“I’m into all things chile,” says chef Abraham Conlon of Fat Rice in Chicago, who created the supereasy hot sauce recipes here.
Here, five surprising ways to use harissa.
Upgrade your steak with this easy condiment that takes just 12 minutes to prepare. It's delicious with any kind of grilled beef.
Chef Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club in New York shares an unusual recipe for a creamy avocado-based sauce. His new book, My Perfect Pantry, comes out in October.
I am in love with the global pantry, and learning simple ingredients or techniques from other food worlds is something that really thrills me. One small, simple recipe can be built on for years, and provide limitless cooking pleasure.
© Michael Harlan Turkell
F&W food editors apply their incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
New York City-based Mama O’s makes fantastic kimchi—I especially love the bok choy version. I recently picked up a jar of the company’s kimchi paste—an intense, salty, sweet, funky blend of Korean red pepper, garlic, lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. The idea is to just add cabbage to make your own kimchi, but I love the paste so much that I use it as a condiment. I’ve served it with scrambled eggs, tossed it with stir-fried vegetables and mixed it with mayonnaise to make my own secret sauce.
Roasted Cauliflower with Miso Romesco; © Line Klein
Miso, best known as the base of miso soup, is a rich, salty condiment made from fermented soybeans. In a Korean American kitchen, miso sits on the refrigerator shelf alongside mustard, ketchup and mayo. When I was growing up, we used it in all sorts of things, from soups and sauces to pickling vegetables. Most miso is made with soybeans, but it also can be made with barley or rice; I recently discovered one company that makes miso with chickpeas. How cool! I couldn’t wait to try it, and soon discovered that it hit all of the same notes of salty, sweet, earthy and fruity.
For the Sticky Miso Chicken Wings I developed for our recent recipe “Handbook,” I was craving a spicy glaze with enough sweetness to balance the heat. I used a shiro miso—a milder miso that is pale yellow or white in color and sweeter than it is salty—and combined it with lime juice, fresh ginger and dried red chile. As the mixture simmered and reduced, the sauce thickened and caramelized into a beautiful glaze that really stuck to the wings and was sweet and spicy all at once. But miso has tons of other uses.
One of my favorites is miso butter. It’s so easy to make—simply mix together equal parts of miso and room temperature unsalted butter—and use it to finish dishes with a wallop of umami. Add a dollop to roasted carrots, steamed broccoli and grilled steak, or swirl some into a mixed mushroom risotto. I love pan-roasting spring radishes and their beautiful greens in the miso butter. The radishes mellow out, and the edges start to caramelize and soak in all of the sweet-salty flavors.
Miso can add complexity to dressings. Try whisking some into a simple lemon or mustard vinaigrette to use with coleslaw or salad greens. Toss warm green beans in the vinaigrette for a quick weeknight side dish. The dressing is especially tasty drizzled on sautéed collard greens or brushed onto barbecued chicken and ribs.
A huge bonus of this multitasker is that it keeps pretty much indefinitely in the fridge. You’ll see many different types of miso in the market, ranging in color from white to yellow to red to brown (and every shade in between), so here’s a good rule of thumb: The darker the miso, the more intense, earthy and funky it will be.
Butterfat-rich cultured butters with additions like maple and sea salt are a tasty upgrade from plain unsalted butter.
© Wendell T. Webber
F&W Executive Food Editor Tina Ujlaki applies her incredible cooking knowledge to explaining what to do with a variety of interesting ingredients.
For centuries, Southeast Asian cooks have relied on deeply savory fish sauce as a primary seasoning in many of their dishes. Here, in the past couple of years, fish sauce, like so many other uniquely ethnic ingredients, has wandered into the universal pantry and is now used as a seasoning in non-Asian dishes as well. Red Boat has been my favorite brand of fish sauce because it’s fresh tasting, vibrant and light, and unlike some brands, there’s actually nothing fishy about it. Now, Red Boat has teamed up with the artisans at Michigan-based Blis Foods: They start with Red Boat’s finest 40*N fish sauce, which has already spent a year aging in wooden barrels, and age it for another 17 months or so in proprietary bourbon barrels previously used to age Blis maple syrup. Between the smoke from bourbon and wood and the mellow sweetness from the maple, the fish sauce becomes a rich-tasting, deeply nuanced condiment that’s as delicious in aioli and vinaigrette as it is in the classic Vietnamese condiment called nuoc cham.
Here are some great ways to use it: