Is sushi one of those things you're more likely to leave to the pros? If so, you're missing out, because homemade sushi's not nearly as hard as everyone makes it out to be. Cut your teeth with a California roll, then start experimenting with different fillings; we'll show you our foolproof techniques for everything from seasoning and fanning rice to rolling both basic and inside-out rolls. On Brandi: Closed Top and jewelry by Edward Avedis.
When it comes to weeknight dinners, there's nothing worse than a recipe that requires and lot of prep, let alone an outing. If heading to the store isn't an option, head to your pantry. Rather than resorting to costly takeout or a box of cereal, you can whip up a no-fuss meal with pantry staples. Click through to find out how easy it can be and what's for dinner tonight!
Have you met bok choy? If not, get yourself to the nearest supermarket posthaste, and snap up a bundle. Slightly sweet and grassy in flavor, the Chinese cabbage takes well to a host of flavors, but easily my favorite way to prepare it is conveniently simple, without sacrificing a lick of flavor.
While there are many reasons to love this weeknight-friendly side — it's affordable, easy, quick as all get out, and, most importantly, delicious — what I love most is how such simple ingredients translate into a dish far more exciting than one would assume on the outset. Little more goes into this loose recipe of sorts than the vegetable at hand, oyster sauce (a magical ingredient if there ever was one), sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame seeds, but a quick turn in a screaming-hot cast-iron takes it to the next level by imparting an essence similar to wok hei, a wok-imbued flavor prized in Chinese cuisine.
What are you waiting for? Make the simple yet satisfying side tonight
January is a time of many resolutions, many among them culinary. Regardless of your skill level at the stove, it never hurts to go back to basics and focus on rudimentary recipes that are the building blocks for so many other dishes. These aren't too complicated or expensive, and once you master them, we reassure you that you'll use them over and over again. Here are 10 fundamental dishes that every home chef should know how to make.
We've often talked about the wines we're crushing on; likewise, sudsy brews have had their moment in the sun. But this week we're changing things up a bit. In the interest of warming up from chilly weather and the ubiquitous resolution to eat more mindfully — also, we really like tea — we thought it was high time to feature the teas that have us coming back for sip after delightful sip. Keep reading for our top picks, ranging from chocolate and chili-laced chai to an Amazonian herbal treat.
Last month we set out to find which trendy foods of 2012 you, our readers, were still excited about, and which you'd be content to see go the way of the dinosaurs. While some trends inspired ambivalence — feelings were split on whether desserts on a stick were still relevant — others, like Korean food, left you wanting more. With that in mind (and because we also have a strong affinity for the cuisine), it seemed high time to share a recipe for a classic Korean dish: dobu jorim (braised tofu).
This weeknight- and wallet-friendly dish has a simple yet powerful, tongue-tantalizing sauce. And while it's typically served as part of a large banchan spread, it's equally at home as a main course supported by a hearty vegetable side. So what are you waiting for? Try this tofu tonight
Who says raw vegetables can't pack plenty of flavor? This vegetable sushi roll, made with creamy avocado and crunchy cucumber and carrots, has two secret ingredients: gomasio and umeboshi paste. Gomasio literally means "sesame salt" in Japanese. This condiment is sprinkled onto Asian cuisine like salt and is made from crushed, toasted sesame seeds and salt. Unlike salt, which only adds one dimension of flavor to a dish, gomasio gives food a nutty, roasted quality. Just be sure to keep your bottle in the fridge, because sesame seeds go rancid quickly, and nothing is worse than ruining a dish with rancid seasoning!
Also contributing to the saltiness of the sushi is umeboshi paste, or pureed, pickled Japanese plums. What does this bright purple paste taste like, you might be wondering? Umeboshi paste is at once extremely salty and full of savory umami flavor (the Western equivalent, in terms of texture and flavor, would be concentrated bouillon paste). Even just 1/4 of a teaspoon of umeboshi paste smeared on a sushi roll will give the sushi sufficient seasoning, so much so that you probably won't be tempted to dip the roll in a dish of soy sauce.
To see how this simple vegetable sushi roll is constructed, keep reading for the recipe.
If your New Year's resolution is to become more organized in the kitchen, you've come to the right place. As part of a new feature, we're packaging recipes as a manageable meal plan (here we're focusing on dinner for two, though recipes can be scaled up or down) that has a ratio of low effort to high reward, and even includes a handy-dandy grocery list to get you started. Click through and cook along with us for five nights: each day's recipe will either set you up for days down the line or will make good use of previously prepared ingredients, so you'll be more efficient in the kitchen.
I'm going to be blunt: if you're a tea lover and the bulk of your tea purchases are tea bags, then you're doing it wrong. With the exception of some varieties that are only available by the bag, or transporting tea when traveling (tea bags are more convenient and less messy than their loose counterparts), loose-leaf is the way to go. Not only is the quality of tea leaves generally higher — most companies reserve their finest, intact leaves for loose-leaf versus crumbly dregs that can be concealed in a tea bag — but also, ounce for ounce, loose-leaf tea is often more economical. Consider the Republic of Tea's ginger peach black tea: for an extra 50 cents, you can have 60 cups' worth of loose leaf tea versus 50 tea bags, and it's likely higher-quality tea to boot. If you stick with loose-leaf, then you'll have tastier tea — and be able to afford more diverse offerings.
The first thing I learned to cook was scrambled eggs, followed by macaroni and cheese. I'm pretty sure the third thing I learned to cook was beef and broccoli stir-fry. My best friend growing up (who, 22 years later, is still my best friend) is Chinese, and her dad would make the most incredible stir-fries using very simple ingredients.
Growing up, we'd beg her father to tell us exactly how he prepared his beef and broccoli. How much soy sauce did he put in? For exactly how long did it need to marinate? And what's the trick to stir-frying so swiftly with chopsticks? He always shrugged at our questions and responded with ambiguous answers, so we resorted to watching him intensely to understand the process. Years later, every time we munch on our attempted beef and broccoli dish, we taste a glimmer of her father's famed flavors, but we've decided it may require a lifetime before we've mastered it.
Even this rendition is a far cry from her father's. When I called my best friend for exact details to the recipe, I realized she has inherited her father's fashion. She vaguely replied, "Oh, you could add a little of this and a pinch of that. These ingredients are optional, of course. It's whatever you feel like."
What I felt like creating is the most basic marinade, but three simple ingredients magically transform into a rich, flavorful sauce for the beef. The standout ingredient has to be oyster sauce. Despite its somewhat repulsive name, it gives dishes a salty, earthy, almost mushroom-like flavor. I adore it. Also worth mentioning is peanut oil. Although a bit more expensive than canola oil, it is so worth the splurge. Unlike neutral oils, peanut oil imparts a subtle, nutty flavor to the stir-fry. If you're allergic to peanut oil, use a neutral vegetable oil to stir-fry and splash a few dashes of roasted sesame oil into the finished dish to achieve a similar effect. Click here to see the beef and broccoli recipe.