The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

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How to Make Vegan Chorizo That Even a Carnivore Will Relish

I wanted to make a vegan chorizo recipe that doesn't just come close to regular chorizo in the flavor department, but outright nails it. I wanted a meat-free chorizo with textural contrast up the wazoo, and a chorizo that changes texture as you cook it just like its meat-based counterpart. I wanted a chorizo that is tangy, rich, and complex. In short, I wanted nothing less than the best darned meat-free chorizo around. And what I want, I get. More

Vegan Chorizo for Omnivores

I wanted to make a vegan chorizo recipe that doesn't just come close to regular chorizo in the flavor department, but outright nails it. I wanted a meat-free chorizo with textural contrast up the wazoo, and a chorizo that changes texture as you cook it just like its meat-based counterpart. I wanted a chorizo that is tangy, rich, and complex. In short, I wanted nothing less than the best darned meat-free chorizo around. And what I want, I get. More

The Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen With Roasted Vegetables and Miso Broth

This is the bowl of vegetarian ramen I've been working towards ever since I first ventured into the vegetable-based foothills of Mount Ramen two years ago. It has a rich, creamy broth that's layered with flavor and thick enough to coat the noodles as they're slurped from the bowl, plus little pools of glistening, flavorful fat, and four different toppings that deliver on texture and flavor. This is hands-down the best bowl of ramen I've ever made. And it can all be yours, with a little bit of heavy-duty climbing, that is. More

Why My Fridge Is Never Without Shirataki Noodles (and Yours Shouldn't be Either)

I'm on a mission to convince you to make shirataki noodles a pantry staple. That's right, I'm talking about those slippery yam-starch noodles packed in water-filled bags that boast their calorie- and gluten-free properties. But I want to be clear: I don't give a damn about their supposed health properties. Honestly, I think they're delicious. Let me explain. More

The Food Lab: How to Grill or Broil Tofu That's Really Worth Eating

There's a lot of bad tofu out there (particularly bad grilled tofu, I'd add), and more often than not, it's because people try to cook it like it's a piece of meat. Tofu is really easy to dislike when it's soggy, mushy, bland, or burnt. But great tofu—tofu with a tender center surrounded by a well-seasoned, crisp crust—is one of the most satisfying bites of food I can think of. Here are 9 tips to help you grill tofu so good even tofu-haters might come around to it. More

Better Than Parm? Dried Olive and Miso May Be the Ultimate Pasta-Topper

There's nothing boring about a good Parmigiano-Reggiano's inimitably intense, nutty, funky flavor. But wouldn't it be nice if we had some other options from time to time? Now we do: This 100% vegan, deeply savory, slightly tangy condiment can be folded into or sprinkled onto your food for a big hit of flavor. It can stand in for Parm in a pasta dish, but it's also great sprinkled on salads, sandwiches, roasted meats, grilled fish, burgers, or pizza. More

Sichuan-Style Hot and Sour Eggplant Is a Great Dish That Just Happens to Be Vegan

Despite its translation—"fish fragrant eggplant,"—yu xiang qie zi actually contains no seafood or meat products whatsoever. It gets its name from the combination of hot, sour, and sweet flavors that are typically served with fish in its native Sichuan. Smoky eggplant is stir-fried until tender, then tossed with a quick sauce flavored with chilies, black vinegar, sugar, and ginger, and garlic for a hearty, flavor-packed dish that comes together in one wok with minimal effort. More

Sichuan-Style Braised Eggplant With Pickled Chilies and Garlic (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Despite its translation—"fish fragrant eggplant,"—yu xiang qie zi actually contains no seafood or meat products whatsoever. It gets its name from the combination of hot, sour, and sweet flavors that are typically served with fish in its native Sichuan. Smoky eggplant is stir-fried until tender, then tossed with a quick sauce flavored with chilies, black vinegar, sugar, and ginger, and garlic for a hearty, flavor-packed dish that comes together in one wok with minimal effort. More

This No-Knead Olive-Rosemary Focaccia With Pistachios Takes Just 15 Minutes of Prep

It's difficult to make good bread today, but it's darned easy to make hot, fresh, world-class bread tomorrow. This focaccia, topped with olives, rosemary, and pistachios, requires no kneading or stretching and results in a crisp, olive oil-scented crust and a puffy, moist, well-risen internal crumb with just the right amount of tender chew. More

Meet Ragù Napoletano, Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce With Pork, Beef, and Sausage

If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home. More

Ragú Napoletano (Neapolitan-Style Italian Meat Sauce with Pork, Beef, and Sausage)

If you were to pick a president and el tigre numero uno of the ragù world, it'd be ragù Napoletano, a meaty stew with big chunks of beef, pork, and sausages simmered until fall-apart tender in a rich tomato sauce flavored with wine, onions, garlic, basil, and plenty of good Southern Italian olive oil. It's the precursor to Italian-American Sunday gravy: just add some meatballs, serve it with spaghetti, and you're there. It's also the perfect dish for a lazy Sunday with family or friends at home. More

Upgrade Your Tamale Pie With Braised Skirt Steak and a Brown Butter Cornbread Crust (Plus: A Quick and Easy 45-Minute Skillet Version!)

Tamale pie is a dish that screams for an update. I mean, it's cornbread and chili all rolled into one! Just imagine how great it could be if we took the time to make a real, deeply flavored, meaty chili from scratch, and topped with tender, moist, crisp-edged, buttery cornbread with those chili juices seeping up into it as it bakes in the oven. That's the kind of meal I'd love to come home to after a long day out in the cold. More

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