The Hardest Substitue.......

Discussion in 'Open Forum With David Joachim' started by cakerookie, Mar 18, 2006.

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  1. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Hi David and welcome to Cheftalk its great to have you here. I would also like to express my apology for my ignorance of your book as well.With that said. "What ingredient or ingredients did you find the hardest to find substitues for? And were there any that just had none?

    Thanks Cakerookie
     
  2. david joachim

    david joachim

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    I had a hard time developing a good substitute for hoisin sauce, which is made from fermented soybeans, garlic, sugar, salt, and spices. I wanted to replicate the taste and texture by using other ingredients that might be on hand. I started with American barbecue sauce as the base, then added soy sauce, molasses for thickening and sweetness, and five-spice powder for flavor. That mixture came fairly close to hoisin but was missing a key component: the funky sourness of fermented soybeans. I turned to another food that has such a flavor: yeast extract (Marmite/Vegemite). A little yeast extract did the trick and made the homemade hoisin sauce a good substitute for the real thing. I realize that many home cooks won't have yeast extract on hand; but for those that do, the recipe makes a fair approximation. (The recipe is in the book; if anyone's interested, I'll post it here). In a pinch, you can also get away with using Chinese brown bean sauce or Chee hou sauce, although both of these are spicier and less sweet than hoisin. You could add a little sugar to up the sweetness.

    What didn't work? Finding a replacement for foie gras. I left foie gras out of the book entirely. Although, a good-quality liver pate can stand in for pate de foie gras.
     
  3. cakerookie

    cakerookie

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    Thanks David I am a big fan of Chinese cusine that will come in handy I am sure somewhere down the road. You mentioned barbecue sauce.Did you use store bought or did you have a particular recipe that you used in creating this?
     
  4. david joachim

    david joachim

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    I experimented with both homemade and store-bought barbecue sauce. The storebought was K.C. Masterpiece, a popular brand. The homemade was similar: 2 c ketchup, 3 T br sugar, 3 T cider vinegar, 2 T molasses, 2 T yellow mustard, 2 T Worcestershire, 2 t paprika, 1 1/2 t salt, 1 t garlic powder, 1/2 t onion powder, and 1/2 t bl pepper simmered on low 15 minutes. 1/4 cup butter makes it even better.
     
  5. chrose

    chrose

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    David I have to tell you, your description of finding a substitute for Hoisin made it sound like a lot of fun. I'm sure looking for several thousand substitutes made it a little less fun, but still it's like solving a puzzle and sounds like a really cool thing to do if you're bored sometime or just looking for something new to do. I myself love hoisin, so that would be an interesting thing to do. The Fois Gras sounds quite challenging and though I don't know you that well, I'll bet you haven't given up and somewhere it's always in the back of your miind.
     
  6. david joachim

    david joachim

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    Substituting is very much like solving a puzzle and I love puzzles. It was fun to write the book. And, yes, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm still working on finding substitutes for other items.
     
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