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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

2 Vegan Cheeses That Anyone Can Love

There's a dearth of good vegan cheese alternatives out there. Some are downright abysmal with tofu-like flavor or watery, grainy interiors. Others come closer to the mark. But even the very best melting-style cheeses are a far cry from the real deal. The good news is that there are two cheese-style products I've found that are not just good-for-vegan food, but are good enough that anyone should be happy eating them. More

5-Minute Spanish-Style Bean Salad is an Hors D'oeuvres Star

This easy bean appetizer takes only five minutes to prepare, but it does rely on some high quality ingredients for optimal flavor. Tender, creamy giant lima beans are worth the splurge when you're coating them with your best extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, and a pinch of smoked paprika. Celery, shallots, and garlic round out the flavor profile and add crunchy texture. More

The Art of the Perfect Grilled Cheese (Plus 20 Variations to Shake Things Up)

A grilled cheese is a grilled cheese, right? I mean, it's the first meal that most of us learn how to cook at home by ourselves. It's the perfect midnight snack or soup-dipper. It's great for kids but is never turned down by an adult. It's salty, gooey, crisp, buttery, and comforting in all the right ways. But there's grilled cheese, then there's GRILLED CHEESE. Here are 20 great ways to tell the difference. 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

Vegetables Are the Star of This Fat-Free, Dairy-Free, 30-Minute Creamy Colombian Soup

This quick and easy dairy-free, fat-free Colombian vegetable soup comes out creamy and comforting thanks to the natural thickening power of potatoes. No added cream, milk, or butter means that the soup shines with vegetable flavor from peas, fava beans, and carrots. The stovetop version takes about 45 minutes of hands-off work while the pressure cooker can cut that time down to under half an hour. More

Caponata: The Flavor-Packed 30-Minute Sicilian Dish We Should All Be Eating More Of

Caponata, the Sicilian dish of eggplant and other vegetables sautéed in a sweet-and-sour sauce can be shockingly flavorful the first time you try it. And I'm not using the word shockingly lightly here. Packed with extra-virgin olive oil, raisins, pine nuts, herbs, vinegar, sugar, and a slew of other ingredients, it's the kind of dish you have to recalibrate your whole mouth for in order to really appreciate it. But once that recalibration is done, man oh man is it great stuff. 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

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

Recipe Update: Even Better Vegan Mushroom 'Bacon'

My vegan mushroom "bacon" is one of my favorite vegan recipes ever. I like to think of these things not as a vegan substitute for bacon but as an awesome condiment or topping all their own. The only real downside to them is that they're small. Made with cremini mushrooms that are cooked until crisp, they end up less than an inch long, which means that you can't pick them up with two fingers and bite off the end with that satisfying CRUNCH the way you can with a standard bacon strip. Today, I'm updating the recipe with a new mushroom suggestion, and a few minor tweaks to improve flavor and texture across the board. More

The Vegan Experience: How to Make a Vietnamese Noodle Salad That Eats Like a Meal

My wife Adri and I ate a lot of salads while on honeymoon in Vietnam a few years back. My favorite was one we tasted at a small restaurant in Saigon made with cold rice noodles, poached shrimp, pomelo, peanuts, and tons of herbs. The challenge for me was how to make a salad like this—light and filling—while also adhering to a strictly vegan ingredients list. More

The Vegan Experience: Welcome to Year 4

Welcome to the fourth year of The Vegan Experience! All month we're exploring the vegan lifestyle, from dining out to eating in, developing a slew of delicious recipes for vegan appetizers, snacks, and entrees along the way. The first year I went at it solo. The second year, I was joined by a few colleagues and readers. Last year, the impossible happened and Serious Eats Overlord Ed Levine himself came along for the ride. Year after year, the number of voices in support rise, the number of readers searching for vegan recipes increases. I know it already: This is going to be the best Vegan Experience yet. 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

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

The Best Pizza by the Slice in San Francisco

I moved to San Francisco from New York a few months ago, and it's been fantastic. But despite it all, there's one thing I've been missing: A good New York-style slice of pizza. And I'm not talking a sit-down-at-the-table-order-and-wait-thirty-minutes type of slice. I'm talking the kind of slice that you grab on your way out of the train station or late at night while stumbling home from the bar. The kind of slice that can be hot and in your hands for a couple of bucks and a wait of no longer than five minutes. Luckily, it turns out there is great pizza by the slice in San Francisco. You've just gotta know where to look. I visited over 30 pizzerias and tasted over 40 slices of pizza to find the best in San Francisco and the East Bay. More

Vegan Chorizo for Omnivores

@greenhome

This is Mexican chorizo, not Spanish. They are quite different products!

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

@Jenrs

That could be the glutamic acid triggering it for you. The broth will still be tasty without the kombu and should taste fine if you omit it. You may want to up the miso just a tiny bit.

Sichuan Shirataki Sesame Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Sichuan Peppercorn, Chili Oil, and Peanuts (Vegan)

@Michael Q

Yup, same ratio and yes, store it with the chilies in the bottle. It'll even get better with time!

Vegan Chorizo for Omnivores

@beegoode

I used the Whole Foods 365 brand, I believe. It should freeze fine!

@nmharleyrider

And yet, not eating meat is important to some people, which makes the time investment worth it. Not all choices you make in life are meant to make life easier.

@arielleeve

Yes, white would work, though I'd use a little less and maybe up the soy sauce as white miso tends to be a little sweeter and less salty. I wouldn't recommend butter as it could scorch too easily. Clarified butter would work well.

Easy No-Knead Olive-Rosemary Focaccia With Pistachios

@maggiekat

It's in the last sentence of step 4!

The Ethics of Foie Gras: New Fire for an Old Debate

@Socarrat

I think the real issue that I've tried to explain time and again is that at least in the US, there ARE no bad shoe shops. Every foie gras farm in the US is small scale, family owned, and has pretty much the same standards (or better) as Hudson Valley foie does, so again: so long as you are buying American foie in an American restaurant (an if you are getting fresh seared foie or a house-made terrine or torchon, then you are almost definitely getting American foie), then you are doing good.

As to asking waiters, any restaurant that is selling foie will know what farm they are getting it from. It's just standard in the kind of high end places that do it, so your server should have no problem telling you which farm it is. If I was at a restaurant serving foie and they couldn't tell me where it came from, I'd get up and leave.

How to Make the Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen

@FredipusRex

It's tonkOtsu, not tonkAtsu (the latter is a fried pork cutlet)!

Comparing by saying better or worse on a categorical level is not really good way to look at it. You're comparing apples to oranges. What I said was "this was the best bowl of ramen I've ever made," and it had nothing to do with its base ingredients. I say that solely because it required the most thought, the most effort, has the most well-layered and complementary ingredients, and is the most complex (far more complex than any tokotsu I've had, which at its heart is really just a good pork broth).

Does that make sense? Of course if you hate vegetables and love pork then this isn't going to help you. But that's just personal taste.

Our Vegan Month Progress: Week 3, Checking Privilege and Staying the Course

@BostonAdam

Tofu cream cheese is a vegan cream cheese alternative that many bagel shops offer. You can buy it in supermarkets too (tofutti is probably the most recognizable brand). I don't want to speak for Ed, but I'm pretty sure he just means he's ordering bagels with tofu cream cheese, not that he's making it himself.

This Week at Serious Eats World Headquarters

@alex at Kitchenlife

Yes, she passed away last November.

How to Make the Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen

@sylvan

Nope, it's my bad. I meant maitake and wrote matsutake instead. Correcting!

How to Make the Ultimate Rich and Creamy Vegan Ramen

You can get the noodles at Nijiya in J town.

Zucchini and Roasted Tomatoes With Pasta and Dried Olive Flavor Shake

That's a good point! Originally
I had the veg divided between two trays but they didn't cook efficiently that way so I move zucchini to stovetop. I'll update the rack issue as well.

Sichuan Shirataki Sesame Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Sichuan Peppercorn, Chili Oil, and Peanuts (Vegan)

@elangomatt

Yes, that's correct! It's Sichuan in style, which means lots of chili oil!

@sbjackdaw

Nobody said this was supposed to be a low calorie food!

@Randys

Oops, fixing.

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

@itsbecca

I don't think I ever said anything about being guilt free. I said it doesn't make me feel full the way wheat noodles do. It's a physical thing, not mental!

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

@okkim

do you have a source on that? I hadn't seen it (and can't find it now) anywhere before the mid 2000's when Bittman popularized Lahey's technique. I'd love to see it in print elsewhere if it exists!

Sichuan Shirataki Sesame Noodle Salad With Cucumber, Sichuan Peppercorn, Chili Oil, and Peanuts (Vegan)

@kriklaf

Good questions! For this there's no need to separate the seeds unless you also want to add some of the peppercorns to the dish when you're done (I do that sometimes). And tahini will work just as well. Chinese sesame paste is a little darker and more roasty tasting in general but the ingredients are the same: ground sesame seeds.

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

@Lila S.

Those noodle jar recipes call for pre-cooking the noodles! But these would make a great substitute.

@mcwolfe

That's really strange. Once rinsed they literally smell like nothing to me. A bowl of them smells like a bowl of water. Maybe it varies from brand to brand? I use House Foods brand traditional shirataki (not the tofu or other varieties). Do you remember what you tried when you smelled them?

@BostonAdam

Oh god, I'm with you. I can't even begin to read that page with all that business going on.

@yincrash

Really? I guess I never noticed that side effect.

@simon

They aren't great in western recipes. For hot pasta, they don't thicken up or get coated in sauce the same way that wheat-based noodles do. The texture is also jarring when you have it in situations like that where you don't expect it.

@RealMen Julienne

Yes, very similar in texture. A little less stretchy.

How to Make Lemongrass and Coriander-Marinated Grilled Tofu Vietnamese Sandwiches (Vegan Banh Mi)

@towelybono

I haven't set foot in there since I moved to SF. I left NY partly to get AWAY from tiny hipster overpriced grocery stores :)

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

Rinsing takes care of it!

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

@Blindman121

if your broiler just has one setting, then just use it!

Sicilian Eggplant and Pine Nut Caponata

@sdsurfer

Yes, they go in with the other ingredients. I'll fix that!

How to Make Lemongrass and Coriander-Marinated Grilled Tofu Vietnamese Sandwiches (Vegan Banh Mi)

@franko

It's at both the top and bottom of the post!

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

So many folks were asking about broiling or cooking in the oven that I decided to update the post with tips on doing this indoors with a broiler!

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

@AJStewart

I'd preheat the broiler (grill) to low, place the tofu on a rack set in a baking sheet about 8 inches away from the element, then cook it as directed, flipping until it's browned and crisp on the outside.

@PSFam

You're right. I think must've cut one or stuck two together at the last minute.

How to Make Lemongrass and Coriander-Marinated Grilled Tofu Vietnamese Sandwiches (Vegan Banh Mi)

The Serious Eats Guide To Pizza In Naples

A few months ago, my wife and I spent all of 24 hours in Naples on our way home from Sicily. It was probably the second-most pizza-packed 24 hours of my life (the first being when I took my Colombian brother-in-law on a whirlwind pizza tour of New York). We hit over a half dozen pizzerias over lunch alone, and a few more for dinner. Here now, I present to you the Serious Eats guide to Eating Pizza in Naples. More

Video: Serious Eats Cooks Peking Duck At Buddakan

Ever made a traditional Peking duck? Turns out it's a pretty involved process, requiring not only multiple steps but multiple days, cooking apparatuses, and spices. The end result: an incredibly crispy, juicy bird that's seriously delicious. Come along with Serious Eats's own Carey Jones as she learns how to make Peking Duck. Chef Brian Ray of Buddakan gives us the grand tour. More

60+ Holiday Snacks in 20 Minutes Or Less

Uh oh. The buzzer rings. Friends are coming over to spread holiday cheer and you panic. Serve frozen dumplings...again?! You can do better than that. Print out this list of easy-to-assemble, stress-free, mostly-sub-20-minutes-to-prepare munchies and paste it to the fridge. Here are 60+ dips, hors d'oeuvres, small bites, toasty snacks, sweet nibbles, appetizers, and more festive munchies to prepare in a snap. More

30 Cookie Recipes from the 2011 Serious Eats Cookie Swap

The Serious Eats Cookie Swap has become an annual tradition. We break out the Duane Reade tinsel and twinkle lights, and are forced to do a major office detox to make room for cookies. Many, many cookies. (OK, maybe a dozen doughnuts snuck in this year too). It was our third year swapping, and as per tradition, the tables were covered with butter-laden treats. Our NYC-based contributors really pulled out their ninja baking skills. Get all the recipes here. More

Serious Eats' Bacon Banh Mi

Our recipe for Bacon Banh Mi brings our favorite Vietnamese sandwich home, swapping out the usual array of cold cuts and charcuterie for bacon but staying true to the other elements that make this sandwich so balanced and irresistible. More

My All-Pie Thanksgiving Fantasy

When you think about Thanksgiving and you think about various elements of the Thanksgiving meal, it seems like you're just waiting through the big meal to get to the pie. I really believe this, which is why I always fantasized about an all-pie Thanksgiving. (Anyone with me on this?) At an editorial meeting about a month ago, we were at the office talking about Thanksgiving coverage and I shared this fantasy with the team. Knowing how much I adore and obsess over pie, the Serious Eats editors weren't too shocked, so we did the only thing we know how to do: make it happen. More

BraveTart: Make Your Own 3 Musketeers

Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote." More

BraveTart: Make Your Own (Better) Soft Batch Cookies

When you first joined me in my quest to unlock the secrets of culinary time travel, I told you it would take equal parts science and magic to make the foods that could power the flux capacitor of the mind. I said, "leave the DeLorean in the garage, preheat your oven to one point twenty one gigawatts, and rev that Kitchen Aid to eighty eight mph. We're going back to the Eighties." And we did. But while there, what if some careless action altered our timeline? Could we, like Marty McFly, inadvertently create an alternate universe? One where the Keebler Soft Batch Cookie tastes freaking delicious? Friends, this isn't speculation. I have done such a thing. More

Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce

This "Memphis-style" is my favorite to make at home—it takes the aspects of sweet tomato-based sauces I grew up on, but by dialing back the sugar and amping up the vinegar, creates a sauce where seasonings and spice are more defined and achieves a pleasing balance between the main defining aspects of a barbecue sauce. More

Boston: Fried Ipswich Clams at B&G Oysters

These are the only fancy-restaurant fried clams I think are really worth the cash ($14 half/$26 full). That they start with Ipswich bellies makes all the difference; these juicy, sweet, whole-belly behemoths are harvested from the mud flats off Ipswich, where experts claim that the particularly nutrient-rich soil gives the bivalves their superior, almost nutty flavor. More

Boston: Tamarind Bay's Lalla Musa Dal

As food aesthetics go, the murky, rust-brown, pebbly lalla musa dal at Tamarind Bay Coastal Kitchen can't compare to the restaurant's other specialties like the fennel cream-sauced cauliflower dumplings or the spiced lobster tail. But famed Indian chefs like Julie Sahni don't consider this dish "the most exquisite of all dal preparations" for nothing, and speaking in terms of decadence, it outclasses the rest by a long shot. More

Guide to Grilling: Planking

For all that I've grilled (150-plus recipes and counting), there's always plenty of uncharted territory. One of those areas: planking. There aren't usually many planking recipes in cookbooks, save the ubiquitous planked salmon. Put simply, planking is cooking food directly on a piece of hardwood. When cooking this way, the surface of the food touching the wood picks up some of the plank's natural flavors. More

How to Make Bagels at Home

I don't use the word magical lightly, but there really is something wondrous about making bagels at home. Maybe it's the shape. I think most everyone understands a loaf of bread, but the round shape with a hole ... well, it seems like a whole lot more work than simply plopping some dough in a loaf pan. But it's not. Really. Try making just one batch of these, and I'm sure you'll have the process down pat. Put on your sorcerer's robe and follow along! More