Dried items can get a bit musty. --- Accordingly, dry heat is sometimes used to revive them before use: whole spices are briefly pan-toasted before being ground, nori is revived over an open flame to make it crisp and fragrant, grain can be pan-toasted, dried fish can be flamed like nori, etc. Improvements in freshness, nuttiness, texture, aroma and flavour are noted.
My question is whether this applies to all dried ingredients. What about dried beans, pasta, porridge oats, flour, nuts, seeds, peanuts, tea, coffee, kombu, chilli, mushrooms, tomatoes, herbs, etc?
I recently tried a light pan-toast on some katsuobushi for miso soup, some cashew nuts for a snack, and some pu'er, saffron and dried lemon slices for a tea. They did seem to perk up. My impression was that light is right here, that the nose-test is 'fragrant but not burned', and that they need to breathe afterwards. One post I found describes oven-roasting of pasta before use: http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_....
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