My first Garum

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My first Garum

Postby Laurent_E on Fri Jul 12, 2019 11:34 am

Hi everyone,

I'm fermenting fish for the first time, more precisely making a fermented fish sauce, we could call it a garum I assume.

So before expressing my concerns here's what I used and did :

Ingredients :
- 500 grams of fresh sardines (I had to remove some of it since it did not fit in the jar, so about 450)
- 125 grams of sea salt (25% of the mass of sardines)
- 3/4 teaspoon of grinded pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of organic lemon zest
- 1 spoon of organic lemon juice
- Boiled water (then cooled down before use)


Material :

- Clean hermetic glass jar (450 ml/ 15,2 oz)

Recipe :

1 - the fish : I did not wash them so to preserve the micro-organisms and left the entrails in.
2 - I cut them in about 1 inch pieces
3 - Put them in the glass jar
4 - Add the salt, pepper, lemon and some water to cover it (I couldn't add much water since the jar was too small)
5 - I had difficulty to mix inside the jar so I properly cleaned a bowl, cleaned the jar back, mixed it all up properly in the bowl, then pour it back in the jar
6 - Closed the jar


Storage :

My recipe says to leave it in a cool place, so I placed it in a cooler bag with other jars so to keep them away from sunlight.
When it's hot during the day I place a cold plate in it and leave it half open.
The author of my recipe also made a 30 days sauce (which is what I'm doing as a it is my first) which consists in leaving the jar in a cool place for 4 days and then transfer it to the fridge for what I would assume to be a secondary fermentation and / or maturation.
I will also open the jars every few days so to remove off-flavors as suggested by the recipe and also so to avoid pathogenic bacterias that develop in anaerobic environements.


My concerns :

I could not add much water, and it has now pretty much sank in the mixture so the surface isn't really covered.
I'm on day 3 now, should I had more sterelized water so to cover it or even maybe lemon juice ?

Fermenting veggies and fruits always make a lot of bubbles as they are rich in sugars, does that explain why my fish doesn't really seem to make bubbles ?

And at last, how do I know if my fish has been infected by a pathogen ? I know the proportion of salt is quite important which greatly reduces risks and well the Romans used to ferment the entrails outside, but I don't want to take any risks.


Thanks in advance, have a nice day !
Laurent_E
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:44 pm

Update : My first Garum

Postby Laurent_E on Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:25 am

After having done some research and read some literature on the subject it seems botulism cannot develop at a higher than 10% salt concentration, so I'm good with that. As for bubbles there seems to be a very few of them, but that is indeed linked to the fact fish contains little to no carbohydrates, enzymatic activity plays an important role however lactic acid bacterias role in the fermentation of the fish itself is questionnable (which explains why many asians recipe include a source of carbohydrate in their recipes) and it would seem their role is to increase acidity so to protect the fish from pathogens. Halophillic bacterias (and haloanaerophillic bacterias) however do play an important role on the long term.

On the other hand I've also started a second one using only fish entrails and stacked them between layers of salt. They're now both in the fridge and stired once in a while. They're starting to develop some characteristic smell which also reasures me. I will make a seperate post in two weeks when filtering and tasting them.
Laurent_E
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:44 pm

Re: My first Garum

Postby irie1029 on Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:07 am

Very interesting.... not that I could even think about doing this as long as my wife is alive. :D I will experience the fun vicariously through your posts. :ugeek:
irie1029
 
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:09 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: My first Garum

Postby Laurent_E on Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:36 am

irie1029 wrote:Very interesting.... not that I could even think about doing this as long as my wife is alive. :D I will experience the fun vicariously through your posts. :ugeek:


Well if it's about the smell just know it doesn't smell when the jar is closed :)

I'm very excited as well, my next recipes will be longer thought, I'll admit I don't have much patience and can't wait to taste it :D
Laurent_E
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:44 pm


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