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Doenjang Season Begins: CHAE Embarks on Traditional Fermentation

Chae prepares this year's batch of doenjang and ganjang.

As winter sets in, the arrival of doenjang season marks a significant time for Chae's kitchen. Doenjang, a fermented soybean condiment widely used across various soups and side dishes, takes center stage once again. However, for those unfamiliar with doenjang, it serves as a cornerstone of Korean cuisine, offering rich umami flavours and depth to dishes.

CHAE, known for its commitment to traditional culinary practices, stands out by crafting its own homemade doenjang—a rarity not only in the Australian food scene but also in its country of origin, Korea.

Making Korean ferments is a lot like developing film.

"Both require skill and dedicated effort, with an element of mystery about the final result. Each careful step, done with precision and care, promises a satisfying outcome. Both crafts need patience and a deep understanding of their art, knowing that any mistake can affect the result. Yet, it's this very uncertainty that makes the journey exciting." explains Chae, the mastermind behind CHAE's culinary creations.

Left- Meju before inoculation

Rigth - Meju after inoculation

Currently, Chae is at the early stage of producing Korean condiments, ensuring the perfect balance of dryness on the surface and moisture inside—a condition ideal for bacteria growth. These soybean blocks undergo inoculation before being submerged in saltwater for several months. The resulting umami-infused saltwater later transforms into soy sauce, while the soybeans are separated, mashed, and further aged to produce the popular condiment, doenjang.

As CHAE embarks on this traditional fermentation journey, it continues to uphold its commitment to authentic flavours and culinary heritage, promising a delightful culinary experience for its patrons.

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