Sunday, November 26, 2017

Ham-Bushi or David Chang's Pork Katsuobushi Revisited

So while in Japan discovering katsuobushi, I thought, why don't people do this with pork. Of course David Chang beat me to it. But then I went and read the article (easily found online) and thought, why did they start the mold immediately? And why use koji mold? I thought it would work much better with a kind of ham. So I got two pork loins, cured with salt. sugar, instacure #1, sage and pepper, for a week in the fridge. Then cold smoked about 3 hours over oak. Then dehydrated a full week in an electric dehydrator. Shaved on the kezuriki and dropped into water at the boiling point, removed from the heat, for 5 minutes, with kombu. The result is amazingly like dashi, with the same huge mouthfeel and aftertaste. Smoky, but beautifully clear. I may just have to write a paper about this one! Maybe serve with pulled noodles, greens and a pork meatball I think.


Yuji T. said...

The television program on which you appeared.

Ken Albala said... Thanks! IT appears to be here too!

Peter Wang said...

Really interesting idea!

I found the David Chang academic paper (open-access):
"Defining microbial terroir: The use of native fungi for the study of traditional fermentative processes". Daniel Felder, Daniel Burns, David Chang. International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science. Volume 1, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 64-69.

Like you, they cooked, smoked, and dehydrated (8 hr) the pork. They followed traditional practice by further drying with mold fermentation -- the wikipedia "katsuobushi" entry says that drying is done with a coating of Aspergillus glaucus fungus. It seems from your results this isn't necessary for good flavor, instead you did a much longer dehydration (1 week)?

Ken Albala said...

Peter, Yes, in the end I did find the A. glaucus makes a difference, but it's applied to the outside when dry, not moist. And it behaves differently from koji.

Christian Farthing said...

The only thing I can do now is to wish that I'd get to try this someday.

Sam Dyson Huddersfield said...

I have heard about this from a lot of my friends who had visited Japan. Hearing it now from you, I think I'll try it out next time when I travel.