Oh, sauces! Sauces are key to a lot of dishes. Especially exotic ones. If you have a favorite Thai, Indian, Chinese, or any other exotic dish, it’s probably the sauce that makes it special. Because think about it: the main part is just the same stuff we always eat: chicken, beef, rice, noodles, whatever.
But that sauce, how do they do it? And therein lies the rub. Sauces are the key ingredient to making a dish authentic. And usually we don’t know how to make those sauces, so we just go eat that food at a restaurant (or buy a pre-made sauce) But at a restaurant (or in a bottle), who knows what they’re putting in that sauce?
More often than not these sauces, especially sweet and sour sauces, are kind of neon. And shocker: I’m not a fan of neon sauces. There aren’t too many neon foods in nature. So I kind of figure that whatever neon sauce I’m eating is not super natural, or healthy. So I’m setting out to make my own authentic sauces. Because I might go out to eat sometimes, but I won’t have to. I won’t be reliant on a restaurant to get my sweet-and-sour (or curry, or lemongrass, or whatever) fix. I’ll have the ability to make it at home if I want to. And I’ll know what’s in it.
The great thing about sauces is you can pretty much ferment any sauce you make. From salsa to guac to ketchup and mustard, you can ferment any sauce just by adding some starter probiotics and leaving it out for a couple of days. So let’s take the potentially most unhealthy, additive-filled thing that we eat, and turn it into something nutrient-dense, shall we?
Starting with the delicious sauce of sauces: sweet and sour sauce. It’s key that you use raw apple cider vinegar with the mother in this recipe, because that’s your starter and what will cause the fermentation. If you can’t get the right vinegar, add a little bit of whey to your final product and stir it up. It’ll ferment it for you.