Momofuku Culinary Lab’s Kaizen Trading Company, the latest outpost of David Chang’s culinary empire, operates out of a a windowless room at the back of a warehouse in Brooklyn.

This is where the Product Development Chef of the Momofuku Culinary Lab, Ryan Miller, and his staff develop Hozon and Bonji, two “umami-rich fermented products made primarily from ingredients grown in the Northeast United States,” according to a recent profile by America’s Test Kitchen.

Charlotte Wilder, assistant web editor at ATK, writes that Hozon is “a paste with a consistency somewhere between miso and hummus, and it’s made from fermented nuts, grains, or seeds.”

Bonji, on the other hand, is “a dark liquid made from single-variety fermented grains.”

While individuals and home cooks will soon be able to place orders for the fermented Momofuku products, Ryan and his team are focusing on getting the products to big-league chefs first.

The KTC website notes potential uses for Hozon and Bonji,

“KTC creates fermented seasonings for flavoring soups and sauces, marinating meats and fish, braising proteins and vegetables, and finishing dishes.”

Production begins with a starter, which is either rye, spelt, farro, or basmati rice. A fungus, Aspergillus oryzae, is then added to the cooked starter so the fermentation process can begin. That’s when the “magic happens”—the fungus eats the starter using enzymes to create sugars and amino acids, ultimately converting them into more enzymes (a.k.a. umami flavor).

So, how’s the flavor and addictiveness of the umami-rich seasoning products? Wilder writes,

“The Bonji is a tangy, savory, glutamate-rich sauce that made a typical soy sauce taste watery and bland. Both products lingered on my tongue long after I tasted them; I could have eaten all of the Hozon straight from the jar and washed it down with swigs of Bonji. The stuff is addicting.”

We can’t wait to get our hands on the product and start experimenting.

"Hozon testing at momofuku papercut." (Photo: Kaizen Trading Company)

“Hozon testing at momofuku papercut.” (Photo: Kaizen Trading Company)

[via America’s Test Kitchen]

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