All the Different Types of Paprika — Plus How to Use ThemSkills
They each have their own distinct flavor.
Tamari vs. Soy Sauce: What's the Difference?Skills
It's not just wheat.
The 9 Types of Salt Every Home Cook Should KnowSkills
Are you using kosher for everything?
6 Best Ways to Make a Dish Less SpicySkills
There are a lot of ways dishes can end up too spicy: Maybe the recipe was developed using a milder version of a curry paste than what you ended up buying, or you used an especially spicy batch of fresh chiles, or you accidentally put in one tablespoon of hot sauce rather than one teaspoon, or you just dumped too much cayenne into your pot of chili. The easiest way to tone down a dish that’s too spicy is to add more ingredients to lessen the proportion of the spicy element.
25 Spice Mixes From Around the WorldSkills
From ras el hanout to herbes de provence, herb and spice mixes are essential to many cuisines around the world. Bringing these blends into your own kitchen can lend authenticity to international dishes and provide creative inspiration for your everyday cooking. Ready for this trip across the globe? No passport required! Berbere Berbere – A heady combination of spicy, bitter, and sweet spices used in Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
Grains of Paradise Are The Best Spice You’ve Never Heard OfSkills
If you do one thing this summer, pick up a package of grains of paradise. Your grilled steaks will thank you. Also your fish. Also your potato salads. In fact, I think the warm, spicy, woodsy flavor of this little known West African spice is going to make a top-notch addition to just about all our favorite summer picnic foods. Now that I’ve discovered it, I can’t get enough. I originally bought my grains of paradise for a summer wheat beer that I was planning to brew.
You Don’t Need a Dehydrator: 5 Fruits You Can Dry in the OvenSkills
If you see a lot of fruit dehydrating in your future, buying a food dehydrator makes sense. Using one is more energy-efficient than slowly baking fruit in a low oven, and the results are more consistent. But if you just want to make the occasional batch of crispy apple chips or intensely-flavored dried tomatoes, keep things simple and gadget-free: use your oven to make dried fruit!
How To Use a Vanilla BeanSkills
Vanilla beans are magical. Not only do they look like fairy wands and have an aroma that always brings me to a standstill, but these beans have the ability to transform scoops of ice cream into childhood memories and dishes of crème brûlée into marriage proposals. Using them is easy; wait to scrape the seeds out of the vanilla pod until you’re ready to use them. They are definitely not to be squandered or taken for granted.
What’s the Difference? Flat-leaf and Curly-leaf ParsleySkills
Oftentimes recipes will specify the use of flat-leaf or Italian parsley. Can you substitute curly leaves for flat, and vice versa? What’s the difference beyond appearance?Used to perk up dishes with its fresh green flavor and color, parsley can be much more than a garnish. The two main cultivars of this herb are curly parsley (Petroselinum crispum) with ruffled leaves and Italian parsley (Petroselinum crispum neapolitanum) with flat leaves.
May 3, 2023
5 Unexpected Ways to Use Curry PasteSkills
I’ve been adding curry paste to an assortment of old standby dishes to give them a bit of kick. If you have half a can of curry paste lying about here are a few unexpected ways to put it to good use!I’ve written about my favorite curry paste in the past and it should be noted that I am a huge fan of green over red curry pastes. That’s simply a matter of taste, but I have found that I have better luck controlling the heat without many surprises.
May 3, 2023
These Are the Best Chili Powder Substitutes to Use When You’re Running LowSkills
Don’t run to the store just yet — consider trying one of these chili powder substitutes instead!
Jan 30, 2023
Every Type of Soy Sauce Home Cooks Need to Know About and How to Use EachSkills
Here are all the varieties you should know about and more.
Dec 21, 2022
6 Reasons Celery Leaves Deserve Far More AttentionSkills
Celery leaves — known primarily as a throwaway top to an already underappreciated vegetable — are so often discarded. It’s a real shame. Celery leaves are actually a bonus to their stalks and completely virtuous on their own. Here’s everything you need to know about prepping them and turning them into a vibrant pesto. Celery leaves are delicious, nutritious, and packed with intense celery flavor.
Dec 14, 2022
Why Freezing Is the Best Way to Preserve CilantroSkills
Whether it’s the ongoing debate that a dislike of cilantro is determined by genetics or the recent stir caused by cilantro imported from Mexico, cilantro certainly seems to be a hot topic right now. While some crave its fresh, spicy flavor, others find it utterly unappealing. For me, I can’t get enough of it. Not only can it be tricky to grow, but it also proves challenging to preserve.
Dec 8, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Sweet, Hot, and Smoked Paprika?Skills
When a recipe calls for paprika, which kind of paprika is it actually referring to? We've got some answers.
Dec 8, 2022
Tiny Pickled Flavor Bombs: CapersSkills
These tangy little buds are a pantry staple when it comes to jazzing up a weeknight pasta or adding the perfect finishing touch to a plate of cured salmon. Just a spoonful of capers can make a whole dish sing. Do you ever cook with them?Capers are actually the immature flower buds of the caper bush, a shrub-like plant that hails from the Mediterranean region. The buds are picked just before they reach ripeness and pickled either in a salt brine or in vinegar.
Dec 4, 2022
What Is Cinnamon, Exactly?Skills
Learn all about this warm spice, including the different types, plus how to use it in sweet and savory recipes.
Nov 4, 2022
How to Mince Garlic Like a ProSkills
Our step-by-step photos will show you the way.
Oct 21, 2022
Technique: How to Use Tamarind PulpSkills
Pad thai and many other Southeast Asian dishesThese blocks of tamarind pulp are the tamarind fruit pods stripped of the outer husk and compressed tightly together. Sometimes the seeds are removed, but we usually find a few errant seeds even in packages marked “seedless.” The pulp itself is very fibrous, so we need to soften it and push it through a fine-meshed strainer to separate the edible pulp from the strands of fiber.First cut off the portion you need.
Oct 4, 2022
10 Chef-Approved Garlic Tips Every Cook Should KnowSkills
For starters, here's how to choose the best bulbs.
Sep 30, 2022
What Is Harissa?Skills
Maybe you’ve heard of harissa, but have you ever tried it? If you love condiments and adding a kick of spice to your meals, you’ll want to check this out! Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. Harissa recipes vary between countries and regions, but a standard version includes a blend of hot chile peppers (which are often smoked), garlic, olive oil and spices, like cumin, coriander, caraway and mint.
Sep 29, 2022
What’s the Deal With: White Balsamic Vinegar?Skills
With the exception of perhaps oil, few pantry staples come in as many varieties as vinegar. I regularly keep on hand no fewer than seven different vinegars: red wine, white wine, champagne, sherry, rice, apple cidar and balsamic. Later on, I discovered white balsamic vinegar, a blend of white grape must and white wine vinegar. Recently, while scanning through the ingredients list of a recipe I was making, I came across a vinegar I was unfamiliar with – White balsamic vinegar.
Sep 28, 2022
11 Essential Spices for Indian CookingSkills
One of the things that people find intimidating about cooking Indian food is the vast array of spices used — both whole and ground, which are often combined into complex spice mixes. However, having taught classes on Indian food, I find that as soon as people are able to identify and understand the spices we use, then suddenly they find this cuisine is not as hard to make after all. Here are the 11 spices I reach for most often when cooking Indian food and how I use them!
Sep 22, 2022
Cooking While Traveling? Pack a Portable Spice Kit!Skills
As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to enjoy renting a house or apartment when I travel. It makes my trip feel more personal and comfortable than staying in a hotel, and above all I really love having the option to cook at least some of my meals. I’ve also learned that creativity is essential when you’re cooking while traveling. Aside from basic cookware, utensils and dishes, my expectations for the kitchen in my vacation rental are pretty low.
Sep 20, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Rice Wine and Rice Vinegar?Skills
Both rice wine and rice vinegar are widely used in Asian cooking, but they’re two very distinct products. Do you know what sets them apart, and when to use each one? While both products are made from fermented rice, the difference is in the manner in which each one is produced, as well as how they’re used. These two can easily be confused, since rice vinegar is sometimes also labeled as rice wine vinegar (which is a vinegar, and not wine).
Sep 13, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Canola and Rapeseed Oil?Skills
Here’s the scoop on both.
Sep 12, 2022
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.
Sep 11, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Galangal and Ginger?Skills
So what really is galangal and how does it compare to ginger?
Sep 8, 2022
5 Ways to Use Thai Curry PasteSkills
That little jar of red or green Thai curry sitting in your fridge adds a powerful punch of spicy flavor to whatever it’s added to. And while it’s great for making curries, don’t be afraid to use it in other dishes too — here are some of our favorites ways to use it. The beauty of soups that use Thai curry paste is that you usually don’t have to simmer them for very long since the paste is so flavorful by itself.
Sep 7, 2022
How To Peel and Mince Fresh GingerSkills
Fresh ginger is a staple in my kitchen. It is an extremely versatile ingredient that shows up in any course, from savory to sweet, be it main, beverage, dessert, or salad. It can even be medicine — hot ginger tea with lemon, honey and brandy will cure what ails you! In short, fresh ginger is essential to my cooking. Read on for my methods for peeling and mincing fresh ginger.
Sep 6, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Stock and Broth?Skills
Do you know?
Sep 6, 2022
Kosher Salt vs Sea Salt vs Table Salt: What’s the Difference & How Do You Use Them?Skills
It's okay if you didn't know already. We've got everything you need to know right here.
Sep 5, 2022
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.
Sep 1, 2022
What’s the Difference Between Rice Vinegar and Seasoned Rice Vinegar?Skills
Rice vinegar is used in a lot of Asian cooking because of its mild acidity and hint of sweetness. Recipes usually call for the two most common varieties, rice vinegar or seasoned rice vinegar. What are the differences, and which one should you buy? The subtle, but important differences in rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar boil down to sweetness and acidity. While there are many types of rice vinegar, including red, brown, and black, the most commonly available one is white rice vinegar.
Aug 30, 2022
How Long Can You Keep Opened Condiments?Skills
I have an ongoing real estate battle in my refrigerator door between condiments and cocktail ingredients. While I can ignore boozes and bitters since they seem to last practically forever, condiments definitely have shorter shelf lives and need to be pruned occasionally. We can all read a date stamp, but an opened container is another thing. Here’s a rundown of some of the most common condiments and how long they last once they’re opened.
Aug 30, 2022
Five Ways to Eat: Fresh GingerSkills
Fresh ginger! It’s one of our very favorite things. This spice which is also known for its medicinal properties is often used in cooking, including in soups and in stir-fries. Here are five ways we eat a lot of ginger. What about you — how do you like to eat ginger?Fresh ginger, ready for hot ginger tea.Fresh ginger is good for so many things. We love how crystallized ginger safely and naturally soothes an upset stomach. We love ginger, strong and spicy, in hot tea.
Aug 29, 2022
This Time-Saving Hack Promises to Give You Fresh Garlic for Up to a YearSkills
For all you garlic lovers out there!
Aug 23, 2022
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.
Aug 19, 2022
Here's How to Make Your Bunches of Fresh Herbs Last Longer than a Few DaysSkills
Remember these tricks and you'll never have to throw away a slimly, wilted bunch again.
Aug 15, 2022
Where Kosher Salt Comes from & Why It’s Called KosherSkills
My pantry always has three kinds of salt: fine table salt, kosher salt, and a super-flaky salt like Maldon. I use all three in different ways, depending on what I’m cooking or how I’m seasoning something. When people see my kosher salt, I usually get asked this question: Just what is kosher salt, and why do I have it if I don’t cook kosher? The coarse salt usually isn’t iodized and can be great for seasoning meat and vegetables.
Aug 15, 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 9, 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 Is Epazote & How Do You Use It?Skills
When it comes to beans and lessening their “digestive consequences,” we have two main strategies: one, soak them before cooking and two, add epazote. Not familiar with epazote? Learn all about this pungent Mexican herb, plus how to cook with it.Epazote (pronounced eh-puh-ZOE-tay) is an herb native to Mexico and Central America that is perhaps best known for its carminative, or gas-relieving, properties.
Aug 8, 2022
How to Preserve ChivesSkills
Who doesn’t want a dollop of melted chive butter on their grilled steak or a dash of zesty chive vinegar on their salad in the dead of winter? I love blowing my guests away at a dinner party in December with flavors that evoke the smells, memories, and tastes of summer. Chive is a garden staple that can be preserved and used in many ways. Finding ways to enjoy the vibrant flavors of summer all year-round is one of the most rewarding aspects of gardening.
Aug 4, 2022
The Cheap Little Hack I Use to Get Big Flavor in Almost Any DishSkills
Amp up fried chicken, deviled eggs, and much more.
Jul 21, 2022
What Is Star Anise and How Do You Use It?Skills
Star anise just may be the most unique and fun-looking spice in the pantry. But it's more than just good looks.
Jul 11, 2022
This Simple Hack Will Help You Mince Chives Like a Professional ChefSkills
This makes it so much easier.
Jun 13, 2022
How To Strip Herbs off Their StemsSkills
Let’s talk about fresh herbs. They smell great, they make our food taste incredible, and they are a pain in the you-know-what to get off the stem. If you try to tell me you actually enjoy picking off each tiny leaf, methodically working your way to a full tablespoon, I’m going to call shenanigans. Yes, fresh herbs make us work for our reward — no way around it. At the very least, we should be sure we’re stripping and mincing our herbs in the most efficient way possible.
May 19, 2022
Flavor Combinations: Beans, Herbs, and SpicesSkills
With all the bean talk this month, we started thinking about which herbs and spices go well with specific varieties of beans. In general, most beans go well with herbs like parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme. You usually can’t go wrong with garlic and onions, either. Specific kinds of beans, like fava beans or mung beans, have other affinities with particular herbs and spices.This is not to say that other combinations won’t work.
May 12, 2022
Help! What To Do With Lemongrass Leaves?Skills
Our lemongrass plant had an unfortunate run-in with a gust of of wind, resulting in a few snapped stems and a whole heck of a lot of leaves. Most recipes only call for the juicy stalk – any suggestions for what we can do with the leaves?We found a few notes on drying the leaves for use in herbal teas. We’ll try looping some of the leaves into rings and hanging them to dry. A lemony cup of tea sounds like a good cure for winter blues!
May 12, 2022
Get Ready For Fall: Restock Your SpicesSkills
What are you most looking forward to cooking this autumn? Whether it’s a hearty stew, a batch of fall cookies Toss what’s stale, note what you use often and need more of, and replenish in preparation for cooking rich savory dishes, baked goods, and holiday meals (they will be here before we know it!). Although spices don’t spoil, most should be used within 6 to 12 months for maximum freshness.
May 12, 2022
What Are Your Favorite Ways to Use Chipotle Powder?Skills
Q: I just bought a bag of ground chipotle powder. I’ve never used it before but the smell was intoxicatingly delicious and I couldn’t resist buying it! I searched online for some recipes but had a tough time finding something appropriate for me (no red meat).I’m curious about some of your favorite recipes using ground chipotle powder which don’t involve red meat.Sent by LeahEditor: Leah, chipotle powder is one of my very favorite seasonings.
May 12, 2022
How Can I Learn to Use Star Anise in My Cooking?Skills
Q: I am seeing star anise everywhere on cooking shows lately. I can’t even say I know what it tastes like, let alone how to use it.Please satisfy my viewer curiosity and help me use a new, fun-looking ingredient!Sent by SaraEditor: Sara, star anise tastes a bit like licorice, with a sweet edge. We’ve talked about how well it pairs with tomato in sauces and soups (that licorice flavor is rather like basil!) and we also like to add it to homemade masala chai tea.
May 12, 2022
Seasonal Spotlight: Arugula BlossomsSkills
Have you ever tasted a new ingredient and wondered how you ever lived without it? This is how I felt after my first encounter with arugula blossoms at the Echo Park farmer’s market last week. At first glance, the clusters of veined flowers are a bit weedy and overgrown-looking and don’t attract much attention. How many years have my eyes glazed past them at the farmers’ market? Or have those in the know always snatched them up before my arrival?
May 12, 2022
The Spicier, Sexier Basil: Thai BasilSkills
Thai basil is sweet basil’s spicier, kickier cousin. It has all of that lovely licorice flavor and aroma that we love, but with a little something more. What do you cook with it?The leaves of thai basil plants are flat and blade-shaped with a purplish tinge that can spread over the entire leaf depending on the exact variety. Like sweet basil, thai basil is as aromatic as it is tasty. Lots of peppery, anise-like, and warm spicy flavors in this herb.
May 12, 2022
How to Peel Garlic Quickly and EasilySkills
I encounter a lot of chefs that don’t know how to peel garlic and end up doing it the long, hard way. Other chefs use packaged peeled garlic. Personally, I prefer to buy my garlic fresh at the Farmer’s Market and peel them myself. I think it’s more economical and sustainable this way – the garlic comes direct from the farmer without any plastic packaging, and has less carbon footprint because the garlic wasn’t processed by machines and then shipped to supermarkets.
May 11, 2022
Ingredient Spotlight: What is Galangal?Skills
Last weekend we made our Malaysian Beef Curry, a slow, cinnamon and chili-spiced curry of beef slow-cooked in coconut milk and exotic flavorings. It’s deep and rich, yet total home comfort food. One of the key ingredients in the curry paste is galangal, an unfamiliar root that is yet deceptively similar to one of its cousins… Galangal (pronounced guh-lang-guh) is often found in Thai, Indonesian, and Malaysian cooking.
May 11, 2022
Summer Living: Cooking With Fresh HerbsSkills
One of our favorite parts of summer is the abundance of fresh herbs–often in our own back yards!We find ourselves throwing herbs into everything we cook, relishing in their fresh green flavors. Since these herbs are so fresh, it doesn’t take a lot of persuasion to bring out their best flavor. We need to give them a little more TLC than their dried counter parts!
May 11, 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
Beyond Cayenne: 6 Ways to Add Spicy Heat to Any DishSkills
I love cayenne, don’t get me wrong. It adds a fantastic heat to any dish from scrambled eggs to curry. It’s just that sometimes I get a little bored of seeing “cayenne, optional” listed in recipes and need a reminder that there are other spices and seasonings out there that can give these dishes some serious kick.I’ll bet most of these seasonings are living in your fridge or cupboard right now, just waiting for to jump in and save the day.
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
These Expert-Approved Vanilla Extract Substitutes Work Like a CharmSkills
These substitutes are full of flavor and super easy to find.
Apr 29, 2022
Allspice Is a Spice Cabinet Star — Here's Exactly How to Use ItSkills
This versatile warm spice gives a distinctive flavor to both sweet and savory dishes.
Apr 27, 2022
This Hack Helps You De-Stem Your Herbs Using a Kitchen Gadget You Likely Already HaveSkills
You know, if you're into that kind of thing.
Apr 20, 2022
Use This Simple Trick to Fix Clumpy or Hardened SpicesSkills
Try this quick-fix and get cooking.
Apr 5, 2022
The Violent Way to “Mince” a Boatload of Ginger in 2 SecondsSkills
It's a great way to get your anger out while you're cooking.
May 12, 2021