Tag: Ingredient

4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Udon Recipe · i am a food blog i am a food blog

If you’re looking for a fast and easy way to satisfy your noodle craving, this four ingredient cacio e pepe udon recipe is here for you. Your typical cacio e pepe takes at least 10 minutes to cook the pasta. But if you love T H I C C noodles, udon is for you. And, bonus, they cook up in a flash. If you use those frozen/fresh udon bricks you find at the Asian grocery store, they’re essentially ready to eat in about 2 minutes. Toss with some butter, pepper, and cheese, and you’re in satisfaction city.

4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Udon Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Udon Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

4 Ingredient Cacio e Pepe Udon Recipe
serves 1


  • 1 brick frozen/fresh udon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan
  • plenty of cracked black pepper

Bring a pot of water up to a boil. Cook the udon according to the instructions.

While that’s cooking, heat up the butter along with the pepper in a pan.

When the udon is done, drain and add to the pan with the butter and toss. Remove from the heat and add the cheese, tossing, until cheese is melted. Loosen with a bit of udon cooking water if needed.

Enjoy immediately!

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7 Ingredient Chicken Adobo Recipe · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Chicken and rice is one of those dishes I absolutely love eating. There’s something so comforting about the combination. Growing up, it was always on the menu: fast, easy, and a no brainer for my mom to make for a weeknight dinner. It was the one thing that I would consistently eat as a child and even now, it’s completely nostalgic for me: true comfort food. It seems like the world agrees with me – every culture has its own version, each one comforting in its own way.

It was always the best day of the week when my mom would come home from the Chinese butcher with a Styrofoam box of glistening soy sauce chicken. We would make rice in our trusty rice cooker and the taste of the chicken-y soy sauce on fluffy white rice was to me, one of the best flavors of childhood. My other favorite was when my mom would make Hainanese chicken: a simple dish of chicken poached in a flavorful broth seasoned with ginger and garlic. The chicken was unbelievably tender and a perfect match to the extra chicken-y rice that was made by toasting rice in chicken fat before cooking it in chicken broth. So good.

Now, when I’m looking for something new and comforting, I look towards chicken rice – I’m forever searching for new iterations. I love the Japanese version, oyakodon: chicken stewed in savory dashi with creamy eggs over a bowl of white rice, creamy chicken casserole, arroz con pollo, and of course Filipino chicken adobo.

Adobo is the unofficial national dish of the Philippines. It’s garlicky, vinegary, saucy, and addictive. It’s a little confusing because when you think adobo, you might think of Mexican or Spanish food. In fact, the word adobo actually means sauce or marinade in Spanish, and in this case, it’s a sauce made of soy and vinegar.

All you need is chicken (preferably skin on bone in chicken thighs), vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves. Because it’s such a popular dish, these five ingredients change from person to person. Sometimes people add in a bit of sugar or even coconut milk. Everyone has their own way of making chicken adobo. Here, we kept it simple, with just seven ingredients.

I think it’s the simplicity that makes it taste so good. The fact that so few ingredients can combine together and make it more complex than the sum of its parts is amazing. What are you waiting for, make this tonight and absolutely serve it up with lots of fluffy white rice to soak up all that delicious sauce!

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Chicken Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

7 Ingredient Chicken Adobo Recipe
serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 8 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves

Marinate the chicken in the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, pepper, garlic, and bay leaves for one hour minimum.

In a dutch oven, heat up the oil over medium high heat. Brown the chicken skin side down, in batches if needed, then add the marinade.  Top with enough water to almost cover. 

Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer, and cook uncovered for about an hour. The sauce will be brothy and thin. If desired, remove the chicken and simmer the sauce to thicken.

Enjoy with fluffy white rice.

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Small Batch 2 Ingredient Palmiers Recipe i am a food blog

Filling in for Steph as she recovers from self-induced smartphone elbow and probably carpal tunnel syndrome.

I love palmiers. As someone who doesn’t really go in for most things in a bakery, a good palmier is a lifesaver for me when I get roped into a “cute cafe” date (click that link, it’s from 7!! years ago). Steph really loves whiling away lazy afternoons in cute trendy cafes, but for me, they hold almost zero appeal: no beer, no fries, no chicken wings, and hard-to-find seating, usually. Give me a brewpub any day.

Once in a while a new trendy bakery/cafe opens up and I’ll take Steph, and inevitably nothing on the menu appeals, but if they make croissants in house, they almost always have palmiers as well. For me, nothing is a better sign of a good bakery than their palmiers: sweet, crispy, flaky, and much much cheaper than a $4 croissant or a $5 pain au chocolat, but still an addictive excuse to consume a stick of butter.

I’m not even picky about them. A entire box of supermarket palmiers and a glass of whisky as dinner and I’m in heaven. This recipe is for those late-at-night times when you can’t be bothered to go to the grocery store (or it’s closed), but, if you’re like us, you have a roll or two of puff pastry in the freezer. I could lie and say I made these for Steph but in reality, she demanded that she was still useful and insisted on making these for me tonight, so this is her recipe. My only contribution is writing this post plus a pro tip: buy the all-butter puff pastry, it makes a huge difference.

Making these made her arm worse, she should have continued resting it. Send Steph good thoughts!

Super Easy 2 Ingredient Small Batch Caramelized Palmier Pinwheels | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super Easy 2 Ingredient Small Batch Caramelized Palmier Pinwheels | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super Easy 2 Ingredient Small Batch Caramelized Palmier Pinwheels | www.iamafoodblog.com

Small Batch 2 Ingredient Palmiers Recipe
makes 10 pinwheel palmiers


  • 1 sheet store bought puff pastry, thawed
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the puff pastry into 3 equal pieces.

Dust your work area with an even layer of sugar. Lay out 1 piece puff pastry and sprinkle on more sugar. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the sugar into the pastry. Repeat with remaining sheets of puff pastry. Roll up like you’d roll a carpet when you’re moving. When you run out of pastry, squish another on one on just like rolling up an extra rug. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and freeze until firm about 10 minutes.

Sliced the roll into 10 even slices and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through. Let cool and enjoy.

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3 Ingredient Small Batch Lucky Charms Treats · i am a food blog i am a food blog

I love Rice Krispie treats. I love Lucky Charms. Of course I love Lucky Charms treats! These guys are dangerously easy to make, so I’ve made a perfectly sized small batch recipe for those times when the craving hits but I don’t want to be eating an entire pan of treats.

These small batch lucky charms treats were whipped up the other morning, in just about the same amount of time that it would have taken me to make a regular bowl of cereal. Seriously dangerous. But, also, kind of genius because it meant that my breakfast was handheld and ready to take on the go. I know, I know, Lucky Charms are really more of a dessert cereal than a real breakfast, but you know, sometimes you just do what you’ve got to do.

This recipe is perfect for an especially easy St. Patrick’s Day treat, so I hope you give them a go!

3 Ingredient Small Batch Lucky Charms Treats | www.iamafoodblog.com

3 Ingredient Small Batch Lucky Charms Treats | www.iamafoodblog.com

3 Ingredient Small Batch Lucky Charms Treats | www.iamafoodblog.com

3 Ingredient Small Batch Lucky Charms Treats
makes a 5 inch treat, or 4 small squares


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/3 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 cups Lucky Charms

Stir the butter and marshmallows in a non-stick pot over low heat. When melted and smooth, stir in the Lucky Charms, all at one, until they are all coated. Press into a small pan and let cool completely before slicing and enjoying.

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Weeknight 6 Ingredient Pork Chop Adobo · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Adobo is the Philippines’ national dish, and it’s not hard to see why: it’s tangy, savory, a little bit sweet, and immensely satisfying. While the protein matters a little bit, it’s the sauce that’s magic: a simple blend of garlic, soy, acid, fond, and fat that’s so much more than the sum of its parts.

Internationally, chicken adobo is the most popular variant, but over where the dish originates, pork adobo (or even a mix of chicken and pork) is just as popular and it’s always a close race to see which one people prefer.

This is the easiest weeknight version of adobo possible: just 6 ingredients, almost no prep time, and dinner will be ready in under an hour. You probably already have everything but the pork chops in your pantry. The secret ingredient in this dish is the lemon, which brightens up the dish and, I don’t know about you, but I’d rather buy one lemon than a whole bottle of vinegar any day.

Cooking Notes
Classically this dish uses pork belly or shoulder, but both are not very weeknight-friendly, so here I’ve subbed pork chops instead. Pork chops are cheap, easy to find, and cook fast, so I think they’re the perfect choice here. You can also use pork belly, shoulder, chicken, or all of the above. The steps are the same no matter which protein you use – it just might take longer before the meat is tender.

What do you need?
A pot with a lid. A cheap garlic press will make life great.

How do you serve it?
Serve over rice.

Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Super Easy Weeknight Pork Chop Adobo Recipe
Serves 2


  • 1lb pork chops
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

1. Season the pork on both sides.
Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

2. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a small saucepan or pot and lightly brown the pork chops over medium heat, working in batches if needed. Don’t be afraid to crowd the pan as long as your chops fit on a single layer – it will cut down on the splatter.
Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

3. Add more oil if needed and fry the garlic for 1 minute.
Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

4. Add the lemon juice, soy sauce, bay leaf, and sugar to the pan. Gently scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze.
Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

5. Layer the chops and any juices in the pan, then cover with enough water to just cover the top pork chop. Partially cover with a lid and simmer for 40 minutes, or until pork is tender. When done, taste and adjust seasoning – you may need to add another teaspoon of sugar depending on your tastes.
Easy Pork Adobo Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Welcome to Dinner & Chill, a new series focusing on quick & easy weeknight dinners with easy to find ingredients, no special equipment, low prep, and low effort. Less shopping, less chopping, less mopping, more eating.

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The Easiest 7 Ingredient Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Chicken Tikka Masala sounds like an Indian dish, but it’s actually a British dish created by an Indian person living in Britain, with the spice dialed down to something more suitable for the British palate and its proven to be the most popular dish in Britain since it was invented. Chicken Tikka means cubes of chicken, and cubes of chicken are delicious in all their forms, but especially as chicken tikka masala (CTM, for short). It’s tomato-ey, mild, satisfying, and much easier to put together than its more authentic and popular (on this side of the pond) cousin, butter chicken. This is probably the easiest recipe you’ll ever find for a proper CTM.

Cooking Notes
This recipe uses commercial curry powder. Every mix is different, but generally they are all coriander, turmeric, and other spices you’ll find on most Indian ingredient lists. Unless you know enough about Indian food to toast and grind your own spices and make your own garam masala, commercial curry powder is just fine. Besides, this is dinner & chill, not dinner & mortar & pestle. Pick the nice one from the organic aisle or the cheap one from the Indian/Asian/Mexican aisle, depending on your preferences.

What do you need?
A pot with a lid, an oven, and a rack that fits in a tray that fits in your oven. A garlic press will make life great.

How do you serve it?
Serve with naan and basmati rice.

The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
Serves 2


  • 3-4 tbsp curry powder
  • 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons yogurt (greek preferred)
  • 2lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce/passata

1. In a medium sized bowl, make a marinade with 1 tablespoon of the curry powder, 2 cloves of garlic, the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of oil, and 2 tablespoons of yogurt. Mix well and set aside.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

2. Cube your chicken and pierce each one in the center with the tip of your knife.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

3. Season the chicken and then mix into the marinade. Cover and marinade for 20 minutes to 2 hours on the countertop.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

4. Make the sauce by frying the diced onions and remaining crushed garlic in 1 tablespoon of oil over low heat. When the onions and garlic are soft and brown (about 5 minutes), add 2 tablespoons (mild) or 3 tablespoons (spicy) curry powder and yogurt and fry for a few more minutes. Add the passata and 1 cup water, stir well, and season. Simmer on low until you are ready to serve. If you like your chicken tikka masala on the sweeter side, add a teaspoon or two of sugar at this point.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

5. Broil your chicken on a rack in foil lined tray for 20 minutes at 500ºF, then flip and broil for another 10.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

6. Add the chicken plus any roasting juices to the sauce and toss.
The Easiest Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Welcome to Dinner & Chill, a new series focusing on quick & easy weeknight dinners with easy to find ingredients, no special equipment, low prep, and low effort. Less shopping, less chopping, less mopping, more eating.

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5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Guys, I don’t know if I’m proud to admit this or not, but I ate an entire cheesecake. By myself. Okay, Mike had one tiny slice, but I absolutely ate the rest of it. And the truth is, this isn’t even the first time I’ve eaten a whole cheesecake. Cheesecake is my jam. I love it so much. It can be dense like New York style, or fluffy, like Japanese. It can even be liquid-y. It doesn’t really matter, there’s just something about a cheesecake that is so addictive.

Anyway, I don’t really make cheesecake a lot because it’s dangerous. But, apparently burnt cheesecake has been trending. There have been a lot of photos floating around Instagram of burnt Basque cheesecake. I didn’t really know about the burnt cheesecake craze because I haven’t really been on Instagram lately – at least not in the food insta world. Mike’s been taking care of our insta account and I’ve been using my secret finsta to follow hand lettering, comics, and all things kawaii.

But, somehow, somewhere, I saw a glorious photo of a cheesecake with a burnished, almost black top, that contrasted with the creamy pure white insides. I was a gonner. I went down a deep Basque cheesecake hole and learned everything I could.

Here’s what I know: Basque cheesecake is relatively new. It was invented in San Sebastian (a seriously good food city – Mike and I are dying to go back) in the 70s, back when they first got Philadelphia cream cheese. They did a bunch of experiments and the one cheesecake they kept coming back to was a crustless, burnished cake that was light yet dense and full of cream cheese flavor. The restaurant that invented it is called La Vina and while there are plenty of recipes online that claim they have the recipe, I just went with an amalgamation of a bunch of different ones because after I went down the Instagram cheesecake hole, I discovered that the Japanese version of Basque cheesecake looks even more amazing because they have the slightest bit of ooze in the middle.

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Unfortunately mine didn’t end up with the ooze – I think I let it go just a touch too long, but it was crazy good anyway. I was a little skeptical of the burnt top because mine was extra burnt, but when I tasted it, it reminded me of the very slightly bitterness of the brûlée on creme brûlée. The actual cake is lightly sweet, with a good amount of cream cheesiness and is just the right amount of dense. I was absolutely in love. I actually lay in bed in the middle of the night contemplating getting up and having a slice at 3 in the morning.

I’m really sad now because the cake is done and over with. It only took me three days to finish the entire thing. The good news is that Basque burnt cheesecakes are incredibly easy to make. There are no water baths, you don’t have to use a finicky springform pan, you can just squish your parchment paper in rustic style, and somehow, magically, you don’t have to worry about cheesecake cracks. All you need to do is remember to have everything at room temp so the cream cheese mixes up nice and smooth.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to be making another one soon. I might make a half batch just because I don’t think I should be eating another entire cheesecake by myself. Maybe I’ll make some cute lil ones and under bake them so they come out more ooze-y in the middle. I can’t wait to experiment! I just wish I bought more blocks of cream cheese while the were on sale last week…

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

The Easiest Cheesecake You'll Ever Make: 5 Ingredient Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe | www.iamafoodblog.com

Burnt Basque Cheesecake Recipe
makes a 6 inch cheesecake


  • 12 ounces very soft cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour, sifted

adapted via Food Wishes and Tasting Table

Heat the oven to 425°F. Take a large piece of parchment paper and press it into a tall 6 inch round cake pan, pleating and pressing where needed, leaving a large overhang.

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until very smooth and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, one by one, being sure to incorporate completely. Completely whisk in the cream and then sift the tablespoon of flour on top and fold in.

Pour the batter into the pan with the parchment and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a very deep brown. The cake will still look jiggly in the middle, it’ll solidify as it cools. If you’re really going for the burnished look, turn the oven up to 450°F for the last 5 minutes.

Cool in the pan completely then use the parchment overhang to pull out. Gently pull the parchment away from the cake, slice, and enjoy. Cheesecake will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week (if it even lasts that long).

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These Jammy White Chocolate Blondies Have a Surprise Ingredient That Takes Them Over the Top

If you’ve ever been to Lilia in Brooklyn, NY, you know that a forkful of Missy Robbins’ cacio e pepe is like being struck by cupid’s arrow, only it’s better because instead of falling in love with a person you’re falling in love with a big a pile of pasta.

But it isn’t the copious amounts of cheese or the squiggly edges of house-made mafaldini to go head over heels for—it’s the pink peppercorn. The fruity, slightly sweet, peppery spice is an unexpected and totally inspired surprise.

I enjoyed that pasta so much, I’ve since experimented with pink peppercorn in just about everything. I’ve used it in place of capers in a rosé piccata. I’ve mixed it with honey and drizzled it over baked feta. One time I was so desperate for a pinch that I sorted through a jar of tri-peppercorn blend I found in my spice cabinet just to snag a few.

Besides it’s obvious flavor disparagement, pink peppercorn is very different from black peppercorn. The biggest distinction is that it isn’t a peppercorn at all. Since it’s peppercorn-sized and has some flavor similarities, it’s often labeled as such. In actuality, it’s a dried berry from a Brazilian pepper tree, which explains its fruit-like flavor. And since it’s a little sweet and a little spicy and I can’t seem to get it off my mind, I thought it would be a perfect addition to a Valentine’s Day dessert. And what better way to showcase its flavor and beauty than in a blondie, the edible equivalent of a blank canvas.

Since these blondies are flecked with blush specs of pink peppercorn and swirled with raspberry jam, I like to call them “pinkies.” But they’re not just pretty to look at—with only a handful of ingredients and minimal equipment (just one pot!), they’re also super easy to make.
Cut them into squares and share them with your friends or loved ones. These little bites of pink peppery perfection, studded with sweet white chocolate chips and swirled with red raspberry ripples are just as delicious as they are cheeky—and make for a sweet valentine.

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6 Ingredient Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly · i am a food blog i am a food blog

Black bean chicken, pork, or beef is a Chinese takeout (and eat-in) classic. It comes together pretty fast but slicing the meat to the thinness you need to properly stir fry is a pain. Here we switch up the classic stir fry for a more chill-friendly slow but not-too-slow braise. You can have dinner on the table in less than an hour with little to no effort. The pork belly can be cut however you like, larger pieces means longer braise times, smaller pieces mean more cutting.

Why does this recipe work?
Shaoxing wine is one of the signature ingredients of Chinese food, and if you have it, you should use it here. But if you don’t, buying it is an investment both in space and money – most recipes call for a tablespoon or less. It would take you literally years to get rid of it. Here we switch it out for a less authentic but no less tasty bourbon.

What do you need?
A knife and a pot with a lid.

Any Special Ingredients?
Black bean sauce and oyster sauce can both be found in the international/asian aisle of any decent grocery store, or on Amazon by clicking those links. If you have some left over, you can make this black bean chow mein, claypot chicken rice, or the best noodles ever.

Cornstarch is an optional ingredient that serves only to get that saucy texture you know from good Chinese food. Cornstarch can usually be found in the bulk section, so you can just get the two-ish tablespoons you need, but if you buy the nice package, you can make all these recipes with cornstarch.

How do you serve it?
With rice or noodles, of course. Optionally add in some onions and bell peppers to make a more complete meal. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it with this awesome ginger fried rice. Pork and ginger are a match made in heaven.

Happy Year of the Pig!

Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly
Serves 2


  • 2 tablespoons black bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp bourbon (sub with sake, mirin, or shaoxing wine if needed)
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 lb pork belly

1. Cube your pork belly to your liking (I did 1″ cubes).
6 Ingredient Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly | www.iamafoodblog.com

2. Combine remaining ingredients into a marinade and mix with pork belly. Marinate for 15 minutes.
6 Ingredient Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly | www.iamafoodblog.com

3. Add a little oil to a pot over medium high heat. Remove the pork belly from the marinade. Lightly sear the pork belly.
6 Ingredient Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly | www.iamafoodblog.com

4. Add the marinade to the pan and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Once done, check for texture and seasoning, then serve.
6 Ingredient Bourbon Braised Black Bean Pork Belly | www.iamafoodblog.com

Welcome to Dinner & Chill, a new series focusing on quick & easy weeknight dinners with easy to find ingredients, no special equipment, low prep, and low effort. Less shopping, less chopping, less mopping, more eating.

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This Unexpected Ingredient Is the Key to a Better Banana Bread

Banana bread gets a savory upgrade.

Photo by Rocky Luten

Miso is in vogue. From Nobu’s famous miso-marinated black cod, to fancy restaurant sauces and glazes, to miso caramel apples, no longer is Japan’s funky fermented soybean paste confined to the realm of soups. At home, I’m often to blame for spiking my family’s meals with a much-too-liberal dose of miso. To date, I’ve managed to work my trusty tub of miso paste into marinades, salad dressings, mushroom pastas, and most recently, banana bread.

Yes, you heard right.

At first it might sound like an odd mix (miso in cakes and sweets), but if you think about it, salty, savory ingredients have an important, though often understated, role in desserts. A zing of salinity brings about some much needed balance to desserts, turning would-be cloying dishes into insanely addictive inventions. Think salty-sweet dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate, and that savory hit of coconut milk in many of my favorite kuihs (bite-sized desserts from my home country of Malaysia). Using miso in desserts, then, would have a similar effect. Only on top of the usual kick of salt, miso lends a punchy dose of umami too, imparting yet another layer of flavor to cakes and desserts. Miso in banana bread is no exception.

Sure, the humble banana bread is a classic in its own right. It’s loved for its rustic simplicity; all you really need to do is mash up some bananas, throw them into a mixer with a few baking staples—flour, eggs, sugar, baking soda for some leavening—pop it in the oven, and you’re set. But the addition of miso elevates this classic cake into an acme of umami-sweet decadence—without much extra work at all. (You just add it to the batter with everything else.)

The miso brings so much robust, funky depth to the banana bread, the savoriness playing off well against the fruity tropical fragrance of the bananas. It’s that little somethin’ somethin’ you can’t quite put your finger on… It’s on the tip of your tongue…

Think salty-sweet dulce de leche, sea salt and chocolate, and that savory hit of coconut milk in many of my favorite kuihs (bite-sized desserts from my home country of Malaysia).

This isn’t a novel idea. I took inspiration from a recipe by Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, two James Beard Award–winning Bostonian chef-icons, and adapted their idea into another banana bread recipe that I’ve been using for some time now, one I picked up from a restaurant-bakery I used to work at in Kuala Lumpur. All I did was worked some miso into the base batter and balanced out the sweetness with some extra vanilla and sugar, and in no time at all, my kitchen was filled with the glorious, umami-tinged scent of caramelizing bananas and browning cake crust.

I have to warn you, though: The first time I made this, I ended up having to bake another the very next day—as the first was devoured that afternoon.


How do you make your banana bread? Let us know in the comments below.

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