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Interesting mild dishes in restaurants w/hot cuisines

Bitter melon soup in Sichuan restaurants (supposed to be a yin counterbalance to all the yang (hot) food.)

Mar 01, 2009
blu2 in Los Angeles Area

Kaffir the dairy product--info please??

The coconut milk kefir also comes out a lot thicker than the regular milk kefir. I started making it since my husband is lactose intolerant, etc. . . I also didn't want to take probiotic pills since I'm pregnant, so I thought this would be a good substitute.

It actually does look like créme fraiche (the straight coconut milk kefir, not the regular milk kefir - that's much thinner). I have read that the coconut milk kefir doesn't cook up too well (seperates), although works as a substitute for yogurt or buttermilk in baked goods. I ended up using my first batch to make a sorbet with some plums, nectarines and the yogurt (using ice and a vita mix).

I got grains from here:

http://happyherbalist.com

It was one of the cheaper sites I found, but I'm not sure this was the best place to get them. Supposedly there are groups on the internet that will send you grains for the cost of shipping. Using the grains is much cheaper than buying the powdered culture, which you will need to repurchase every seven batches or so.

They seem to be working pretty well so far (I did throw out the first few batches (using regular milk as a refresher) and ended up rinsing the grains, which you're not really supposed to do, as I think they soured a little bit in the mail. It is supposed to be sour, but the first few batches were undrinkable.

It is also a little easier to make than yogurt because you just have to make sure the room is warm enough. You don't have to heat the milk (or whatever you're using) to a certain temperature first. You can just pour cold milk straight from the refrigerator onto the culture, cover with a napkin and rubberband around jar neck, (tightly covered will cause a higher alcohol content and fizz due to the yeast, which I don't want - although some people might!) let it sit for 12 to 24 hours, and it should be done.

Aug 29, 2008
blu2 in General Topics

How do you use coconut milk?

I just started using coconut milk to make dairy free yogurt using kefir grains. Yum. (My husband is lactose intolerant and too much plain milk or cheese seems to cause acne for me, though regular yogurt or kefir seems to be fine.) It comes out much thicker than regular kefir and tastes better too, with just a touch of coconut flavor. I used it to make a plum, nectarine & kefir yogurt sorbet and it tasted pretty good, if healthy (I didn't add sugar as i don't like things too sweet anyway). I've also read you can use the coconut milk kefir as a substitute for buttermilk or yogurt in recipes. It does come out really thick, so some blogs suggested using it as a substitute for cremé fraiche (I'm still not sure what that is?) on pancakes, etc. Some recipes I read used coconut milk mixed with water before culturing so it didn't come out so thick, but I kind of liked the thick texture.

Aug 29, 2008
blu2 in Home Cooking

Salmon heads

I think if you put some ginger in the oil it's supposed to help cut the smell

Aug 15, 2008
blu2 in General Topics