Miso Sriracha

I’m not even going to pretend this post is about the soup. It’s not. It’s really about the special mixture of miso and sriracha.

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Somewhere along the line I became too busy to take photos of my kitchen experiments. Then I became too busy to experiment. I debated about whether I should even continue to update this blog seeing that it is so infrequent. BUT, but, this sauce is so addicting that I just had to share. Ever since I made it, I’ve been using every excuse I can to eat this stuff. In a salad dressing? Yep. Atop yogurt? Yep. By the spoonful… eeeeh, yeah? Yeah.

This recipe was inspired by a $10 tiny bottle of sriracha that I found in Brooklyn. Yeeeah, insert hipster joke here. But it was gochujang sriracha and yeeeeah, I bought it. It’s odd, too, because I frankly don’t really enjoy sriracha that much. But I bought the $10 bottle, enjoyed the hell out of it, then tried to recreate something similar – and much cheaper – on my own. And that really got the wheels turning. What else can make sriracha taste that much better? You know the door of my fridge is filled with all kinds of weird pastes and sauces, but this miso mixture turned out to be the winner.

I made this with granulated garlic thinking that I would be using it for months, but now that I realize I can consume nearly an entire bottle of sriracha in a week when it is mixed with miso, I’m going to make it with roasted garlic next time seeing as I don’t need to worry about shelf life.

Oh, and the soup – trust me, it’s good, too. It’s simple – deeply roasted cauliflower, chicken stock, garlic, white beans, ras el hanout, a touch of yogurt. It got better after two days, and then it got even better when I topped it with miso sriracha.

K – in other news – did you know we bought an apartment! Sort of. I mean, we haven’t closed yet. But we’re thiiiiiis close to having bought an apartment in the Bed Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn. It’s pretty cool.

And we went to Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Russia in the dead of winter because we’re really smart people who like to punish ourselves. Check out the pics on flickr or facebook or instagram. It was fun. And it was really, really brutally cold. So we just drank a lot of beer and Russian bread wine in between 20-minute excursions outdoors to see some of the sites.

Miso Sriracha

2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sriracha

In a jar or other vessel, combine the miso paste, granulated garlic, and vinegar. Whisk together until combined. Then add the sriracha and stir to combine. You can eat it right away, but the flavor really develops over a day or so when the flavors really combine. Eat it on everything.

 

Cold Vietnamese Noodle Salad

A post, finally. We have been home a single weekend in the past six weeks, and on that single weekend, we had guests in town. Needless to say, it’s been tiring. But now we’re home (home!), not working, and chilling. Cooking. Cleaning. Seeing friends. Enjoying.

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We’ve been traveling nearly every weekend for weddings and for fun. Wisconsin, Chicago, the Hamptons, DC – we’ve made appearances in a lot of our old favorite joints and some new ones as well. But all the time away has taken its toll – our cats are starved for attention and our fridge could use some restocking. So this weekend included plenty of cuddle time and cooking.

I’ve been making something similar to this salad even on busy week nights. It’s easy, it’s cold, and it’s light – perfect for summer. A variety of vegetables would be great in it. Tofu as well. The hardest part is making noodles out of cucumber and zucchini, but you could slice them any way you want, really. What makes it Vietnamese is the dressing – a version of Nước chấm, a slightly sweet, salty, and sour sauce common in Vietnam. The shirataki noodles – they’ve been a favorite as of late, largely because they require virtually no work. Open, rinse, done. No cooking. No heating.

Cold Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Cold Vietnamese Noodle Salad

1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 medium zucchini, julienned, spiralized, or otherwise cut into thin noodles
1 english cucumber, julienned, spiralized, or otherwise cut into thin noodles

2 medium carrots, julienned, spiralized, or otherwise cut into thin noodles
1 package angel hair shirataki noodles
1 small head boston lettuce, roughly chopped
6 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced

Start by preparing the dressing. Mince the garlic, ginger, and serrano and put them in a mason jar or small bowl. In a pot, heat the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar and stir until combined. Pour the liquid over the minced garlic, ginger, and serrano. Let sit in the fridge until ready to use.

Next prepare all the vegetables. A julienne peeler is very useful in this case. There are some cheap ones on Amazon, but I’ve found it worth the investment to go with a slightly higher quality one. Salt the veggie noodles and let them drain for 5 minutes or so. Rinse the shirataki noodles very well under cold water, then combine with the veggie noodles. Rinse the whole batch one more time under cold water.

Toss everything together with the dressing and serve cold.

Chilled Kimchi Soup with Ramps and Quail Egg

The summer is beginning to ramp up, which means we are fully booked from now until mid-July. Weddings, bachelorette parties, friends visiting, family visiting, conferences – our weekends are busy. Beyond that, we are trying really hard to not plan anything for the rest of the summer. It’s tough. I already have light suggestions in my calendar for what we might want to do, but for our first summer in New York, I want to maintain some semblance of flexibility to explore the city in which we live.

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Eric and I have started building up a bit of a routine to our explorations as well. Saturdays usually include a one-way long run – 8-10 miles to a destination that most often includes food and beer. With the weather having been so lovely lately, these one-way runs often turn into all-day patio-hopping endeavors. It’s fun. Sundays we switch it up with a bike ride to some of the farther-flung places: breweries, parks, other boroughs. We’ve found some good biking routes around the city and we certainly get our hill work in with the number of bridges we must cross on our rides.

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So this soup – it’s tasty. Spicy. Perfect for a hot day. You can use a chicken egg instead of a quail egg, though quail eggs are cuter. And you can skip the ramps if they’re no longer in season. Or add other greens if you want to amp up the health factor. Compared to most hot soups, you don’t want a fatty broth here – the fat will congeal when you chill the broth, making it rather unappetizing – so if you’re making your own, remember to skim the fat before you use it. The tofu fries add a nice crunch and texture and frankly just taste good. Slurp these up before a big bike-riding, patio-hopping, beer-drinking day.

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Chilled Kimchi Soup with Ramps and Quail Egg

1 tablespoon neutral-flavored oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, grated, or crushed in a mortar and pestle
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cups chicken stock
1 heaping teaspoon gochujang
1/2 cup kimchi
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 bunch ramps, roughly chopped
2 cups ice water

2 servings fresh Chinese or Korean noodles
4 oz extra firm tofu, cut into strips
2 tablespoons neutral-flavored oil

green onion, shredded, to garnish
quail eggs, one per serving, to garnish
red chile, thinly sliced

To make the broth, start by sautéing the garlic and ginger in oil over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, until very fragrant. Add the chicken stock and gochujang and allow to come to a boil, whisking to incorporate the gochujang. Turn off heat and add the kimchi with plenty of its juices and rice vinegar. Make sure the ice water is ready, then add the ramps, stir so they are all submerged, then immediately add the ice water. Taste for seasoning – add salt if necessary. Put the pot in the refrigerator or the freezer if you want it to chill faster.

Make your noodles according to package directions until al dente. In a frying pan, fry to tofu strips in oil over medium-high heat until crispy on the outside. You might need to do this in batches.

For soft boiled quail eggs, bring a pot of water to boil, drop the eggs in and set the timer for two minutes. After two minutes, remove from hot water and submerge them in ice water.

To assemble, layer the the noodles, tofu, green onions, quail eggs (peeled and cut in half), and red chile in a deep bowl. Pour the chilled broth with kimchi and ramps over the top. Slurp to enjoy.

The Transition Salad: Squash, Lettuce, + Warm Chorizo Vinaigrette

If you still have some winter squash hanging around the house but like me are starting to crave a nice, light summer salad, then, friends, eat a transition salad! Here’s the key: warm vinaigrette. On soft, tender lettuce. Yes. I’m serious.

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Here it is, guys. I’m short on words tonight.

The Transition Salad: Squash, Lettuce, + Warm Chorizo Vinaigrette

1 whole red kuri squash (or others, they’ll all work), roasted and sliced
1 Chinese eggplant, sliced and roasted
1 bunch red leaf, green leaf, or boston lettuce, washed and torn
8 oz Mexican chorizo
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

cilantro, to garnish
sliced green onion, to garnish

Roast the squash and Chinese eggplant in the oven. Heat oven to 400, cut the squash in half and slice the eggplant into 1/4-inch coins. Brush both the squash and eggplant with olive oil. They’ll cook at different speeds, so just keep an eye on them. You’ll want to flip the eggplant after about 10 minutes.

Get the lettuce ready in what serving bowls you’re using. Top with the squash slices, eggplant slices, cilantro, and green onion. Then start the dressing. In a pan, begin to sear the chorizo, breaking it up as it cooks. As the oil starts to sizzle, add the garlic and jalapeño. When the chorizo is fully cooked, add the vinegar. Let warm through, then immediately pour over the salads. Eat immediately.

Swiss Chard Salad with Sprouted Lentils and Egg Yolk Vinaigrette

This salad post has been a long time in the making. My first iteration of this salad was nearly two summers ago when I first started sprouting lentils. Now, two years later and with a bit of development, I give you one of my favorite summer (winter?) salads.

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For some reason, I took a break from sprouting for a while. I just was not in the mood. Perhaps that mood was replaced with fermentation for a while – I just made an insane batch of berbere sauerkraut that I barely shared with Eric, not to mention all the beer we’ve been churning out of this kitchen. But I recently saw a recipe for very simply cooked lentils with vinegar and was re-inspired to throw some wet lentils in a jar. And really, that’s all there is to sprouting lentils. Rinse them. Put them in a jar with a piece of cheese cloth secured on top, and let them sit. Rinse them every day and keep them moist. After a day, you should see a tiny sprout starting to emerge from the lentils, and after two or three days they should be in really good shape.

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Once you see the sprouting action happen, you can eat them right then and there, raw and all. You can cook them, also, if you desire. Once they’re sprouted to the point that you like, rinse them a final time and dry them completely. They’ll keep in a jar in the fridge for at least a week.

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I have also been putting fish sauce in a lot of my salad dressings lately. I have learned to not be afraid to use it even when my flavors aren’t veering toward the Asian continent. It really adds a nice depth that compliments so many flavors. It works nicely with the boiled egg yolks in this recipe to add a savoriness and richness to an otherwise simple salad.

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Swiss Chard Salad with Sprouted Lentils and Egg Yolk Vinaigrette

1 bunch swiss chard, green, red, rainbow, whatever
1/4 cup sprouted lentils
2 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 avocado (or a whole one!), thinly sliced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil – one for the dressing, one for the breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons red wine or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
salt and pepper

Remove the stems of the chard and finely slice it by rolling up the leaves and shredding it with a knife. Set aside in a bowl.

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Bring a pot of water to boil. Once boiling, carefully place the eggs in the water and set a timer for 11 minutes. When done, run the eggs under cold water. You may need to adjust the time based on your altitude, but I find 11 minutes to be a perfect hard boil in NY.

In a pan, add one tablespoon of olive oil and the breadcrumbs. Toast over high heat until the crumbs are browned and golden. Remove from heat and set aside.

To make the dressing, remove the yolks from the eggs and mash them in a small bowl. Roughly chop the egg whites and set aside. Add one tablespoon of olive oil along with the vinegar and fish sauce to the egg yolks. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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To assemble the salad, toss together the chard, lentils, avocado, egg whites, and bread crumbs. Drizzle on the dressing and serve immediately.

Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

There is nothing like a little trip to get me inspired back in the kitchen. Eric and I managed to overlap work trips – Eric to Kenya for an Engineers Without Borders project and my own trip to Burundi. At the end, we snuck in two days in Copenhagen to relax, eat, and explore.

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We walked about 15 miles each day and ate so well – everything from smorrebrød to piles and piles of lumpfish roe. The Danes place an emphasis on quality and freshness, which is apparent everywhere you go. One of my favorite meals was lunch at GRØD, a tiny little spot devoted to porridge. My barley-otto with celery root and lovage was delightful so of course I had to buy the book.

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This recipe, though, is not from the book. It is the result of a welcome-home shopping trip to Mr. Piña that included super-on-sale strawberries and a bag of teff grains. Inspired by GRØD, this breakfast porridge hits all the right notes – wholesome and grainy, subtle hints of sweetness and acid, and a crisp textural crunch. Perfect for a weekend or those days you wake up at 5am from jet lag.

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Teff Porridge with Roasted Strawberries and Citrus

*You can use any citrus here, really. I had all kinds of yummy stuff on hand – pink lemon, blood orange, minneola tengelo, and cara cara orange. The same goes for nuts – I toasted a combination of pine nuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds.

1/2 cup teff grains
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chia seeds
1.5 cups water
1.5 cups milk of your choice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt

2 pounds strawberries, trimmed and sliced
slices of whatever citrus you like
toasted nuts and seeds
toasted coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange the strawberries on a baking pan. Cut the ends off the citrus fruits and squeeze the juices over the strawberries. Arrange very thin slices of citrus over the top. Bake for an hour.

In a pot, mix the teff, oats, and chia seeds with the milk and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Cook for 5-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency that you want. I like it a bit runny still. Towards the end, add the maple syrup and salt and stir to combine.

In a dry pan, toast the nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. They will all toast at different rates so best to do each type individually.

Top the porridge with the strawberries, nuts/seeds, and coconut flakes. You can cut the rinds of the citrus slices and add those as well.

Buffalo Cauliflower

Our new pet, Roomba, is noisily but dutifully roaming the house right now. Talk about a quality-of-life improvement. I am constantly in awe of how much cat hair this little robot picks up, even after we’ve cleaned. If robots end up taking over the world, I’ll be ok with it as long as its Roomba.

Sadly, our other pets – the ones producing said cat hair – have not taken to Roomba. It’s not exactly an antagonistic relationship, but it’s not the riding-on-Roomba one I was hoping for. Alf will not be playing DJ Roomba anytime soon, unfortunately.

In other random musings… how did I not know that Ace of Base released more than a single – mind-blowing, but single (or so I thought) – album? I think we all remember our very first compact disc, and mine, my friends, was Ace of Base, The Sign. With the recent release of The Sign – Remastered, I was looking through the entire (huge!) Ace of Base collection on Rdio. Wow. It all sucks besides The Sign, by the way, but I still dig that album.

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Ok, food now, yes? As many of you probably know – mostly because Eric loves talking about it – I gave up vegetarianism a few years ago in a weak, influenced-by-alcohol moment after twelve years of strict non-meat eating. Eric loves this story because his beloved Jim’s chicken finger sub broke me. So it’s pretty clear by now that the sweet sweet vinegary hot flavors of Frank’s Red Hot and blue cheese have some sort of ungodly force over me. But Frank’s Red Hot combined with shit tons of roasted garlic? It’s crack, I tell you. Crack.

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And that’s how we eat our veggies around here, folks. Crack-laced veggies.

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Buffalo Cauliflower

inspired by Lottie + Doof

1 whole cauliflower
1 whole head of garlic, roasted
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot
2-3 tablespoons blue cheese, crumbled
2-3 tablespoons peanuts, roasted and chopped

Preheat the oven to 400. Trim the cauliflower of any leaves and cut in half. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and coat it with oil. You can throw the head of garlic on the same baking pan. Roast the garlic until it is soft inside the papery skins (approximately 20 minutes, depending on the size of the cloves). When the garlic is soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Continue to roast the cauliflower until crispy brown on the outside, approximately 40 minutes.

Once cooled, remove the soft garlic cloves from the skins and mash into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking. Add the Frank’s Red Hot and combine until smooth.

To serve, crumble the blue cheese over the roasted cauliflower. Smother with the Frank’s sauce and top with peanuts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Gochujang Tahini

Happy New Year! Eric and I rang in 2015 playing a dreidel drinking game (which I – the only non-Jew in the room – won) and dancing to the Phil Collins Pandora station at our new-to-me, old-to-Eric friend’s apartment. And maybe it was Phil Collins, or perhaps it was the coffee I drank after dinner, but I managed to stay awake until 3am – a real feat for me considering my propensity for falling asleep at 9pm.

Brussels-Gochujang-Tahini

On New Year’s Day, I felt some of the first pangs of missing Chicago. Tired, slightly hungover, and craving some comfort food, Eric and I set off on a search for good, authentic Mexican. Having lived for years around the corner from at least five taquerias in Chicago, we were used to rolling out of bed and being mere minutes away from Eric’s beloved carne asada tacos at Guanajuato Carniceria. And perhaps we haven’t found our spot yet, but sadly, the bland carnitas topped with cheese – yes, cheese – just didn’t do it for us. After that, we made our way to Xi’an Famous Foods for something that actually is done really well – Chinese food.

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Anyway, on the healthier, new-year’s-resolution appropriate end, here is a nice little roasted veg dish that is pretty filling and flavor-packed. My brussels sprouts went perhaps a little over – I’m still getting used to the erratic temperatures in my new oven – but the crispy, burnt ends were actually kind of good with this spicy tahini, which is the real star of the show here. This sauce would be good over so many vegetables and noodles, so don’t feel brussels sprouts are the only way to go here. Make a big batch and use it all week.

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Gochujang Tahini

2 cups or so of brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small daikon, peeled
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup tahini
1 heaping teaspoon Gochujang
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 leaves fresh basil

Preheat oven to 400. In a bowl, combine the brussels sprouts with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a bit of salt. Spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast until crispy, approximately 15 minutes or so.

Thinly slice the daikon and place in a bowl with the white vinegar. Fill with water until all the daikon is submerge. Place in fridge.

In a bowl, combine the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tahini, Gochujang, and rice vinegar. Stir well and set aside.

In a pan, dry roast the pine nuts over low heat. In a mortar and pestle, smash the basil and olive oil together with a pinch of salt, then add to the dry-roasting pine nuts. Stir for another minute until fragrant and just warmed through.

To serve, smother the brussels sprouts in the Gochujang-tahini and top with pickled daikon and basil sunflower seeds.

 

Spiced Soy Dressing with Green Veg

Must. Stop. Cooking. Chinese. Food. This is what I’ve been telling myself lately. It is true, my cooking patterns follow my travel patterns, and I’ll often cook a few meals inspired by recent travels. But it has been four months since I visited China and still all I want to eat is Chinese food. Specifically, Sichuan-inspired Chinese food. Eric is sick of the mouth-numbing meals I present to him, often opting to forage for nuts in the freezer rather than having a second helping of whatever spicy, salty thing I put forth.

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So this will be my last one. It’s a somewhat healthy dish, too. I used broccoli, snow peas, and baby bok choy, but the real recipe here is for the dressing. It can go on veg – any veg – or even over noodles. It’d be great served over a soft tofu. I even braised a brisket in a similar liquid (with the addition of chicken broth, subtraction of chile oil) for our “Jewish Christmas” celebration. Not that I’m Jewish, and Eric is only sort of culturally Jewish, but we went with it.

By the way, how cute and funny are these chopsticks? I bought them in the airport in Nairobi because they were, well, too funny to pass up. They’re actually quite hard to eat with because one chopstick is bowed out in a weird shape, but I still use them to cook with and for funny photos.

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Everyone has been asking how we like New York, so I’ll address that here for everyone else…

We love it!

We sort of just picked up our Chicago life and transported it to New York. We have been doing run-to-brunch and exploring new neighborhoods, museums, shops. The Chinese grocer is a bit more convenient here than it was in Chicago, but I still end up buying way too many heavy items and then carry the burden home on the train. The six flights of stairs to our apartment actually aren’t so bad, though we definitely try not to forget things like wallets or umbrellas on our way out the door. We can’t wait to start biking more once we know our way around better and the weather gets warmer. And we even took a weekend trip to the Hudson Valley over Christmas to hike and relax outside the city.

One thing has been on my mind, though: where are all the breweries and tap rooms?? I would have thought that Brooklyn – so loaded with empty warehouses and whatnot – would be so into the brewing scene, but I must say, it is sorely lacking. I miss places like Revolution Tap Room or Half Acre – sunny, open spaces for all my suds-ing needs. I mean, can I fill my growler around here? What is up, hipsters?

**sidebar: yes, I am aware of the few breweries that do exist in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and beyond. It’s just that between all the beer we drank in Chicago and all the various little cities we’ve visited over the past two years, I would have thought the beer scene here would have been more, um, blown up.**

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Spiced Soy Dressing with Green Veg

1 cup light soy sauce
1 cup water
1/4 cup xiaoshing wine
1/4 cup chinese black vinegar
1 tablespoon red sichuan peppercorns
1 tablespoon green sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
3 whole cloves
4 dried chiles (I used Tianjin chiles found at the Chinese grocer), ripped up

1/2 cup chile oil

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons oil
black sesame seeds for garnish

To serve: blanched broccoli, snow peas, bok choy, noodles, etc.

Combine soy sauce, water, xiaoshing wine, vinegar, and all the spices, including the chiles, in a sauce pan. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Strain out the spices and taste – depending on your soy sauce, it could be too salty. If it tastes good as is, combine 1 cup of the spiced soy sauce in a mason jar with the chile oil. Cover and shake to combine. If it is too salty, add a bit of water until you find the taste you desire. Then mix with chile oil.

Fry the garlic in the oil over medium-high heat until they are crispy. Watch closely as they will burn quickly. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and dry them on a towel or paper towel.

Serve over veggies or noodles. Top with garlic chips and black sesame seeds.

Sichuan Chile Peanuts + Green Bean Salad

Well, it’s official, Eric and I are now card-carrying New York City residents! Library-card carrying, that is. Last weekend we walked into a Brooklyn public library and walked out with actual evidence that we, in fact, live here, as well as a few shiny loaner books for good measure. To solidify things, we walked on to the Greenpoint Green Market, bought the biggest bunch of kale I have ever seen, and spent the rest of the weekend drinking beer. At the end of it, we concluded that we are living the exact same life we lived in Chicago, just in Brooklyn. I’m beginning to realize that no matter where in the world you place us, we’ll always be the long-run-on-the-weekend, drink-good-beer, buy-lots-of-kale kind of couple.

Sichuan Chile Peanuts

As for these peanuts, well, I’ve been meaning to experiment with them after eating boat loads of Huang Fei Hong in China. What an addicting little snack – I just had to recreate it at home. And, to boot, I happened to have a giant jar of Sichuan chili oil, making this project so not a pain in the ass. 

Oh, and see that new background in the photos…. yep, that’s my new kitchen counter! My kitchen is considerably smaller than our place in Chicago – my baking pans and pizza stone don’t even fit in the oven – but it is also nicer and better laid out. Get used to a new marble backdrop to my photos!

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And then, feeling frisky, I took it a step further and made this green bean and edamame salad with a Sichuan-inspired dressing and those tasty little peanuts for texture. So there, now you have three reasons to make some Sichuan chile oil! I promise, it’s worth it.

Sichuan Beans + Edamame

Sichuan Chile Peanuts + Green Bean Salad

Some of the Chinese ingredients here may seem obscure, but do try to seek them out. Green Sichuan peppercorns, in my opinion, are not replaceable with the red. They have a more citrusy and pleasant flavor than the red and make the peanuts particularly addictive. See my post linked below for the chile oil on sourcing them. The Shaoxing wine has become a staple in my kitchen. It has such a lovely, unctuous flavor that adds that hint of complexity to the dressing.

Frozen green peas would work well here instead of edamame, also.

Oh, and the peanuts are a delicious snack on their own and go surprisingly well with both beer and red wine.

for the peanuts:

1 cup raw peanuts
2 tablespoons green Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon red Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon Sichuan Chili Oil (see this recipe)
3-4 dried red chile peppers, such as ancho, finely chopped

for the green bean salad:

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
5 ounces shelled frozen edamame
2 tablespoons Sichuai chile peanuts

1 tablespoon Sichuan chili oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, smashed to a paste in a mortar and pestle
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, optional

To make the peanuts, heat the oven to 250 and coat the peanuts in the Sichuan pepper oil. Spread them evenly in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for ten minutes. After ten minutes, pull them out and stir them around, then add the peppercorns. Mix and bake for another five minutes. Check them at this point – they should be browning and well roasted. Be careful, as they begin to burn very quickly. For me, they were perfect, but yours may take a couple more (or less!) minutes. When done roasting, add the chopped dried chile and mix well. Set aside.

For the salad, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the green beans for 1 minute. Drain and shock them in cold water. Cook the edamame according to package directions. In a small jar or bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and shake or stir vigorously. Toss the edamame and green beans with the dressing. Top with peanuts.

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