Archive for the ‘how-to’ Category


how to get crispy tofu

June 13, 2014

the minimalist baker says you should drain your tofu 1.5 hours before the meal is ready.

then, roll it in a kitchen towel and press it with something heavy, like a pot, for 15 minutes.

then, cube and pre-bake for 25 mins at 400 degrees to dry it out a little more.

then, stir-fry as usual.


lacto-fermented… musical instrument?

November 29, 2013

This is too amazing not to share.

A microbial instrument, made with the off-gassing from fermented foods like kim chi. It’s haunting!

Fermentophone from Joshua Pablo Rosenstock.


lazy leftover fried rice with broccoli

September 8, 2013

Tempted to call for take-out because you don’t have any food in the house? Here’s some Americanized Chinese food for a lazy day!


Steam broccoli.

In a (separate) frying pan, heat canola oil. fry raw unseasoned meat or meat substitute or mushrooms in it (optional, of course) and set aside.

In same frying pan (no need to rinse it,) fry onions on medium-high, stirring frequently. When translucent, add fresh minced ginger or garlic. When aromatic, add leftover rice. Cook a few minutes.

Re-add the meat or mushrooms, and, if you like, a handful of frozen peas. Remember to stir frequently.

In a bowl, whisk together a fair amount of either tamari, soy sauce, or hoisin if you like it super-sweet. Add peanut or sesame oil, sesame seeds, a little rice wine vinegar, little Sriracha (to taste,) cooking sherry, two drops of fish sauce, and a little miso.

When the broccoli is done steaming, cut it into pieces and throw it into the pan. Crack a few eggs over it and stir immediately. Cook a few minutes.

Pour the liquid evenly over the food while stirring. Cook a few minutes. Eat.

This tastes exactly like Americanized Chinese take-out fried rice. It’s easy to customize – eggplant fried rice, steak fried rice, fish fried rice, whatever you have in the house! A great dinner for those times there’s nothing in the house and you’re tempted to spend money on takeout. This costs almost nothing to make and has big flavor. You can’t go wrong with it – snap peas, carrots, leftover baked potatoes – you can stick any food into fried rice.



“How come my fried rice doesn’t taste like take-out?”
You won’t like my answer. Restaurants use WAY more oil and sugar than most home cooks would ever dream of.

“Why is it mushy or sticking together?”
Don’t use fresh rice! If you cooked the rice the same day you tried to fry it, that’s your problem. It needs to lose moisture. Make rice, stick it in your fridge, and fry it tomorrow or the next day.
If your rice is leftover, you’re not using enough heat! Kick it up to medium-high, or higher if you have someone to stir it constantly for you while you dump in ingredients. Don’t add anything to the pan until it’s super hot!

“What if I’m totally broke?”
Just go for soy sauce with ginger. Rice wine vinegar is cheap and a great investment, but if limes are cheaper in your area, go for those instead.


perfect poached eggs

April 21, 2013

really into poached eggs lately. looked up how to get the whites to stay together. seems easy enough, and i hate wasting all those bits of egg white!


Heat the water: Add enough water to come 1 inch up the side of a narrow, deep 2-quart saucier. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Meanwhile, crack 1 very fresh cold large egg into a cup. Use the handle of a spatula or spoon to quickly stir the water in one direction until it’s all smoothly spinning around.

TIP: Use this whirlpool method when poaching a single serving (one or two eggs). For bigger batches, heat the water, salt and vinegar in a 12-inch nonstick skillet and do not stir.

Add the egg: Carefully drop the egg into the center of the whirlpool. The swirling water will help prevent the white from “feathering,” or spreading out in the pan.

Let it poach: Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set your timer for 5 minutes. Don’t peek, poke, stir or accost the egg in any way.


from tv


perfectly roasted brussels sprouts

November 7, 2012

this comes out perfectly every time.


slice in half. save the single leaves that fall off when you do this.

coat in a a generous amount of oil and add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime (or zest if you don’t have fresh – make it yourself next time you get limes or lemons!).

(optional) throw in cloves of garlic and onion chunks, or whatever you like roasted.

season well. seasoned salt, garlic salt, lemon salt, or whatever seasonings you can come up – it’s literally all good. you can’t go wrong here.

400F, by our oven and at our altitude, is perfect. oven temperatures vary. play with yours and see what works.

add the single leaves when the brussels sprouts are soft but not yet browned, and roast for an extra few minutes until the leaves become crunchy brussels sprouts chips and the sprouts themselves become brown, sticky-sweet, and caramelized.



they’re always crunchy in the middle and burnt outside!
turn down the temperature!

they’re soft and pale and mushy, but not caramelized and brown on the outside!
turn up the temperature!

they always stick to the baking sheet!
use more oil!

they have that “cruciferous” fart taste!
add an acid, like lime or lemon juice, or a little splash of cooking wine or apple cider vinegar!

my picky friends don’t eat vegetables!
get new friends! just kidding. bake as normal. five minutes before they’re done, add a maple syrup glaze (don’t get too much on the baking sheet itself, or it’ll burn).

i’m bored of regular roasted brussels sprouts
how about adding a seasoning to them that you’re not used to? make jerk brussels sprouts with jerk seasoning. or add mixed dried herbs. or bacon grease if you eat meat. or add chunks of other veggies, like carrots, sweet potatoes, or beets? or cook them au gratin with a parmesan and breadcrumbs crunchy top? or kick them into leftovers or the next meal you eat? they are wonderful in other recipes, like chili and cabbage kofta.


how to fry an egg

October 7, 2012


according to this very compelling photoseries, a very gross-sounding cooking method – immersion frying an egg – is the best method.

i’m disgusted and intrigued like the original poster, and i’ll definitely try it.


brown sugar casted chocolates

August 19, 2012

great idea from rise and shine – just press anything into brown sugar to make an impression instead of buying molds to cast chocolates! i’m thinking doll parts. it seems like it’d be satisfying to eat a tiny chocolate hand.

someone commented on the entry saying, “classically confectioners used cornstarch for this, finer texture”

and, unlike plastic molds that get thrown away later, brown sugar can be reused!