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Need tips on adding fermented foods to diet

I have been reading about the benefit of fermented foods in our diet and want to start adding more into my daily routine. Need some help! We are vegan, so no yogurt.

Miso and sauerkraut I can handle. I often make miso soup and add a bit of tofu, spinach, mushrooms, spring onions etc. Having German heritage and growing up in Wisconsin I can work up a few dishes with sauerkraut as well. Any recipes or suggestions would be appreciated.

Wold love some suggestions on how to use Tempeh and fermented soy products other than miso.

Kim-Chee... I have never had it and have no idea what to serve it with.

Are there any other fermented foods out there beyond my radar?


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  1. I have always used tempeh similarly to tofu. One of my favorites was making a tempeh based chili.

    1. I crumble up tempeh and brown it in a little olive oil. Drain on paper towels. It's crunchy, and good in salads or on top of vegetable soup. Mark Bittman calls it "crunchy tempeh" or something similar. blog.fatfreevegan.com has some good tempeh recipes. I've made a few and they all taste good cold as leftovers..

      1. you should get this book called Wild Fermentation:

        seriously, i just registered for the first time on chowhound JUST to recommend this book to you it is so good. the book is very well written and very very accessible, not hung up on lots of professional equipment and exacting procedures, more like having a good time making your own healthy fermented food and enjoying it.

        it has tons of fermentation recipes - drinks, foods, alcohols, all easily made at home, and some vegan tips too (though personally i can't recommend a vegan diet - in any case, fermented foods will at least help.)

        good luck! :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: aguafruta

          I will order the Wild Fermentation book today! Thanks. Exactly what I was looking for.

          1. re: Windsor

            Also, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon is a sort of earthy-touchy-feely book, but has TONS of fermented recipes, I think that's the major focus of it. Salsas, sauces, tonics, etc.


        2. Many other things you can do with miso besides soup. Add it to salad dressings, mix it with some chopped nuts (or peanut butter) and a bit of sugar as a dressing for cooked vegetables. Also, if you find some recipes for marinading meats and fish in miso.


          Soy sauce and natto also fall into the category of fermented products.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Yukari

            I will try to use miso in other things than soup...and will experiment with various flavors.

          2. Kimchi is a pretty spicy dish, but will probably go well with almost anything. Your miso and tofu soup is a good start as it is very similar to Korean doenjang (Korean miso) stew. Store bought kimchi may or may not have shrimp or fish paste(sauce) as an ingredient, so if you go that route be sure to check the label. Making it yourself isn't hard and you can control what goes into it.
            Here is a recipe for you to take a look at. If you use it, just omit the shrimp paste/fish sauce.

            1. I'd never heard of fermented foods being especially healthy - can you fill us in on the benefits? (I'm always happy for an excuse to eat more miso soup!)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Emmmily

                Here is a link with a host of articles to get you started:

                In general, the beneficial bacteria in some types of traditionally fermented foods may help to boost immune systems, provide aids in digestion, relieve some types of blood disorders, boost healing/recovery from wounds and some illnesses etc etc.

                1. re: Emmmily

                  In order to get the benefits the fermented food needs to be uncooked, otherwise the bacteria will be dead.

                2. I highly recommend unpasteurized beer. or you can get soygurt now. But If any of your family is on MAO inhibitors (ex: prozac) don't let them consume too much fermented foods as there are biogenic amines in fermented foods which are damaging to these people.

                  1. I grew up eating natto (fermented soybeans). You can find it in the Asian grocery- Japanese section. We add a bit of raw egg, minced green onion and soy sauce to the natto and eat on top on white rice. This is comfort food to me, but some people find the texture displeasing.

                    1. Kim Chee pretty much goes with anything. Try going to a Korean restaurant sometime to taste it in it's "natural habitat," where it's served on the side as a pickle or relish to go with the other food. I like to eat it at home on rice, or plain, or with other dishes I've cooked. They don't even have to be Korean.

                      1. i vouch for hannaone's kimchee recipe. it's very simple and very good.

                        one of my favorite lunches is omusubi with kimchee filling. naturally vegan, very delicious.

                        kimchee pancakes are also wonderful.

                        i know it's not for everyone, but i personally love natto. if you buy some at the store to use as a starter, you can make it at home very inexpensively. serve with rice.