Not as gross as you (probably) think it will be…
If you googled “Kombucha Scoby Jerky Recipe” congratulations you’re A: awesomely weird and adventurous, and B: in luck, as I’m not going to force you to scroll 47 pages till you get to the recipe. Seriously how annoying is that tactic?
To find out what I think about the end product, why the heck I did this and some fun facts about SCOBYs, scroll to below the recipe.
What you won’t know unless you’re a regular here is that I’m on a mission to try out weird and wonderful foods both at home (very much so lately) and abroad. So if that’s your jam, chuck me a follow.
If not, here’s how to make SCOBY jerky:
KOMBUCHA SCOBY JERKY RECIPE
Honestly, you’re probably better off with a dehydrator, but I managed this recipe in the oven.
Preheat that bad boy to about 80-90 degrees (180F). Clear your calendar for the rest of the day, cos this will take 8-10 hours at least to “jerkify”. I only baked it for 6 and it definitely needed longer.
- Kombucha SCOBYs (READ THIS PREP)
- Wash till all the Kombucha vinegar is off
- Try to separate/thin them out (watch this video)
- Slice into strips they don’t have to be even.
- 1/2 cup of tamari
- 1 tsp fresh minced garlic
- 2 tbsp of honey (melted)
- A pinch of cayenne
- A pinch of garlic and onion powder
- Salt flakes to finish
Marinate the strips for about half an hour. Honestly, if you don’t have time just dip ’em, drip em and lay them into the dehydrator. Make sure they aren’t dripping or overly juicy when you go to cook them. They’ll take longer and who has the time?
Bake at 80-90 degrees (180F) for 8-10 hours.
I baked mine in the oven on baking paper, turning over every couple of hours. They went very crispy, BUT because they weren’t 100% dehydrated… they turned soft again within a few hours. Remember fruit roll-ups as a kid? I think they’re called fruit leather in the USA. This is like that, but extremely savoury.
You really want to give them time to really turn into a good husk, like a pork crackling or… a vegan option for pork crackling which is probably Kombucha jerky.
Lightly dusk with some salt flakes to finish.
Obviously, I’m not a professional chef, nor about to write a cookbook but I’m sure you’ll do just fine. If it stuffs up just grow some more right? Now would be the place for me to link my Kombucha recipe, but I haven’t written one yet so here’s a basic version, don’t use nasty white sugar raw sugar works just fine.
Now to answer some of the burning questions RE this taste experiment…
WHAT DOES KOMBUCHA SCOBY JERKY TASTE LIKE?
The SCOBY really is a conduit for anything you put onto it. The SCOBY itself doesn’t really have a taste.
The above recipe is extremely savoury. It would definitely be defined as having a strong umami flavour. I think chilli flakes on them would be the actual BOMB, so will try that next time. Also, imagine if we replaced the tamari with hot sauce? That would be very cool. I digress…
They are crunchy with the yield of jerky, in that you need a few chews to get it down. I believe many folks would think it to be animal skin jerky due to the consistency. All of the slimy jellyfish texture of the original SCOBY dries out but the denseness remains.
WHAT IS A SCOBY?
The gospel of Wikipedia defines a SCOBY as the commonly used acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”. It is formed after the completion of a unique fermentation process of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), acetic acid bacteria (AAB), and yeast to form several sour foods and beverages such as kombucha and kimchi.
They resemble a weirdly flat jellyfish, that forms in layers over time as it eats the sugar used to make kombucha. Sometimes they float, sometimes they sink, sometimes they grow legs all the way to the bottom of the jar. They are VERY hard to kill and even more easy to grow.
WHAT IS THE MACRO OF A SCOBY?
Turn out that a SCOBY may be the holy grail for those who love tracking their macros and struggle for fibre and protein. I stole this information from far smarter people than I, here, who state the breakdown of 100g SCOBY to be:
- 18% protein (which will mostly be from the yeast and bacteria)
- 12% fiber (mostly cellulose)
- 0.5% phosphorous
- 0.7% calcium
The rest of the weight will be mostly water.
So yes, this shit is keto and paleo-friendly, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, ethically sourced, single-origin, paddock to plate and everything else you can charge a 300% markup in the fancy stores for.
WHY THE HECK WOULD YOU EAT A SCOBY ANYWAY?
If you’re like me and very much enjoy Kombucha and make your own, you’ll know they grow faster than the number of my friends having kids in lockdown. I was chopping them up to plant as fertilizer, throwing them in the bin, making more and more jars of kombucha and decided to get creative.
So I probably need to say thanks to the humble SCOBY for revitalising my long dormant blog and setting me on the right path to more and more weird food content for 2021. ❤