Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Kamino Seawater
by Susu & Rosie

In the period right after their action on Geonosis, Obi-wan Kenobi and Yoda briefed the other Jedi about Kamino and it's cloning operations. Afterwards, Obi-wan and Yoda talked between themselves, wondering how the Kaminoans could have been so trusting about an order for such sn army! They never found a satisfactory answer, but they both admitted that the insular Kaminoans were actually surprisingly hospitable, and were excellent cooks! Both Jedi were fed a selection of roasted meats, and each was succulent and juicy. Even leftovers served as coldcuts after the main meal were moist and succulent.

Yoda had noted this to Taun We, who gladly divulged the secret: the sea water that covered Kamino was not only a source of water, but of salt and flavorful minerals. The meats were soaked and marinated in a seawater, spice and herb solution prior to cooking. The Grand Master surreptitiously carried a sample of the water back with him, and had it analyzed by the 'droids back at the Jedi Temple. He was able to create a general recipe for brining all manner of meats from their report.

When Yoda was living alone on the forgotten planet of Dagobah, he remembered the formula. Rarely, a meat animal would happen his way, and he would treat it with this brine, making even the toughest game -- like large serpents or fleshy bugs -- delicious and moist.

On Earth, marinate turkeys, chickens, pork, etc. in this brine. You'll be amazed how well seasoned and juicy the meat is! (By the way, our Earth term
marinate has the same root as the word "marine" -- seems humankind's first "marinade" was seawater, like the Kaminoan formula!) And leftovers are remarkably moist and tender. Try it!

  • 2 quarts hot water (8 cups)
  • 1 cup salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large packets dried onion soup mix (2 ounces total)
  • ¼ cup candied ginger slices
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, cracked roughly
  • up to ¼ cup herbs or 2 tablespoons spices, for additional flavor
  • 2 quarts cold water (8 cups)
  • 2 icecube trayfuls of ice (about 4 to 6 cups)
In a large pot, boil the hot water, then add the salt, brown sugar, onion soup powder, ginger and peppercorns. Continue to heat and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Add the other herbs or spices at this point.

Into a large, clean vessel -- like a bucket or a canning kettle, big enough for your meats -- pour in the cold water. Add ice cubes and stir to make the water very cold (they do not have to melt). Add the hot liquid to the cold and stir. When the temperature is slightly cool to the touch, you can add your meats for brining. Be careful -- you might want to put the vessel in the sink, since liquid displacement sometimes means the vessel will overflow.

How long to brine? Depends on the size of the meat. Whole turkeys or large chickens get about 4 hours. Smaller roasts about two; thick cut chops should soak no more than an hour, and smaller chunks of meat even less. Leaving them for too long will make them too salty. (When you plunge a turkey or chicken into the liquid, remember that the inside cavity will need to be filled. This will allow the meat to be seasoned from two sides, and will prevent the roast from floating!)

When it's time to cook the meat, remember the following points:
  1. Rinse the meat in cold water, inside and out.
  2. Pat the meat dry with paper towels before cooking.
  3. Discard the brine! It's not good for anything else once you've finished soaking your meat.
  4. The skin will not brown on dry roasting as expected after brining -- coat with vegetable oil or melted butter to achieve good browning; if you are panfrying, don't worry about it.
  5. Meat may take longer to cook than you expect, due to elevation of boiling point with the addition of salt; use an oven thermometer to make sure the meat is done properly to your liking. You might want to allow about 20% more time than usual.
  6. Let the meat sit for 5 minutes (for chops or steaks) to 15 minutes (for large roasts) on a warm platter or board, loosely tented with a piece of foil, to "rest" -- this means to leave it alone! Don't cut into it till the resting period is over or the moist juices will just end up in a puddle on the cutting board, instead of in the meat.

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