Miso Mayo

I would never have considered mayo until my fermentation experiments lead me to using up excess brine juices and playing with different kitchen skills.  Enough said!



2 egg yolks
1 tbsp homemade fermented mustard or 1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp kombucha vinegar/ACV
1 tbsp brine juice
1Tbsp miso or 1/4 tsp sea salt
250ml grapeseed or mild olive oil (current preference is grapeseed oil)

All ingredients should be at room temperature before you start.

1 Place the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, brine and salt in a food processor. Blend for about 30 seconds, until well combined.

2 With the food processor running, add the oil in as slow a drizzle as possible to emulsify into mayonnaise. It takes me at least three minutes to slowly pour in the oil drip by drip and complete the emulsification. Adjust the salt to taste.

3 Transfer to a clean 250ml jar and leave out at room temperature for two to three days, then transfer to the fridge, where it will keep for at least one month.

Master Tonic

As a winter protocol I start a batch of master tonic as a winter flu prevention that will keep the immune system fighting fit.  There is a bit of grating/processing but after your initial brew, you can make two or three more batches from the solid ingredients. After that, you can dehydrate all the vegetable matter.

Just arrange to be out of the house or at least wear goggles around your dehydrator, as that horseradish still burns! Once it’s dried you can grind it into a powder and use it as a seasoning for various meals, bearing in mind that it’s pretty potent. Alternatively, you can purée all the ingredients to make an interesting marinade.

The ingredients in the master tonic have been chosen for the medicinal qualities they offer.

  • Kombucha vinegar/ACV – probiotic, blood sugar balance

  • Ginger – reduces nausea, eases digestion and fights colds and chills
  • Horseradish – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, sinus clearing, coughs
  • Onion – colds, bronchitis, antihistamine, high in vitamin C
  • Garlic – immunity, cardiovascular health, antibacterial
  • Jalapeño pepper – sinusitis, combats infection, breaks up mucous

     • Scotch bonnet chilli – circulation, breaks up mucous and fever relief

      • Turmeric – antioxidant, anti-inflammatory



To make a batch:

600ml kombucha vinegar OR unpasteurised Apple Cider vinegar (ACV)

25g fresh ginger, peeled and grated

25g grated fresh horseradish (be warned that this can be much stronger than onions when grating!)

1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic bulb, cloves diced
4 jalapeño pepper, diced
4 scotch bonnet chillies, diced

Optional extras:

1 lemon, sliced

1 sprig of rosemary, left whole

1 tbsp ground turmeric or 50g grated fresh turmeric

1 Place all the ingredients in a clean 1-litre jar and pour in the kombucha vinegar to cover. Leave 2.5cm of headspace at the top of the jar. Close the lid and allow to infuse for at least two weeks, but steeping it for longer won’t make it any stronger. Strain the liquid into a fresh clean jar – this is your master tonic. (See the note above for ideas on how to reuse the solid ingredients.) Drink a tablespoon or more each morning or when you feel the sniffles coming on.


Miso Eggs

These are a favourite to have ready in the fridge, I like to do batches of six at a time.  They are a taste sensation.

2 tbsp white miso of your choice (maybe it will be homemade one day!)

1 tsp maple syrup

1 egg

1 Place your chosen number of eggs into a saucepan and completely submerge them in water. Include a good few centimetres of extra water. Turn the heat to high and wait for the water to boil. As soon as it does, cover the pot with a tightly fitting lid, turn off the heat and set a timer for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes are up, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and cool them off immediately by placing them in very cold water. The cold water bath not only makes them easier to peel, but it also stops the cooking and will prevent a grey ring from appearing around the yolk. Peel the eggs and leave whole.

2 Mix the miso and maple syrup together very well to form a smooth
paste. Spread the paste over the middle of a piece of cling film or a ziplock bag that’s big enough to wrap the egg in. Put one egg in the middle of the cling film and wrap it around the egg. Twist the plastic shut at the top and squeeze until the miso is completely covering the egg. Place in the fridge for at least five hours but up to one week.

3 When you’re ready to use an egg, take off the cling film. The white of the egg should be a light to medium beige and the surface will be covered with a bit of miso. You can leave this on or wipe it off gently if you prefer.


Dipping Sauce

An indispensable condiment that will liven up anything from a simple rice bowl to fresh vegetables. It comes to the rescue if cooking something complicated is out of the question. Pair it with a kimchi pancake and you will never look back.

1 spring onion, chopped
1 fermented garlic clove, grated
3 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp gochugaru chilli flakes
2 tsp black or white sesame seeds, toasted 1/2 tsp raw honey
1/2 tsp kombucha vinegar (page 000)

1 Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. It will keep well for three days in the fridge.


Immunity Spice Blend

6 parts ground turmeric

2 parts cumin

3 parts coriander

6 parts fennel seeds

1 part ground ginger

1 part black pepper

1/4 part ground cinnamon

1 parts asafoetida (optional)

Toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds before crushing into a powder to release the aromatics.


To use cook 2 tbsp of this wonderful aromatic blend in a tablespoon of coconut oil/ghee and add to rice, soups, steamed vegetables, roast vegetables, salads dressings, potatoes…….  This has saved my life when all my children will eat is rice, pasta or potato!


This Japanese seasoning will henceforth transform your rice dishes, but its joys don’t have to stop there – you can use it to season many other dishes as you please.

65g raw sesame seeds
1 tsp–1 tbsp sea salt
3 sheets of nori
3 heaped tbsp bonito flakes (optional) 3 tbsp milled wakame

1/2 tsp wasabi powder (optional) 1/2 tsp raw cane sugar (optional)

1 Heat a dry, heavy-bottomed skillet over a medium-high heat. Pour in the sesame seeds and shake to distribute them evenly over the surface of the skillet. Toast, shaking occasionally, until the seeds are fragrant and begin making little popping sounds. Immediately pour the seeds into a dry, clean bowl to cool, then stir in the sea salt to taste. Allow to cool completely before proceeding.

2 Use kitchen shears or clean, dry scissors to cut the nori into 2.5cm-wide strips. Stack the strips and cut them cross-wise into very thin strips over the bowl of sesame seeds. Use the kitchen shears again to roughly cut up the bonito flakes, if using. Add the wakame, wasabi powder and sugar, if using. Stir all the ingredients together, then transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

3 This is ready to use immediately but can be stored in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight for up to two months.

Dukkah- spice up your plate

Now that it has entered my kitchen, life before dukkah seems bland in comparison. Dukkah is an Egyptian condiment consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts (usually hazelnut) and spices. This lush recipe is from Maggie Lynch, Director of Cooking studies at the Irish Institute of Nutrition. Your house will smell amazing and you will not regret making a stash of it.  Makes an amazing gift too for the taste seekers in your life!


100g skinned hazelnuts or whole almonds or pistachio nuts, with their skins 4 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pink peppercorns
1 tsp nigella seeds
1 dessertspoon ground nori 2 tsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 Toast the nuts in a dry pan set over a medium heat for a few minutes, until their colour has deepened. Shake the pan constantly to prevent them from burning. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until they resemble a fine to a coarse crumble, then tip into a bowl. Alternatively, using a mortar and pestle for crushing the nuts will give you more control of the texture.

2 Using the same hot, dry pan, toast the sesame seeds in the same way and add to the bowl with the nuts, then lightly toast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds. When their aroma fills the kitchen, transfer them immediately to the food processor.

3 Dry toast the sunflower seeds, as above, followed by the pink peppercorns and nigella seeds. Transfer to the food processor or your mortar and pestle. Pulse or crush all the seeds together, but don’t over-process. Finally, add in the ground nori, chia seeds, sea salt, smoked paprika and cinnamon to the nut bowl, then mix together with the coarsely chopped seeds. Store in an airtight container for up to a year, at the ready to sprinkle on everything, rice, eggs, steamed veg, salads OR whatever needs an upgrade!

Sugar coated addiction

During the holidays it’s easy to overindulge in sugary treats.

The reality of this has yet to unfold BUT I feel it creeping with alarming force.

In the Autumn of this year I delighted myself by getting through a challenging 8 weeks without sugar.  I must admit I fell into by accident however if you want to mindfully consider it, it cannot recommend it highly enough.  Sarah Wilson’s I QUIT SUGAR programme is life changing.

Believing that I ate a fairly healthy diet, with a palate which predominantly favours things a little more sour than sweet, did not prepare me for the withdrawals I would experience by eliminating ALL sugars including fruit, refined carbs, the starchy vegetables, such as beetroot, carrot, sweet potatoes as well as any shape of the sweet stuff, healthy or not.  I even stopped drinking kombucha and water kefir during this time, just in case any residual sugars were lurking in the brew.

By week three, I was ready to kill for a sweet fix.

Yes, those sugar loving pathogenic bacteria were screaming for their last chance at some grub.

BUT I did not give in.  I would crowd out the thoughts with a strong will, a spoonful of fermented goodness and an additional supporting probiotic of Saccharomyces boulardii.  (It likes to chase after Candida, that sugar loving resident of our intestines).   In addition to this a tablespoon of coconut oil worked well or a tall glass of good old water.  (I need serious help in remembering the basics when it comes to water.)

The 8 weeks got easier and easier, they were bloody delicious too and 3 months later I still do well to avoid the stuff…………

..UNTIL this week!

WINTERS’ dark evenings have set in and my hibernating instincts have really appeared from nowhere, as have the sweets and treats.   Small Lindt milk chocolate balls made their way into my life and mindlessly, like I had no control, into my mouth.  Not just one but two, then three, then, I don’t know, i lost count!

Even after 3 months of relatively little sugar, a straight hit of pure sugar literally created havoc.

Literally in a day I went from feeling vibrant and energetic to lethargic and in need of more SUGAR, or anything that could be easily converted to sugar.   I am grateful that I can recognise this drastic swing directly attributed to consuming something which should be classed as a drug. It is widely thought to affect the brain in a similar way to cocaine, and now a new study has suggested people addicted to sugar should be treated in the same way as other drug abusers.  The addiction is real and it is only when you have literally been released from its deceptive grasp that you can see how easily it traps you.


Thankfully, my trusty ferments came into play again to crowd out the sugar craving candida bacteria and I am back, restored to my former clarity.

I would consider stocking up on your favourite ferments as one will need all the luck possible to navigate their way through the sugar coated holidays.  I am tempted to turn my attention to making some pickle juice turkish delight type treats as a kitchen experiment to suit my palate!  Not sure if the chemistry will allow it though.


‘The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads’…
and all that seasonal jazz!


Kimchi, seasonal kraut & master tonic will all be available on Thursday December 15th @Kiln&Loom Christmas market and carol service.  Otherwise, get something into a jar now…your Gut Flora deserves it. Balance is everything!


Throw some kimchi at it!

Kimchi has fast become one of those foods we have adopted into our culinary vocabulary.

I knew of it before I ever tasted it, let alone made it and really I can say that this was a life ‘before kimchi’. Now over the threshold, Life is remarkably enhanced ‘after kimchi’

Kimchi is a Korean dish of spicy fermented cabbage, an asian sauerkraut as another comparison.  So highly regarded is its culinary status that it is a national heritage food celebrated with festivals and museums in its honour.

So what is all the fuss?

It has to be the complete taste sensation of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami which make this a pleasant encounter coupled with the massive health benefits of a fermented food.

There is a probiotic load which exceeds any pharmaceutical offering and a nutritional hike up which takes the humble ingredients and supercharges them with more vitamins, amino acids and enzymes post-fermentation.

All this means digestive ease to you, a neat little adjustment of intestinal flora in favour of the good guys all the while nudging you into a happier place of less sugar cravings, less bloat, more nutrition per serving and super healthy food at relatively low cost.

What is best about Kimchi is you can throw it at anything.  Whilst the traditioanl recipes uses chinese cabbage, we can ‘kimchify’ (my word) anything really.  Think cucumber, carrot, Brussel sprouts, tomato, turnip, kohlrabi, radish, beetroot, courgettes, it is an allotment owners dream.

Not only that, but bar eating it straight out of the jar, you can serve it up with a host of many different things.

Kimchi pancakes, kimchi pizza, Kimchi rice, Kimchi stew, kimchi soup, kimchi frittata, kimchi sprinkle, kimchi butter, oh there is just so much you can do.

This is fast food the Slow food way!

I cannot wait to get some kimchi into you at The Savour Kilkenny festival, Bank Holiday weekend


Dearbhla Reynolds from The Cultured Club will feature Kimchi recipes from her first book Fabulously Funky Fermentation Recipes on

When:  Sunday, 30th October 2016 

Time:    4.30pm

Where: The Food Stage




Recipe excerpt from The Cultured Club Fabulously Funky Fermentation Recipe book available now.

Brussel sprout kimchi

880g Brussel Sprouts
1 litre filtered water
3 tbsp sea salt
4 spring onions, cut into 1.25cm pieces


FOR THE PASTE:screen-shot-2016-10-25-at-17-54-00

4–6 garlic cloves, peeled

5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1–5 tbsp Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru), depending on the desired level of heat

1 tbsp fish sauce (or kelp powder for a vegan option)




1 Peel the outer layer of your sprout and deeply cut an X at the bottom.  This will expose a little more surface area for fermentation. Dissolve the salt into the water in a large bowl and add the brussel sprouts to the brine. Leave to soak for up to six hours.

2 Drain the sprouts in a colander, reserving 400ml of the brine when draining. Place the sprouts in a large mixing bowl with the spring onions.

3 Blend the garlic, ginger, red pepper powder and fish sauce together in a blender or food processor until it forms a paste. Mix in with the sprouts and spring onions until the vegetables are nicely coated with the paste.

4 Pack the kimchi veg mix tightly into a jar and top up with brine if necessary, submerging the contents with a weight for successful fermentation.

*Note that the sprouts will take at least three-four weeks to ferment because of the chunkier cut than other kimchi creations.  If you wish for a faster ferment, then thinly slice your sprouts before mixing with the kimchi paste.  The more surface area you present for fermentation, the faster it will happen.


Good morning moringa.

After a summer love affair with chia porridge and morning smoothies, Autumn needs acknowledged!

It is time to soak the oats and heat up some porridge in the morning. (see my note on soaking below)

Breakfasts are my most considered meal of the day, as I like to eat for what I am about to do, not for what I have just done.   I am no gym bunny so this can be slow release energy, a blank canvas to which I can throw a heap of nutritional superfoods at.

My favourite addition has to be Moringa.   Bursting with vitamins, protein, iron, magnesium, you can lash it into your porridge for an antioxidant wake up bowl of goodness. The plant packs twice the protein of yogurt, three times the potassium of bananas and four times the calcium of milk, gram for gram.

As a sustainable crop it rocks.  The leaf, pods, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and fruits are also edible.  What you will be purchasing are the leaves and this is favourite one here.

Soaking your oats the night before is an important part of the process.  Oats contain the highest amount of phytic acid of any grain, so proper preparation is important. Phytic acids binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, making it very difficult for you to absorb nutrients, but soaking grains reduces their phytic acid, which can make them easier to digest. Plus soaking them the night before means quicker cooking times.

Overnight oats

50g porridge oats

50g buckwheat groats

40g pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp whey, raw apple cider vinegar, lemon juice or kefir (this is your acid medium)

Moringa bowl

1 banana, chopped

60g chia seeds

40g coconut flakes

2 tbsp goji berries

1 cardamom pod (seeds only)

Water or milk of your choice, for cooking

2 tbsp moringa powder

TO SERVE (optional)

milk kefir
maple syrup or coconut sugar bee pollen
flaxseed oil
cacao nibs
hemp seeds


1 Soak your porridge oats, buckwheat and pumpkin seeds in a pot overnight with the acid medium.

2 In the morning, add the chopped banana, chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries and cardamom seeds to the pot along with some extra water or milk and cook over a low heat until creamy, then stir in the moringa powder.

3 Serve in a bowl and sweeten with maple syrup or coconut sugar if you like.  Not having much of a sweet tooth, I like to drown the bowl with lovely thick milk kefir and top with bee pollen, flaxseed oil, cacao nibs and/or hemp seeds.


*Moringa can have laxative effects in large quantities, so a safe dose to introduce it into your diet is no more than 2 tbsp per day.


This recipe is featured in The Cultured Club, Fabulously Funky Fermentation recipes book, available on Amazon  OR  in all good book stores from October 14th

In The Cultured Club, Dearbhla will teach you the history and art of fermentation and how to turn simple ingredients into superfoods. Learn about gut health and basic fermentation techniques, and experience the vibrant flavours of foods and drinks such as kimchi, sauerkraut, fermented salsa, kombucha and kefir.

Eating fermented foods can have an extraordinary effect on your gut and your body, and has been shown to benefit a number of health conditions including IBS and digestive difficulties.


The Cultured Club is dedicated to reviving this lost tradition and bringing the control of our health into our own kitchens.
'Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food' is a hard philosophy to live by when we are so removed from the food we eat.

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