Rack off the beer and add 60g priming sugar before bottling.
  • Leave to condition for 10 weeks.

Mirin Recipe

Mirin

Mirin is a sweet wine used in Japanese cookery. In the UK we’re most familiar with its use in teriyaki sauce, but it is used in a wide range of other Japanese dishes.

Traditionally mirin is made from shochu, a Japanese spirit usually made from sweet potato. Shochu is difficult (and expensive) to get hold of  in the UK, so I’ve used vodka.

It’s really easy to make – just mix koji, cooked rice, and a neutral tasting spirit. Then leave at room temperature for 2 – 3 months. I mixed 300ml vodka, 100g koji and 100g of cooled, cooked rice. 

After 3 months the mirin develops a rich golden colour. At this stage you can strain off the solids or leave it to mature further. I like to leave the solids in the liquid, carefully pouring off the amount I’d like to use for each recipe. This means I get the best of both worlds – the ability to use it now and for it to mature further with time.

Much of the mirin available in the UK is made from sweetners and not produced in the traditional way. By creating your own mirin you get to experience a product that is naturally fermented and rich in nutrients.

Vodka Mirin

Mirin is a sweet wine used in Japanese cookery. It is easy to make and much tastier than commercially available products which are no longer produced in the traditional way.
Prep Time10 mins
Fermentation Time90 d
Course: Ingredient
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Koji, mirin, rice wine

Ingredients

  • 300 ml vodka
  • 100 g koji
  • 100 g cooked rice cooled

Instructions

  • Mix the ingredients in a clean bottle
  • Leave to mature for 3 months
  • Strain off the solids and enjoy the mirin in teriyaki or your favourite Japanese dish

Red Lentil Miso

Red lentil miso is probably the quickest miso you can make – you don’t need to soak the beans overnight and the lentils cook in under 20 minutes. Then it’s just a case of mixing the cooled lentils with koji and salt and pressing into a jar. 

This miso will probably be at its best after about 4 months, but will be ready faster if the temperature is especially warm (higher than 30°C) or longer if the temperature is less than 20°C.

This red lentil miso is a delicious sweet miso that works especially well in soups and salad dressings.

Red Lentil Miso

Probably the easiest miso to make!
Prep Time30 mins
Maturing Time120 d
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: miso, red lentils

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Weigh out the lentils and then cook until soft
  • Drain them well, trying to remove as much water as possible.
  • Once the lentils are cool, mix in the koji and salt.
  • Ensure the koji and salt and evenly distributed through the mixture
  • Form the mixture into balls, squeezing out as much air as you can. If the balls crack and fall apart the mixture is too dry and a small amount of cooled, boiled water should be added. If the balls ooze water, place in a muslin cloth and try to squeeze out as much as possible.
  • Press the balls into a clean jar, removing as much air as possible. Then sprinkle the surface with a layer of salt. Add a weight to the top of the miso, to squeeze out as much air and liquid as possible, Then leave at room temperature for 4 months