Tag Archive for fermenting

Lemon Mousse made with Sauerkraut??

What, now??

As a food blogger, I draw inspiration from a myriad of sources; cooking shows I watch on TV, other food blogs, cookbooks, and food I eat at restaurants and friend’s houses. Sometimes, one recipe can be inspired by more than one thing, and that’s where we find ourselves today.

I tried this dessert a few months back at The Wellness Show. It was at the booth of Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage, who are the authors of Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal. They are all about fermenting, and over the last few months, I’ve been pretty obsessed with it, as well. I got a copy of Julie and Richard’s cookbook, and have been making things from it over the past few months. But those things have been things like kimchi and pickles. I’d never even considered before the possibility of turning a fermented vegetable into a dessert.

forage ferments

A selection of the amazing dishes at the Forage Ferments dinner.


I was pretty excited to get invited to a dinner at Forage last week. Forage is one of my absolute favourite restaurants in the city–their values of cooking local and seasonal align with mine, and additionally, Chris Whittaker is a fabulous chef. The dinner was called Forage Ferments, and it was a collaboration between Chris and Todd Graham of Hand Taste Ferments. Todd and Chris met a while back while Todd was head brewmaster at R&B, and the collaborated with 6 different Vancouver chefs (including Chris) to create their own beers. Todd has since moved on to fermenting all things of all kinds, full time, not just hops and barley.

The dinner was exciting and inventive. I love eating things I’ve never had before, and this dinner was filled with cool new things, like miso paste made with local chickpeas instead of soybeans (which are primarily grown in Asia), kimchi devilled eggs, caesar salad dressing made with herring from Quadra Island in the place of anchovies, hay-smoked confit potatoes and an ice cream made with the aforementioned chickpea miso.

forage sauerkraut

Forage sent me home with a jar of sauerkraut, so, I decided to take inspiration from the Forage Ferments dinner and use a fermented food in a place you’d never thing to look for it: dessert.

This is yummy. It’s lemony, but not too tart, and the cream cheese adds a rich mouth-feel and also amps up the tartness. Now, you might be wondering where the kraut comes in. Well, you chop it up fine and add it to the mousse at the end, along with a little coconut. It adds a bit of a crunchy texture to the mousse, but if anyone asks, you can just say it’s shredded coconut. Trust me, they won’t be able to tell the difference, it’s that good.

I served mine in tart shells, but it would make an equally good parfait, over top of crumbled cookies, perhaps, or cake, and layered between whipped cream or coconut cream.

Delicious! Plus all the benefits of sneaking in a fermented food.

lemon mousse

Lemon Mousse made with Sauerkraut

(recipe courtesy of Fresh & Fermented)


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice (or juice of one large lemon)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup sauerkraut
  • 6 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut, toasted


  1. NOTE: you can skip this step entirely and buy store-bought lemon curd if you like, or you can use a different recipe.
    In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the lemon zest and sugar, and beat again. Add the egg, beat. Finally add the lemon juice and salt, and beat one last time.
  2. Place the lemon mixture into a small saucepan, and turn on low-medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring up to a boil, and allow to thicken. You will know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and remains apart when you swipe a finger though it. Remove from heat, and place in the fridge to cool.
  3. Take the sauerkraut out of the jar with a fork, allowing the brine to drain off. Place into a food processor, and whiz well to chop finely. Add the cream cheese, and combine the two well. Finally, fold in the cooled lemon curd.
  4. Serve in a tart or pie shell, or in dessert glass, garnished with toasted coconut.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fermenting: KimChi

This week is all about new, healthy ways of getting the most nutrients out of your food.

Actually, “new” is a misnomer. “Old” is probably a better term. Sprouting and fermenting are two really old ways of preparing food, but we’ve gotten away from them. Sprouting takes a little work, but it’s actually pretty easy, and the health benefits are great (read my post from Tuesday for more info). Fermenting freaks a lot of people out, I think. We’re pretty afraid of getting food poisoning.


However, eating fermented foods is really, really good for you.

You see, our guts (which is your stomach, small and large intestine), need bacteria. A lot of bacteria. Different kinds. These bacteria help to break down our food, and they even help us to get nutrition from our food. They also protect you from getting sick and support your immune system.

I recently had to take a course of antibiotics, and one of the challenges with that kind of medication is that it kills all the bacteria in your gut, the bad and the good. One way to fill your belly up with good bacteria is to eat fermented foods.

They include:

  • yogurt or kefir
  • miso
  • kombucha
  • sauerkraut
  • tempeh
  • sourdough
  • pickles
  • kimchi

You can buy all of these products  in the grocery store, but they’re even better if you make them yourself. And they are surprisingly easy to make! I got a yogurt maker last year, and I have been making my own yogurt in it–next I want to try kefir.
I just recently got this book, Fresh & Fermented: 85 Delicious Ways to Make Fermented Carrots, Kraut, and Kimchi Part of Every Meal, after meeting the author, Julie O’Brian, at The Wellness Show.

The book is a bit of an eye-opener. The first part explains the advantages of fermenting, why it’s good for you, and how it’s been incorporated into the cuisine of many cultures for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands, of years. The second part shares a few basic fermenting recipes: basic kraut, basic kimchi, and basic fermented carrots. The third part of the book is recipes that you can make with your ferments, and this is where it gets a little mind-blowing. You can included your fermented food in smoothies, grilled cheeses, mac ‘n’ cheese, dips, even desserts (“Sweet and Sauer Chocolate Pudding”)!

I decided to start out with something easy and make kimchi. If you’re not familiar with this Korean staple, kimchi is a spicier version of something that most resembles a sauerkraut. It’s mostly eaten as a condiment, a fiery addition to almost any meal in Korea. In fact, they consume 18 kilos of the stuff per year, per person! Wikipedia

It’s not hard to make, but you need a little patience, because it takes about a week to do its thing. I made mine in a flip-top mason jar, but you could just as easily do it in one with a screw-on lid.

kimchi ingredients

Firefly Kimchi


  • one head of cabbage (I used Napa)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (coarse is better)
  • 3 tbsp thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbps minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp (I used less, because I’m a wimp) Korean red pepper. I just used regular dried chilies, along with a pinch of chipotle, and it turned out fine.


  1. Peel off the outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut off the stem of the cabbage (save for later), and then cut it in half, length-wise. Slice each half into ribbons, of about 1/4″ wide.
  2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl, and sprinkle it with the salt. With your hands, mix it all up well together. Let it sit on the counter for about a half an hour or so, until it has wilted down to about half its size. It will have a very watery base to it. Add the rest of the ingredients, and toss well.
  3. Place the whole works into your mason jar. Make sure that the brine is completely covering the cabbage. Use your reserved cabbage stem to weight it down, and make sure that there is some head room (about 1″) in the jar. Let the jar sit at room temperature for about a week, and then it’s ready to eat! After it’s fermented, you can store it in the fridge.

For more recipes to cook with your kimchi, check out The Firefly Kitchen’s Blog.