5 Sauces that Spank Sriracha

America loves the cock. The big red bottle with the outline of the rooster on it has climbed to bacon-esque levels of zeitgeist, and to be quite frank, I'm over Sriracha. As a heat-hound, I crave spiciness in every meal, and as an educated eater, I also want flavor. In the world of over blown excitement over it, I think that the Oatmeal nailed the Sriracha problem much better than Bon Appetit's 25 ways to use Sriracha. Oatmeal understands that the powerful yet unexciting flavors of Sriracha are best used to cover for poor quality and bad technique, while Bon Appetit encourages readers to use … [Read more...]

Dan Dan Mien: Hand-shaved noodles and a Favorite at Home

Dan dan noodles, or dan dan mien, is one of my favorite dishes in the whole world. In the five years since I first sampled it, I've tried it everywhere I could find it, in my own city, in Flushing Chinatown in New York, in Beijing, as close to the source as I could get, and even in Korea, just for good measure. The first time I ate dan dan mien with hand-shaved noodles at Seattle's Seven Star Pepper, I remember thinking it just might be the best thing ever invented. Thick ropes of uneven noodle dough swam about in a sea of peanut sludge, spiked with islands of pork. Later, I would learn … [Read more...]

Chocolate Chile Pepper Ice Cream Recipe

I don't really like chocolate, and I'm okay with that. Most people I know aren't. They insist that I'm either lying or delusional, or more likely, both--whatever it is, not loving chocolate is considered inherently suspicious. I, on the other hand use it to justify the many things that I do like (butter, lamb meat, large quantities, sometimes all of those, together--and much more). "Hmm, a fourth serving of sticky rice seems a little bit piggy, but hey, everyone ELSE had chocolate," I say to myself. As is the case with every rule (or mild declaration, in this case), there is an exception. … [Read more...]

Creamy Habanero Soup: Not as Spicy as you Think

We have peppers coming out our ears here. Seriously, I got home from Southeast Asia (yes, I still owe you some posts on that. They are in the works) and went on a pepper buying spree. Including four beautiful mushroom habanero peppers from the farmer's market. So what could I do with 4 habanero peppers that wouldn't spice us out of house and home. Then my inner-scientist got to work. She's not around often, but she was doing well yesterday. Capsicum, what makes peppers spicy, is soluble in milk, so if I made a soup with the peppers, I could get all habanero flavor and not too much … [Read more...]