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Any substitutions for "slaked lime"?


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I bought some dried hominy when I was back in the States, and shipped it (along with 40+ pounds of other foods) to Hong Kong. My Mexican cookbooks say the hominy needs to be cooked with something called "slaked lime" which isn't (to my knowledge) available in Hong Kong. Is there anything else I can use? The cookbooks say the slaked lime increases the nutritional aspects of the hominy, which isn't really my concern - I just want to make sure the hominy becomes tender when I make posole a few days from now. Unfortunately, canned hominy isn't available here either - maybe I should make some other kind of soup?

Thanks in advance.

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If you really have hominy, it has already been soaked in lime. If you have dried corn for hominy, then you have to use the lime. That is what makes it hominy. I don't think it is usually "cooked" in lime. At least, I couldn't find that in any of my books. I found a mention of an option for a brief heating in the lime in a Diana Kennedy book.

The usual process is to soak the corn in the lime water. Then the skin is removed by rubbing under running water. Then the nib is removed so that the hominy "flowers" or opens up when cooked. Not everyone removes the nibs as it is a PITA.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Okay, I have dried corn then, and want to make it into hominy. If you don't use the slaked lime, does it change the texture, and will the corn become tender enough? Without the lime, will the skin on the corn come off?

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slaked lime, isn't that Calcium Hydroxide (CaOH)?

can't you get that from any hardware store..heck..any building material store.

it's the stuff they use to make cement.

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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I bought some dried hominy when I was back in the States, and shipped it (along with 40+ pounds of other foods) to Hong Kong. My Mexican cookbooks say the hominy needs to be cooked with something called "slaked lime" which isn't (to my knowledge) available in Hong Kong. Is there anything else I can use? The cookbooks say the slaked lime increases the nutritional aspects of the hominy, which isn't really my concern - I just want to make sure the hominy becomes tender when I make posole a few days from now. Unfortunately, canned hominy isn't available here either - maybe I should make some other kind of soup?

Thanks in advance.

I buy dried hominy, or posole, in New Mexico. It's already been soaked and denuded. I don't think I've run across just dried corn like that unless it's intended for use in a deer feeder. If you truly have dried corn you can buy the slaked lime here.

And yes, it's the same thing as the stuff used in the construction industry.

I LOVE posole (the stew, not just the hominy)!

--------------

Bob Bowen

aka Huevos del Toro

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God, no wonder I haven't been able to find it - I've been looking in grocery stores. I'll check out a hardware store - as soon as I've figured out how to say "slaked lime" in Cantonese.

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God, no wonder I haven't been able to find it - I've been looking in grocery stores. I'll check out a hardware store - as soon as I've figured out how to say "slaked lime" in Cantonese.

it's the stuff they use to make Century Egg

Do not expect INTJs to actually care about how you view them. They already know that they are arrogant bastards with a morbid sense of humor. Telling them the obvious accomplishes nothing.

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Be careful.

Lime is dangerous stuff, especially in contact with water -- it can seriously damage skin and eyes. Get some advice on the right concentration and about safety precautions to take: rubber gloves, goggles, etc. If I am not mistaken the lime "cooks" the corn in the same way that an acid "cooks" (denatures) fish in a seviche, except that the lime is a strong alkali.

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Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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Doesn't wood ash accomplish the same thing? Although I'd be careful to use hardwoods.

Edit to add: Just googled, and someone has a formula for using wood ash to make lye. They claim it is far better, for various reasons, than the store bought stuff, for treating corn:

http://csf.colorado.edu/archive/1999/bdnow/msg04104.html

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Robert Wolke has a small section on how grits are made in his book What Einstein told his cook (pp.120-121).

According to him There are a number of chemicals that you can use to process corn to "extract" the hominy. Originally Lye was used which was potasium carbonate derived from wood ash. He says that today, lye referes to to sodium hydroxide which is very toxic. Lime is yet another agent, which is calcium carbonate, which is obtained by boiling limestone or seashells.

Mike

The Dairy Show

Special Edition 3-In The Kitchen at Momofuku Milk Bar

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Yikes, this all sounds like scary stuff! Isn't lye what is used in those solutions used to unblock toilets?

Unfortunately, there's a serious lack of wood-burning fire places in Hong Kong (fire places of any kind, as a matter of fact), so can't get any wood ash.

I think I'll change my menu and make another type of soup and skip the posole.

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  • 10 years later...

People, people people! If you don't have slaked lime, or don't want to burn your arms off with slaked lime, then just substitute BAKING SODA.

 

All you need to make hominy is an alkaline solution, which you can make by mixing any alkaline powder (like baking soda, quicklime or slaked lime -- or "cal" in Spanish) in boiling water. The effect of an alkaline solution is to break down the cell wall in the cells of the dried corn (since those cell walls of plant cells are soluble in an alkaline solution), which makes the corn kernals soft and the husks loose so you can remove them.

 

To make hominy with baking soda, use proportions of 2 to 1 water to dried corn, and use 2 tablespoons of baking soda for every quart of water. I do the boil-and-wash thing twice to make sure they're good and soft and all the pieces of husk are off. Don't forget to prepare the dried corn before this process by soaking it in water overnight.

Edited by AAMaximus (log)
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I'm pretty sure you already bought hominy and don't need to make it.  Dried hominy looks a lot like regular dried corn - it's hard to see that the husk is gone.  Well if you had dried corn and hominy side by side it's not that difficult. If it's shiny - the coat is still there, if it's more satin or mat then it's gone. It's usually white as well.  Slaked lime is a very common item around the world - you just have to know where to get it.  It's used as plaster and whitewash.  For cooking I do know that it's used to make the 1000 year old eggs (along with ashes, mud, etc.).  Some sources say quicklime is used.  You can use either, but quicklime is more caustic so be more careful.  When added to water it turns into slaked lime anyway.  It's not dangerous once put into the water (in the concentrations you will use).  If you can cook over a flame you can use lime! Here you can easily get 'cal' at the Mexican grocery, or pickling lime at the supermarket.

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