I wonder what fascinates me so much about black food (and I don’t mean dark, or partially black, or dark brown or whatever…but pure black here!). There is something mysterious about black food that attracts me, making me wanna try them… so you don’t have to!
Fully black food are not something common in the West, where it’s the kind of food color you would find in a witch magic potion recipe. Truth is, black is nor the most easy to sell nor the most food eye catching color in the world…. Or is it? In recent years black food are becoming more and more trendy. In the west, I only can think about black pasta using squid ink, liquorice candy rolls and some very very dark chocolate.
So here is my selection of 10 FULLY BLACK Asian food!
1/ BLACK… garlic!
Apparently black garlic is coming soon to conquer the west as a super healthy ingredient (it’s also something that works well with pasta)! It’s well known in Asia and said to have remarkable health benefit and antioxidant. However it is…crazy expensive! Black garlic is basically normal garlic fermented at a certain temperature for a very long time (at least few weeks) before it’s dried up. Lucky me, my coworkers found a way to make it by themselves and kindly supplied them to me :D!
The flavor is quite strong and a bit acidic, reminding me somewhat of balsamic vinegar. You can use it sparingly in sauce as it’s powerful. I like simply gobbing a whole piece! Good to know: don’t eat them before eating… anything else because it will cover anything you can eat after that.
2/ BLACK sesame spread
In Asia black sesame is a classic desserts ingredient. It is used since a long time in uncountable ways. Sweet soup, drinks, crackers, candy and ice cream all boast black sesame as one of people’s favorite (along with red beans and green tea). I personally love this sesame spread on a piece of fresh milk bread. It feels so rich, almost creamy with an intense black sesame flavor. Exit Nutella, peanut butter and Jam! Hello Black sesame spread! Did you know it has a high calcium content?
3/ BLACK sesame homemade ice cream
In Hong kong local shop will make homemade ice cream with unusual flavor to western palate such a durian, red bean, milk tea, black sesame and more. I tried this black sesame stick. It was a bit too watery. I felt like crushed ice mixed with sesame. It was crunchy, which is not a something you want an ice cream to be. The strong sesame flavor was great but the texture ruined a bit the experience on my tongue.
4/ BLACK sesame soup with Yam
Instant black sesame soup…with Yam! I was very excited to try it!So first, like most (all?) processed food, it didn’t really looked like the picture neither can’t you really distinguish the yam’s flavor. However, the yam’s consistency is definitely there and you can spot lots of black sesame seeds in the mixture. Adjust the soup thickness by adding more or less water going from something closer to a drink to something closer to mashed potatoes. I personally prefer the second option as I enjoy chewing it and feeling the sesame seeds crunchiness.
5/ BLACK charcoal sesame swiss roll.
Charcoal food is a big now. It is a byproduct coming from burned coconut shell and, so far, proclaimed safe to consume. In fact, it’s even considered healthy and a detoxifying ingredient as charcoal possess the capacity to bind positively charged ions together and help you getting rid of those nasty chemicals.
This testing was a bit of a fail. The charcoal used as they did gave a weird sensation. Almost like eating something that contains extremely tiny grains of sand, almost imperceptible… but it was not a pleasant sensation. The sesame filling in the roll taste was rather bland.
6/ BLACK charcoal peanut
This charcoal comes from burned bamboo. It is definitely one of my favorite appetizer. It gives the peanut the perfect dose of crunchiness thanks to a generous layer of charcoal. The charcoal doesn’t taste, as you might expect, like anything burned. It is rather slightly sweet, which balance well with the salty peanuts.
What I really like about them, beyond the extra crunchiness and the color, is that they don’t contain too much spices or salt. So you don’t end up super thirsty. Neither does it make you little greasy fingers…greasy :D.
7/ BLACK Beans
Black beans are eaten in salty soup, sweet soups and even preserved.
8/ Sweet BLACK beans:
Here are some HUGE black beans that I bought in Hokkaido, Japan. They are just massive! You eat them like candy. The inside is slightly dry and the texture is close to some kind of really well cooked potato whereas they taste sweet and sugary. I love them so much!
9/ Black Ramen
A common type of Japanese Ramen (noodle soup). The use of black sesame oil and squid ink makes these ramen as black as hell. It adds so much intensity to the broth that you’ll fell off your stool. I highly recommend trying this dish… not on a date though, except if you plan on keeping your mouth shut and avoid smiling at all cost.
10/ Black burger!
Burger King released for halloween a fully black burger called “Kuro”, meaning black in Japanese. Everything is black, expect the fries and the patty. Which makes sense, because if the patty were to be black I doubt people would want to buy one. The black color doesn’t change the flavor, in that case it’s merely an aesthetic matter.
The bread and the cheese are tinted black by adding charcoal to them. When you look at the burger it really look like crap compared to the picture. If there was any extra protein in my burger I wouldn’t see for sure. Charcoal Black bread idea like this one are used more and more by chains for seasonal items to attract customers.
If you have any suggestions of all black food for me to try, please let know, I would love to hear them!!! Thank you!