Pre­served/ Fer­mented

From Grand­mother’s pre­serves to fer­mented sta­ples, the an­cient stor­ing tech­niques of­fer health ben­e­fits — and amaz­ing flavours

Ottawa Magazine - - THIS CITY -

1 Kim­chi fried rice

A re­cent ad­di­tion to the Old Ottawa South scene, Ta­ble So­dam is a sec­ond Korean café run by the own­ers who made Korean fried chicken the “it” dish at Ta­ble 85, their first café on Bron­son. Forgo the usual fried chicken and bibim­bap (though they are de­li­cious), and in­stead get your fer­ment fix with a hearty help­ing of kim­chi fried rice. Sim­ple, spicy, and fill­ing, it’s an umamiladen dish that high­lights the funk­i­ness of kim­chi juice and stir-fried kim­chi with the smoky salti­ness of strips of pork belly and the gooey rich­ness of a liq­uidy sunny-sideup egg that is meant to be stirred into the fried rice. Four jumbo shrimp on the side round things out. You won’t feel hun­gry again for hours. $18. 1200 Bank St. SB

2 Kim­chi

Iruk Cho and Hana Jung be­gan sell­ing their own kim­chi shortly af­ter em­i­grat­ing to Ottawa and launch­ing Raon, a res­tau­rant and food cart busi­ness. They make five va­ri­eties: napa cab­bage (the best seller), spicy napa cab­bage (more chili), white napa cab­bage (no chili spice), radish, and cu­cum­ber. A well-known sta­ple in Korean cook­ing, kim­chi is in­cred­i­bly ver­sa­tile — try it in cock­tails, in sal­ads, even on your av­o­cado toast. A jar in the fridge will dis­ap­pear quickly. The duo now sell their condi­ments from their Bank Street food cart, their res­tau­rant at 141 Lau­rier Ave., the Ottawa Farm­ers’ Mar­ket, and other shops. $13.50/650 mL. 124 Bank St. KS

3 beer bread

Since the 1600s BC, peo­ple have made bread and beer by the sim­ple alchemy of com­bin­ing flour and wa­ter and let­ting it sit some­where warm. Flora Hall Brew­ing con­tin­ues this fer­ment­ing tra­di­tion by bak­ing bread and brew­ing beer. Their Oat­meal Stout is even in­cor­po­rated into their bread dough, along with mo­lasses and honey, to slightly sweeten their whole wheat loaves. Served grilled with shal­lot oil and sea salt, this is a rare treat. $9 with soup, $18 with Plough­man’s Plat­ter. 37 Flora St. CD

4 pre­served Lemons

Any­one who has been to a school sci­ence fair knows that you can make elec­tric­ity with a lemon. And the in­ter­net says if you add salt to lemon slices and put them next to your bed, you can pu­rify the air as well as your aura. Or you can add them to your food. As a condi­ment, lemons that have been quar­tered, coated with salt, and then pre­served in lemon juice elec­trify meals. They add salt, sour, and bit­ter to Mid­dle Eastern and Moroc­can fare.

At Chez Fa­tima in Gatineau, pre­served lemons (with olives) make their way into chicken and lamb tajines to de­li­cious ef­fect. If you pre­serve your own, you can also sneak them into grain bowls, raita, and cur­ries. $18.95. 125, prom. du Portage, Gatineau. AC

5 golden curry kraut

Sauer­kraut, long rel­e­gated to hot dogs, is sud­denly show­ing up on menus all over the place as chefs and pickle lovers ex­per­i­ment with gut-healthy krauts. Al­monte’s Wild Oak Homestead kicks it up a notch with a line of crunchy, flavour­ful fer­ments that would work equally well on your next sand­wich, char­cu­terie plat­ter, or salad. Try their Golden Curry Kraut, which gets its unique flavour pro­file from golden beets, which bub­ble to­gether with cab­bage, gin­ger root, and curry. $9/500 mL. Find it at the Carp Farm­ers’ Mar­ket. SB

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