What’s the Difference Between Tamari and Soy Sauce?Skills
Think they're the same thing? Think again.
This Is the Only Way to Caramelize OnionsSkills
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
What Is Cookie Butter Exactly?Skills
Here’s how it gets that iconic flavor!
5 Ways to Thicken Homemade JamSkills
Yes, you can save that runny jam.
5 Nut-Free Alternatives to Peanut ButterSkills
Nut-free? These tasty alternatives will make you forget all about peanut butter.
Technique: How to Use Tamarind PulpSkills
Pad thai and many other Southeast Asian dishes just wouldn’t be the same without a few healthy spoonfuls of sweet-sour tamarind. For the most part, we use blocks of tamarind pulp when this ingredient is called for, and these require a little extra prep work before going into the pot. Here’s what we do!These blocks of tamarind pulp are the tamarind fruit pods stripped of the outer husk and compressed tightly together.
3 Easy Ways to Make a Boring Pot of Rice Taste AmazingSkills
Here are three tricks I use to give my everyday rice a little extra oomph in the flavor department.
5 Ways to Use Pomegranate MolassesSkills
Pomegranate molasses has become one of my favorite ingredients, but it’s a tricky one for many people. Perhaps you, like our assistant editor Ariel, bought a bottle to make one recipe, such as muhammara, and now you’re wondering what else to do with it. Ariel has been after me for months to write down a list of more ideas for pomegranate molasses.
What Exactly Is the Difference Between Mayonnaise and Miracle Whip?Skills
There's a reason they taste so different.
Aug 13, 2022
What Is Gochujang, and How Do You Cook With It?Skills
This Korean red pepper paste will add serious kick and depth of flavor to anything you stir it into.
Aug 8, 2022
What’s the Difference Between White, Yellow, and Red Miso?Skills
More and more of us are discovering what a fantastic ingredient concentrated miso paste can be in our daily cooking – and not just for soup! Happily, many major stores have caught on and are starting to carry a variety of traditional misos to choose from. There are different types of misos and each is made from soybeans that have been fermented with either rice, barley or other grains. The real question is: how to choose?
Aug 3, 2022
How to Properly Freeze Pesto So You Can Enjoy It LaterSkills
These are the two best ways to do it!
Jun 28, 2022
Pickling Primer: How To Get Started!Skills
Pickling involves little more than marinating vegetables over time. How much time depends on the method. And for new picklers, the best way to try it out is through refrigerator pickling. You don’t need a garden’s worth of vegetables or canning equipment – just pick a vegetable (or several), add spices and brine, and into the fridge it goes. Best eaten within a week or two, this method is your answer for quick and fresh pickled fare. 1.
May 12, 2022
Organizing Your Spices: 20 Spice Storage Setups and SolutionsSkills
Many of us keep heaps of spices on hand in the kitchen, and that can create quite the storage conundrum. From wrangling dozens of little bulk-bin bags to rummaging around in the cupboard for the right jar, the whole process shouldn’t be so maddening. We love seeing how other cooks store and organize their spices because we’re always on the lookout for that “why didn’t I think of that?” tip.
May 11, 2022
Preserving Without Canning: Tips and Tricks for Summer ProduceSkills
We hate to say it, but summer will be over before we know it. Now is the time to preserve some of the season’s gems like tomatoes, peaches, corn, and peppers. Preserving isn’t just about canning, though. Here are some tips for freezing, pickling, making sauces, and more.Berries: Berries may be frozen, of course, but our favorite way to preserve their flavor is in a shrub syrup, which you can use in sodas, cocktails, and salad dressings. Vinegar is also a great option for berries.
May 11, 2022
A, A & A: What’s the Difference Between the New Maple Syrup Grades?Skills
As a kid, pancakes weren’t pancakes without the good stuff. And by the good stuff, I mean real maple syrup — not that artificially flavored, corn syrup-laden imposter. We’d pick up a big jug in the spring and it would last us through the year, for special weekend breakfasts and early morning oatmeal. Now, as an adult, my pantry isn’t fully stocked unless there’s a bottle of maple syrup in it. But lately I’ve discovered that just one bottle won’t cut it.
May 4, 2022
Ham Hocks Are Your Flavor-Boosting Secret WeaponSkills
Use them to add tons of flavor to soups, stews, collards, and more.
Apr 16, 2022
Different Types of Paprika, ExplainedSkills
There's a lot to know about paprika and all of its varieties.
Apr 4, 2022
The One-Ingredient Secret to Better Burgers Is Already in Your Fridge
I Tried It
The technique is inspired by In-N-Out.
Jul 4, 2021
Here’s Why Pro-Bakers Keep 3 Types of Vanilla on Hand At All Times (And You Should Too!)Skills
There’s something that truly can’t compare to the warm, sweet scent of vanilla. Beloved in everything from ice cream to cakes, a vanilla is as much a scent as it is a powerful flavor. Even in chocolate recipes, vanilla acts as a secret ingredient that makes everything taste just a little bit better. You’ll most often see vanilla extract called for in recipes, but there’s a whole world of vanilla products to explore.
Mar 17, 2021
8 Small Ways to Make Roasted Vegetables Taste Even BetterSkills
Tiny upgrades, big results.
Nov 10, 2020
The One Step in the Cooking Process You Do Not Want to Skip
Kitchn Cooking School
The purpose of adding salt isn't to make food tasty salty — it's to enhance the flavors of the ingredients.
Oct 30, 2020
I'm Obsessed with This 2-Ingredient Topping That Makes Everything Feel FancySkills
It's the instant jolt of color and flavor I'd been searching for since March.
Oct 8, 2020
8 Ingredients to Add Smoky Flavor Without a GrillSkills
Use them together or individually for that smoky, from-the-grill flavor!
Aug 25, 2020
Hot Honey Is the $10 Pantry Splurge I Never Knew I Needed
Taste Makers
It elevates even the most everyday meal.
Aug 25, 2020
Dijonnaise Is the 2-Ingredient Condiment That Makes Everything I Eat Taste FancySkills
Magic happens when two humble condiments join forces.
Aug 4, 2020
Yes, Your Spice Cabinet Needs Pickling SpiceSkills
If you've ever looked at a recipe for pickles or chutneys, you may have encountered an ingredient simply called "pickling spice."
Jun 20, 2020
5 Delicious Ways to Use Up Overripe StrawberriesSkills
Strawberry butter, anyone?
Jun 18, 2020
The Best Ingredient You’re Not Putting in Your PestoSkills
You're one ingredient away from the umami-packed pesto of your dreams.
Jun 11, 2020
Why a Jar of Roasted Red Peppers Should Be in Everyone’s Pantry
Taste Makers
The truly transformative pantry staple beats the pants off your dry beans.
May 13, 2020
To Give Hot Chocolate a Major Upgrade, Try Adding MisoSkills
Yep, the stuff you put in soup. But hear us out: It's *really* good!
Dec 7, 2019
Learn This Easy Recipe and Never Waste Vegetables Again
Weeknight Preserving
It's not just for cucumbers — and it's not just for hot dogs or hamburgers.
Aug 10, 2019
This Summer, Freeze All the Things! (But Read This First.)
Weeknight Preserving
Before you put that fresh fruit or veggie in the freezer, read this.
Aug 8, 2019
How to Make Sauerkraut: The Original, Cheapest Probiotic
Weeknight Preserving
It's incredibly easy to make and you can do it for a fraction of the cost.
Aug 7, 2019
If You're Not Making Tiny Batches of Jam This Summer, You're Missing Out
Weeknight Preserving
It's so fast, needs nothing special, and makes you look like a HERO.
Aug 6, 2019
Tips on Pickling, Canning & Preserving This Year’s CSA HaulSkills
So you signed up for a CSA. Your bounty is already starting to roll in, but wait — you’re having a hard time finishing things off with your busy spring schedule. That’s OK! Here are a few tips to help make sure you don’t let it go to waste, and to help you have tasty snacks when your CSA is a snow-covered memory later in the year.Well good news, you’ve stumbled upon a wealth of information.
Jun 5, 2019
Can’t Take the Heat? How to Eat Spicy FoodsSkills
Sweating, flushed face, light-headed, fiery mouth? Yup, you’ve been eating chili peppers! Here’s how to eat spicy foods without going into complete shock – and even how you might build up your tolerance for the heat!All those symptoms that happen in your body when you eat spicy foods are caused by a chemical in chili peppers called capsaicin.
Jun 4, 2019
Recipe Rescue! What To Do If You OversaltSkills
How many times have we delicately salted a dish…and salted a little more…and a wee bit more…and then, oops! Suddenly our dish has gone from under-seasoned to tasting like seawater. Can anything be done to save a dish once we’ve added too much salt?Unfortunately, once it’s in there, there’s no getting it back out again – no matter how long you stare at the pot and curse under your breath!
Jun 4, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: TamarindSkills
Tamarind is one of the not-so-secret ingredients in a lot of Asian cooking. Eating a bowl of pad thai or a spoonful of chutney with your roti, you might not necessarily realize it’s there. But if it’s left out, food just don’t taste quite right! What is this mystery ingredient?Until we started researching this post, we didn’t realize that the tamarind tree is actually native to Africa.
Jun 4, 2019
The Best Tip You Probably Missed in The Zuni Cafe CookbookSkills
It wasn’t easy to settle on just one tip, as there are many excellent techniques in the late Judy Rodgers’ The Zuni Cafe Cookbook (read my review here). I was tempted to highlight her brilliant move of drizzling a teaspoon of hot vinegar over fried eggs to complement and balance their richness. Instead, I landed on this excellent solution for that dreadful moment when you’ve added too much oil to your hand-mixed mayonnaise.
Jun 4, 2019
Understanding Olive Oil LabelsSkills
Extra virgin, pure, light, cold-pressed, certified… Perusing the olive oil section at the market can be daunting. What do these labels mean?Olive oil labels can have so many phrases and seals that we’ve often felt dizzy trying to choose the “right” bottle. We’ve wondered which descriptors are meaningful, and which, if any, are just marketing.
May 3, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Sichuan PeppercornsSkills
Sichuan peppercorns are a key ingredient in Chinese cooking. They have an unique, tangy taste and aroma. They are not pungent like black peppers, but have a lemony taste. They are spicy and can bring a numbing feel to the mouth and lips. Generally, they are added last when used in cooking. Only the husks are used, and are often toasted beforehand.They can be found at Asian markets or ordered online at places like Penzey’s or Import Food.
May 3, 2019
Marmite: Love It or Hate It?Skills
We fell in love with marmite during a college semester abroad in the UK, and have kept a jar of it in our kitchen ever since. But just as the brand’s “love it or hate it” ad campaign suggests, its strong, savory flavor isn’t for everyone. Where do you stand?Marmite is a yeast extract and was originally a by-product of the beer brewing process.
May 3, 2019
Make This: Gomashio, Japanese Sesame SaltSkills
While reading the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, we came across a recipe for basic steamed edamame (familiar) sprinkled with gomashio (not so much). What is this crunchy condiment? We’ve also seen a container of it in this Kitchen Tour: Zachary and Family. But it’s easy to make your own.In fact, Faith posted a recipe a couple of years ago:• D.I.Y. Sesame SaltGomashio is simply toasted sesame seeds ground up with some coarse salt.
May 3, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Chimayó Chile PowderSkills
Awhile back, I wrote about the ubiquitous green chiles I discovered while visiting New Mexico. Although those were wonderful, I had little idea that months later it would be a different chile haunting my memory. The meal was enchiladas with red sauce – on the surface modest but so full of deep and complex flavor that I’ve dreamed of returning for the sole purpose of revisiting that dish. The key ingredient was Chimayó chile powder.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Chipotle Chile PeppersSkills
Please meet our newest ally in our on-going quest to find more ways to sneak smoky flavors into our dishes! Chipotle peppers are actually jalapeños that have been smoked and dried, giving them an intense flavor and rich smokiness. How do you use chipotles in your cooking?You can find chipotle peppers in three different forms: dried whole, ground into a spice, or packed in adobo sauce. For the purest flavor, stick with dried whole chipotles or chipotle powder.
May 2, 2019
Cook’s Tricks: How to Properly Season a DishSkills
For a long time, we were intimidated by that innocent little phrase at the end of the recipe: “Adjust seasonings to taste.” If we don’t know what the dish is supposed to taste like, how are we supposed to season it? Well, here’s what we’ve learned to do!When we are almost finished cooking and it comes time to check the seasonings, we always follow this checklist:1. Does It Need Salt? – Nine times out of ten, it does.
May 2, 2019
5 Essential Vinegars for Your PantrySkills
It’s easy to fall in love with those beautiful vinegars that have been made with exotic fruits, infused with herbs, aged in special barrels, or are otherwise irresistible. But we think that there are really only five vinegars that we would consider actually “essential” for a home cook’s pantry. Here’s our list — do you have all of these in your pantry too? This is a great all-purpose vinegar to have around.
May 2, 2019
Quick and Easy Shortcut: Mince Garlic with a ForkSkills
Mincing several cloves at once is one thing, but if you only need one or two cloves, you can leave your knife in the drawer. Mincing garlic with a fork makes the job quick and easy. Take a look!All we do is peel the garlic clove and then press it with the tines of a fork. Scrape off the fork and press the clove again in the other direction. Repeat as many times as necessary until the cloves is as minced as you’d like it, and then pick out the hard stem-nub.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Sesame OilSkills
Who’d ever think that the oil squeezed from teeny tiny little sesame seeds could pack such a big punch? Just crack open a bottle and you’ll fill the entire kitchen with its intense toasted aroma. Sesame oil plays such a major supporting role in so many of our favorite Asian dishes, we doubt we could get along without it.Sesame oil is generally more of a finishing oil than a cooking oil.
May 2, 2019
Inside the Spice Cabinet: SaffronSkills
Saffron is responsible for that distinctive bright yellow color and flavor of Italian risotto milanese, French bouillabaisse, Spanish paella, and Indian biryanis. Like truffles, some people find saffron completely intoxicating and addictive. But what is it, why is it the most expensive spice out there, and is it really worth it? Taste: Sweet, bitter Most Popular Use: Rice, vegetables, baked goods Saffron is the dried orange-red stigmas of a particular kind of crocus flower.
May 2, 2019
Open Sesame! What To Do With a Jar of TahiniSkills
We keep a jar of tahini almost exclusively for the endless batches of hummus and baba ghanoush we make during these hot months. But a tablespoon here and there doesn’t actually use that much, and we always end up with half the jar leftover at the end of the summer. We’re determined not to let that happen this year!It’s helped us to remember that tahini is really another kind of nut butter and can often be used just like almond butter or peanut butter.
May 2, 2019
Sesame’s Secret Weapon: TahiniSkills
If you’ve ever tasted hummus or had a spoonful of baba ghanoush, you’ve almost certainly encountered tahini. This thick paste of ground sesame seeds is one of the staples of the Middle Eastern kitchen, and there’s really no substitute. Tahini is similar to the sesame paste used in Asian cuisine, but more refined. For tahini, the raw or toasted sesame seeds are blanched and lightly crushed to separate the tough outer bran from the actual seed kernel.
May 2, 2019
How To Make Mustard At HomeSkills
As curious cooks and condiment lovers, we have tackled recipes for homemade ketchup, hand-beaten mayonnaise, and DIY hot sauce. Now, inspired by a recent piece in the Guardian, we’re about to add mustard to the list.An except from The Mustard Book by Rosamund Man and Robin Weir makes the process sound time-consuming, but not difficult. With the help of a food processor, “making mustard is easy,” the authors write.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Chiles en AdoboSkills
For adding an extra kick to everything from a pot of chili to roast chicken, we’ve started turning to chiles en adobo. They have a smoky and slightly sweet flavor, and just one of them is spicy enough to make our toes tingle.Do you love them, too?Most cans of chiles en adobo contain chipotle peppers marinated in a tangy-sweet red sauce.
May 2, 2019
Ingredient Spotlight: Porcini PowderSkills
Like porcini mushrooms? You’ve got to get some porcini powder for your spice cupboard. This stuff is like umami-packed magic fairy dust for your food. Once you start sprinkling, it’s hard to stop.I’ve been keeping my eye out for porcini powder ever since I first read about it in David Tanis’s recipe for Wild Mushroom Ragout in Heart of the Artichoke. I finally found it at Far West Fungi, the San Francisco mushroom vendor where Tanis likely finds his porcini powder, too!
May 2, 2019
Try This! Dipping Salts With Fried FoodsSkills
The first time I ordered tempura in Japan, I was surprised that instead of the usual bowl of dipping sauce, one or two flavored dipping salts were served alongside. Surprise turned to joy when I realized dipping salts are the perfect match for fried foods, lending a ton of flavor without weighing them down.Fried foods with a very light and crispy batter like tempura are especially good with dipping salts, because nothing interferes with the ethereal texture of the coating.
May 2, 2019
Try This: Cinnamon WaterSkills
When you dine at WoodSpoon restaurant in Los Angeles, the waiter often brings a carafe of ice water with a cinnamon stick inside. It’s an unusually refreshing beverage – and one that’s easy to make at home, too.Infused with delicate sweetness and spice, cinnamon water is both earthy and sophisticated. It’s delicious alone or with dinner, and we plan to serve it as a festive alternative to plain water at holiday gatherings.
May 2, 2019
Salty, Sour, and Fruity: Umeboshi VinegarSkills
I first discovered Umeboshi vinegar several years ago when I was cooking a lot of vegan/vegetarian food. It came in handy when I needed some ‘of the sea’ flavor. This very salty liquid (technically a brine) still has a place on my pantry shelf today, where I add it to recipes like Chickpea of the Sea or sprinkle it over steamed vegetables. Umeboshi vinegar (also called ume plum vinegar) is the by-product of the umeboshi making process.
May 2, 2019
The Most Cliché Fancy Foods, and Why We Still Love ThemSkills
I am someone who stands among the canned beans at the grocery store, searching for the cheapest can. I mean, they are canned beans — they are all cheap! And yet, if I can get one that’s a few cents less than the others, I feel like I’ve won. It definitely drives my fiancé (and probably anyone else around me at the store) nuts. Being as frugal as I am, you wouldn’t think I splurge on high-end food items — but I actually do.
May 1, 2019
What’s the Difference Between Jam and Jelly?Skills
As I eat my weight in sweet strawberries this time of year, the subject of what to do with the abundance of spring and summer fruit comes to mind. I am usually more than content with enjoying berries and stone fruit as-is, but when I’ve gone a little overboard at the farmers market, jam is one of the many things I consider making. Or is it jelly? The two terms for fruit spread have always confused me a bit. Luckily, there’s an easy way to distinguish between the two.
Apr 22, 2019
15 Pantry Ingredients That Will Make Any Vegetable More TemptingSkills
How do you make vegetables inspiring? Go and raid your pantry! You’ve got all the secrets to amazing veggies in your kitchen already. A quick addition, be it a condiment or spice, can take a baking sheet full of roasted broccoli or a big green salad and transform it into something that may induce cheers.
May 3, 2018
15 Ways to Use Dijon Mustard in Your CookingSkills
You know that feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing something in a really clever way? That’s how Dijon mustard makes me feel. This jar of mustard can seriously make you feel like a genius in the kitchen once you know how to wield its tangy, savory power to make a huge impact on nearly everything you’re cooking.
Apr 3, 2018
Ban Boring Dinners with the Addition of KimchiSkills
When I was first introduced to kimchi, I approached it with serious trepidation. It’s hard to believe that was only a few years ago, because these days I work it into my meals at all times of day and as often as possible. This vibrant Korean dish of fermented cabbage comes with a spicy funk and wallop of tangy flavor that has the power to instantly transform dinner from boring to wildly delicious, with almost no effort at all.
Mar 2, 2018
5 Freezer Marinades for Chicken or PorkSkills
While marinades are brilliant at turning cuts of meat that can often dry out when cooked into flavorful, moist meals, it’s easy to forget to plan ahead and get that meat into a marinade well before you’re ready to cook it. Enter: the freezer marinade, when you bring that meat home from the grocery store toss it in a marinade first and freeze it right in it. It will absorb the marinade whenever you decide to thaw it, and then all you have to do is bake, sauté, or grill it.
Oct 3, 2017