The condiment you didn’t know you needed, but won’t be able to do without.Gather Journal Carob-oot
While at face value fermentation seems traditionally slothful—more waiting game than involved process—beneath the surface there is a quiet rebirth happening. Kwang Uh, the wildly inventive chef behind L.A. restaurant Baroo, a veritable fermentation lab, calls it “transformation through an actively alive resting period.” Here, he shares his recipe for a fermented, umami-bomb, carob-based condiment.
makes 3 quarts
Place carob in a medium saucepan and cover by at least 3 inches of water. Bring to a boil and simmer 40 minutes. Drain then cool. Discard seeds and roughly chop flesh.
Meanwhile, in separate bowls, soak shiitakes and kombu covered in warm water until just softened. Discard stems from shiitakes then roughly chop them and kombu.
Grind carob, shiitakes, kombu, burdock, lotus root with salt in a food processor to a paste. Transfer to clean canning jars and let ferment at room temperature 7 days. Refrigerate once fermented.
Serving suggestions: Carob-oot can be used as a seasoning condiment, roasted, or slowly reduced with 3 parts dashi. Uh also mixes it with shredded, roasted seaweed and lets it ferment again for 3-4 more days at room temperature. It can then be puréed with other seasonings (like sake, mirin, or tamari) and used as a spread on toasted bread, or for making fried or seasoned rice or fermented butter.