Bajoran ale (ginger beer)

Time for another round of drinks! This time we’re off to Bajor, making a drink that is bubbly and tasty - but not very potent. I thought about it and decided that this was a good description of ginger beer - and thus Bajoran ale was created. When Odo was a Solid, he enjoyed this ale because of the bubbles, and spent many hours in quiet contemplation while drinking Bajoran ale. (DS9: Apocalypse Rising). Quark wasn’t so enamoured of it, but of course still continued to sell it - so it clearly had a market (DS9: Emissary).

If you have not done any brewing at home before, this is a good place to start. You don’t need any special equipment or ingredients, and the beer is ready in about 4 days. The result is a refreshing, bubbly drink, which can be enjoyed by itself or mixed in with other drinks. It is quite different to the alcoholic ginger beers available to buy, but is very delicious in its own way. I can see why Odo became such a fan when he was turned into a Solid.

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Replicate your own
(Makes 4 litres)
(Based on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recipe for ginger beer)

You will need to start 4-5 days in advance.

100g young ginger, grated fine
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey
400g sugar
1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried yeast (see notes, below)
4 litres of sealed, bottled water (in plastic bottles - I used 2, 2litre bottles)

You will also need a number of empty, cleaned plastic soda bottles to store the beer in once it’s ready to drink.

Start by decanting about 1/4 of the water out of the bottle. Using a funnel, add the yeast and the sugar.

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice and honey, and then add that via the funnel to the bottle.

Put the cap back on and shake well, until all the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with the remaining water, leaving a 5cm gap at the top of the bottle to allow the gas to escape. Put the caps back on and leave somewhere warm.

Every 12 hours or so, release the caps to allow the gas to escape, and then put the caps back on. You can also feel the bottles and release the caps when the bottles get firm.

After 4 days, taste the beer. If you are happy with it, proceed to the next step. If not, you can add more sugar or more ginger, and leave for a few more days before tasting it again.

Strain the mixture through some cheesecloth, coffee filter or similar to remove the pieces of ginger. Decant or pour the mixture into your cleaned plastic soda bottles and refrigerate. Enjoy those bubbles and think of Odo!

Notes:

  • I made this successfully using standard dried bread yeast, but brewers’ yeast (or even champagne yeast) is probably better if you have some
  • I would strongly suggest using plastic bottles to both brew and then store the beer, as glass bottles may explode
  • This makes a very tart/dry beer - if you like it sweeter, add more sugar.
  • Likewise, this beer is very ginger-y. If you don’t want it too sharp, decrease the amount of ginger
  • Young ginger is best, as it is softer and will grate easier.
  • If you don’t want to make 4 litres, you can easily half the recipe and make 2.
  • As always, the process photos will be up on the Facebook page in a few days. If you want to see photos of each step, head over there to take a look!
Hasperat

Now we’re talking classic Star Trek cooking. Hasperat is, of course, that well-known Bajoran dish which is said to be spicy enough to make your eyes water. It is mentioned several times in both Next Generation and Deep Space Nine and seems to be a loved Bajoran dish. Apparently the key to strong hasperat is the brine it is pickled in before serving.

You’ll see lots of versions of hasperat online - it is one of the easier Star Trek recipes to replicate as it is essentially vegetables rolled up in a tortilla. However, most of them derive their spiciness from the addition of hot sauce or fresh chilies - not a brine. I wanted to make a brined version to experience the full eye-watering potential of the hasperat. This means you need to start a week in advance of when you want to serve it, but I think the results make it worth the effort. 

(Read more about hasperat at Memory Alpha)

Replicate your own
(Makes 1/4 pickled cabbage, which is enough for about 6-8 wraps)

You will need to start a week in advance.

1/4 white cabbage
1 litre water
250ml vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
125g salt
3-4 hot chillies to taste, chopped fine (depends on how spicy you want it)
Juice of one lemon

Start by preparing the brine. Add the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a saucepan, and heat until boiling. Stir until the salt is dissolved and add the chiles and lemon juice. Leave to cool.

While the brine is cooling, prepare the cabbage. Remove the heart or woody stick of the cabbage, and pull the leaves apart, leaving them whole if possible. Leaving them whole will make it easier to layer them in the tortilla at the end.

Place the brine in a bowl or jar in which the cabbage leaves will fit, and add the cabbage, making sure all leaves are completely submerged in the brine. You might need to put a small plate or saucer over the cabbage to ensure it stays fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 days, up to 7 or 8 days. After 4 days, taste the cabbage. If it is not strong enough, return it to the brine. Keep tasting it until it is at your desired level of spiciness and pickled-ness.

To assemble the hasperat
6-8 flour tortillas (buy some or make your own - recipe below)
The completed pickled cabbage leaves
Baby spinach leaves
Any other additions of your choice - suggestions: shredded carrot, more chillies, avocado, capsicum.

Lay the tortilla out flat. Add a layer of baby spinach leaves on the tortilla. Take a leaf or two of the pickled cabbage and lay them flat on top of the spinach. Add any other vegetables or toppings you wish, and then roll the tortilla up by folding in the sides and rolling it up. Cut it into two pieces and experience the true tongue-searing goodness of hasperat.

Flour tortilla recipe
(Makes 6-8 tortillas)

2 cups plain flour
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water

Combine the flour and the salt, and then mix in the oil. You may need to rub the flour between your hands until the oil is integrated and the mixture looks like coarse breadcrumbs. Add the boiling water a little bit at a time, stirring each time, until a rough ball is formed.

When the dough has come together into a ball (you may not have needed all the water), move it to a floured surface and knead for a few minutes, until it is soft and elastic.

Put the dough back in its bowl and cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6-8 balls and roll out on a floured surface until they are fairly thin (you could also use a tortilla press or similar).

Cook them one at a time in a heavy frying pan (you do not need to add any oil or butter to the frying pan). When the top starts to bubble, flip the tortilla over and cook the other side.

As each tortilla is cooked, remove it to a plate and make a stack of them. These can be covered with a clean tea towel to keep them warm and pliable.

Notes

  • The brine used for the cabbage can be used to pickle any vegetables of your choice, and you can also add whatever spices you like to flavour it
  • If your cabbage is too salty after being in the brine, soak it for a couple of hours in cold water
  • The flour tortillas could also be made using butter instead of the vegetable oil if you prefer
Jumja sticks

Jumja sticks seem to be one of those ubiquitous treats on Deep Space Nine. Beloved by many - and detested by almost as many - jumja sticks are made from the sap of the jumja tree, and are noted to be very sweet. I’d also suggest they seem to be quite large for something so sweet, although they appear to have been consumed with great gusto.

I thought that treacle was a good match for jumja sap due to its consistency, sweetness and slight caramel overtones. I admit my jumja sticks were a little smaller than some featured on Deep Space Nine, but over the course of several episodes they do seem to vary in size, shape and colour, so I’m still confident mine are within acceptable jumja stick parameters.

These are very sweet but quite delicious in small quantities.

Read more about jumja sticks at Memory Alpha.

As always, you can see photos from the cooking process over on the Facebook page.

Replicate your own
(Makes 2 medium-sized jumja sticks)

1/4 cup golden syrup
1/4 cup treacle
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

You will need: candy thermometer, lollypop sticks or small plastic spoons, small jars or glasses to rest the lollypops in, baking paper, cooking spray

Start by preparing your containers for the jumja sticks. Take some baking paper and scrunch it into a ball, or fold it up several times. Unfold it, spray with cooking spray, and tuck inside your glass or jar, taking care to leave some of the baking paper overhanging the glass. The number of jars you’ll need to set up will depend on how large you want your jumja sticks to be.

Add all ingredients to a medium to large sized saucepan, and heat gently, stirring the sugar until it is dissolved. Clip on your candy thermometer and let it boil without stirring. It will bubble up quite a lot so be careful. Keep boiling until it reaches 300°F / 150°C / hard crack stage. Let it cool a little until it reaches 265°F / 130°. Slowly and carefully tip into your prepared jars, taking care to stay within the baking paper. Let cool for a few minutes.

After the candy has started to cool, insert your lollypop sticks or small spoons. Hold for a couple of minutes, until the candy has cooled enough to support the weight of the spoon. If needed, the spoon or lollypop sticks can be supported with chopsticks or more cutlery to hold it in place.

Let the lollypop dry overnight. In the morning. upend your jumja stick, remove the baking paper and with one lick, you’re right back on Bajor.

Notes: 

  • When measuring out your treacle and golden syrup, spray a little cooking spray in your 1/4 cup measurer - this will stop the treacle from sticking to it when you pour it out. 
  • The mixture does bubble up a fair bit when heating, so make sure your saucepan is large enough to accommodate this.
  • I found small plastic spoons easier to use than lollypop sticks, as they were strong enough to take the weight of the lollypop when hardened.
  • You could substitute more golden syrup for the treacle, if you want a sweeter candy or cannot locate treacle. 
  • You could also make these in normal lollypop moulds if you wanted more manageable-sized candy!