Arsip Tag: sesame

miso black sesame caramel corn – smitten kitchen

This began pretty harmlessly; my husband told me recently that whatever magic they roll buffalo wings in (basically: a lot of butter and Frank’s hot sauce) was unquestionably one of his favorite flavors on earth. (I put the jar of Nutella in the cabinet on notice.) A few days later, I spotted an ode to buffalo wings in the format of caramel popcorn and sent him the link, joking that I’d probably regret it. I shouldn’t have joked. It quickly became clear that to know that this popcorn existed and to not make was an act of cruelty; why so mean, Deb? Is writing a cookbook, running a website, occasionally cooking dinner and mashing up sweet potatoes for the little sweet potato really a higher kitchen calling than buffalo wing popcorn? And so I made it, but it looked rather sad and lonely in the bowl by itself so then I made some blue cheese dressing on the side with celery to dip into it and, lo, it was wonderful and the story should end here.

the buffalo wing popcorn that started this mess

But you don’t need me to tell you how to make Buffalo Wing Popcorn, Bon Appetit can do that for me. Instead I’ll tell you what happened next which was that the miso I’d picked up for a different recipe started calling to me and I remembered all of the miso caramel sauces that cropped on menus and recipe pages a couple years ago and had to find out what it would do to caramel corn.

adding the butter
adding the miso, work fast
oh, it's a mess all right
to bake

Amazing things, it turns out. Miso is deeply fermented, salty and a little earthy with a depth of flavor that plays off the buttery-sweet-faint bitterness of caramel in a satisfyingly balanced way. With the addition of nutty black sesame seeds, I couldn’t stop eating it and found my allegiances torn. Shouldn’t all stories conclude with a winner? In this frenetic electoral season, don’t we deserve clear conclusions? Well, no, it turns out. It turns out that the answer to which one you should make is both, because why have 8 cups of happiness if you could have 16? You’ll thank yourself on Sunday, when these disappear in a breakneck cacophony of crunch.

miso black sesame caramel popcorn
miso black sesame caramel popcorn

One year ago: Chocolate Oat Crumble
Two years ago: Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
Three years ago: Egg Salad with Pickled Celery and Coarse Dijon
Four years ago: Cheddar, Beer and Mustard Pull-Apart Bread
Five years ago: Meatball Subs with Caramelized Onions
Six years ago: New York Deli Rye Bread and Best Cocoa Brownies
Seven years ago: Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Eight years ago: Matzo Ball Soup
Nine years ago: Asparagus Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Takeout-Style Sesame Noodles with Cucumber
1.5 Years Ago: Cold Noodles with Miso Lime and Ginger
2.5 Years Ago: Burst Tomato Galette with Corn and Zucchini
3.5 Years Ago: Pink Lemonade Bars
4.5 Years Ago: Sugar Plum Crepes with Ricotta and Honey

Miso Black Sesame Caramel Corn
Inspired in no logical way by Bon Appetit

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1/2 cup plain popcorn kernels
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, in chunks
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons white or red miso
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

Heat oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Lightly coat parchment and a the very largest bowl you own with nonstick spray.

Place 2 tablespoons oil and 2 to 3 kernels in a 3-quart or larger pot. Turn heat to medium-high and cover with a lid. When you hear these first kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and replace the lid. Using potholders, shimmy the pot around to keep the kernels moving as they pop. When several seconds pass between pops, remove from heat. Transfer to coated bowl. You should have about 8 cups popcorn.

Wipe out pot you used to pop corn. Add sugar and water to it, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, only stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil, swirling pan around (wear potholders) until caramel is a deep amber color, which took about 8 to 9 minutes in my already-heated-from-the-popcorn pot. Remove from heat and stir in butter (mixture will hiss and bubble furiously). Return to stove, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, removing from the stove if it appears smoky sooner. Remove from heat and whisk (a whisk will best break it up) in the salt, baking soda and miso.

Quickly pour it over the prepared popcorn and toss to coat. You’ll be glad you used a gigantic bowl. I use two silicone spatulas to mix it up because it’s a messy project and popcorn will want to fall out. Whatever you do, do not pick up any caramel-coated popcorn that falls out unless you like burned fingertips. (Wait until it cools.) Coat popcorn as best as you can, but don’t fret if there are gaps.

Spread popcorn on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle sesame seeds over. Bake in oven, tossing occasionally (which will also help coat any scantily-clad popped kernels) until mixture is dry, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely on baking sheet, then break it up into a large bowl.

Do ahead: Keeps at its very best for 4 hours. Longer, it can be stored in containers or bags at room temperature, but if the day is humid, it might get just a tiny bit sticky. Nobody will care.

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sesame soba and ribboned omelet salad – smitten kitchen

In times of lots of worry and little sleep, like most of us, I return to my comforts and staples: avocado toast, a great pot of meatballs, and as many ways as I can find to intersect noodles and eggs. While I am fairly certain I could live off this fiery, crunchy spaghetti pangrattato with crispy eggs for the rest of my life, as bits of spring have been in the air, I am always ready for fresh takes on cold noodles.

what you'll need
blending sesame seeds to paste

Flipping through Heidi Swanson’s wonderful Near & Far a few weeks ago, I became entranced with the cold soba salad in part for the ingredients but really it was the footnote at the end that stayed with me: “Serve topped with a poached egg or an omelet sliced into a whispery-thin chiffonade.” Whispery-thin chiffonade. Could anything be so lovely? I imagined the strands of eggs tangling with the strands of noodles, punctuated with a sesame-seed flecked sauce and crispy raw vegetables and I needed it in my life.

whisky whisky
rolled up cooked eggs
ribboned omelet

And then, as these things happen, a few days later I was clicking aimlessly around the web while I should have been, I don’t know, writing a cookbook or responding to email and fell down a summer ramen rabbit hole. Sure, we’re all about the ramen everywhere these days, but as the weather warms up in Japan ramen shops add a chilled ramen [Hiyashi Chuka Soba] to their menu, usually topped with, among other things, those ribboned eggs that charmed me. The dressing uses ground sesame seeds, sesame seed paste, vinegar and sesame oil, which you know means it will be amazing and the options for etceteras are as long as your imagination (or as deep as the odd-ends of your vegetable drawer go, though imitation crab, cucumbers and tomatoes are the most common). That said, dishes like this can get complicated quickly and we’re firing on fewer cylinders these days, so I attempted to hone in as much as possible on the eggs and the noodles. When it’s actually summer here, I’ll probably pile on more seasonal vegetables.

sesame soba and ribboned omelet salad

One year ago: Potatoes with Soft Eggs and Bacon Vinaigrette
Two years ago: Double Chocolate Banana Bread
Three years ago: Coconut Bread
Four years ago: Potato Knish, Two Ways
Five years ago: Sally Lunn Bread and Honeyed Brown Butter Spread
Six years ago: Breakfast Pizza
Seven years ago: Migas with Tomato Chipotle Coulis
Eight years ago: Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake
Nine years ago: Italian Bread

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Zucchini Rice and Cheese Gratin
1.5 Years Ago: Cauliflower Slaw
2.5 Years Ago: Fudgy Chocolate Sheet Cake
3.5 Years Ago: Roasted Apple Spice Sheet Cake
4.5 Years Ago: Red Wine Chocolate Cake

Sesame Soba and Ribboned Omelet Salad
Inspired by Heidi Swanson’s Near & Far and No Recipes’ Goma Hiyashi Chuka [Sesame Ramen Salad], dressing from the latter


  • I know I sound like a broken record, but I would love to convince you to always toast your nuts and seeds before using them. For sesame seeds, you can do these in a skillet over low heat but you must watch it like a hawk and stir often because once they start picking up color, they go from golden to brown very quickly. This time I did it in a 350 degree oven, stirring every 5 minutes (I also go ahead and do the whole jar, so I have them for the next time). It took longer but the flavor was off the charts. When I ground the seeds, the whole apartment smelled nutty and wonderful.
  • The water in the omelet ribbons may sound odd, but I found the final texture of the eggs a bit softer and more apt to ribbon without breaking with it. If you’d like, you can use mirin (sweet wine) instead of water, and skip the sugar.
  • I love using soba (buckwheat) noodles here but ramen noodles are more traditional, and most rice noodles or rice “sticks” are gluten-free. You can make this a vegan dish by omitting the egg ribbons.

Serves 4 for dinner

4 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons soy sauce (use low-sodium for a less salty sauce)
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tahini
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar, or more to taste
Chili sesame oil to taste

Omelet Ribbons
Neutral cooking oil, to coat skillet
3 large eggs
3 teaspoons water
A few pinches sugar
A few pinches salt

1 9.5-ounce package buckwheat soba noodles
Raw vegetables of choice (we used julienned carrots, cucumbers and radishes, plus some snipped chives on top, which have recently reappeared in my garden!)

Make the dressing: Put the toasted sesame seeds into a blender or food processor and run the machine until the seeds look like wet sand — it will take a couple minutes. Add the water, soy sauce, tahini, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, salt and chili sesame oil and blend until combined. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preferences.

Make the omelet ribbons: Whisk eggs with water, sugar and salt until well-blended and even in color. Heat a 10-inch skillet (I really like using a nonstick here and for other crepe-like things) over medium and coat very lightly with cooking oil. Pour in 1/3 of mixture, which will be enough to coat the pan very thinly. (If your pan is bigger or smaller, use less or more accordingly per batch, the goal is to keep the egg very thin.) Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until the egg has set and the edges look dry. Carefully flip* the omelet and cook for 20 to 30 seconds on second side. Flip egg out onto paper towel to blot oil and repeat 2 more times.

Stack the three omelets together and roll them into a log. Use a sharp knife to slice the roll into very thin ribbons, thinner even than you see in my photos.

Cook the noodles: In well-salted water until tender but firm for the time recommended on your package of noodles, usually 4 to 5 minutes. Drain noodles and run cold water over them to cool. Drain again, shaking out excess water.

To serve: My favorite way for a family meal is to put everything out in separate dishes and let each of us assemble to taste. (Or, if you’re this one, grab the bowl of egg ribbons and help yourself.) Or, you can toss the noodles with about half the sauce, then arrange it in a bowl with the omelet ribbons on top, followed by your vegetables. Garnish with extra sesame seeds and serve with additional sauce on the side.

* One day, when I have video on this site, I will demonstrate my crepe-flipping “method” for you but hopefully this will help until then: I use two thin spatulas (such as offset icing spatulas or a flexible fish spatula). The first smaller one goes under the edge and lifts the omelet/crepe enough that I can hold the second larger spatula in my other hand and slide it under enough that it goes past the center of the omelet/crepe. From here, it’s easier to flip without tearing.

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poolside sesame slaw – smitten kitchen

I am very excited* to announce the opening day of what we call slaw season at the Smitten Kitchen. There is nothing better than a crunchy, lettuce-free, wilt-resistant salad in the summer, and I don’t just mean cabbage swimming in mayo. It could be broccoli or cauliflower, vegetables fine and pickled on sandwiches and tacos, and honestly, if it’s a vegetable, I feel confident I could slaw it, despite absolutely nobody requesting that I do.

poolside sesame slaw-01poolside sesame slaw-02poolside sesame slaw-03poolside sesame slaw-04

Last month on vacation in Florida, I ate a salad like this** by a pool (ah, vacation, I miss you so much) and while I swear on a stack of cookbooks that if I’m a guest in your home, anything you make for me is literally the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten, I’m always grateful for it and uncritiquing of it… this doesn’t apply to restaurants. I know I could do it better. So, I came home and started tinkering with a ratio (2:4:1) of cabbage to vegetables to crunchy things auditioned with three different dressings (one more of sesame-peanut sauce, one more of a nuoc cham, and one more of a ginger-scallion herby mixture) and concluded that the very best dressing for this salad already exists — the miso-sesame dressing on this Miso Sweet Potato Broccoli Bowl that I first used on the Sugar Snap Slaw in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

poolside sesame slaw-05poolside sesame slaw-06poolside sesame slaw-07poolside sesame slaw-08

From here, you can add protein, if you wish. We brushed chicken thigh cutlets with a mix of honey and dark soy sauce and grilled them, then cut them thin, but I think tofu would also be excellent here (either brushed and grilled the same, or raw, as it doesn’t need to be cooked). Like the beach bean salad, this salad has portability in mind as it will hold up for hours, and even days if you keep the dressing separate. It wants to tag along with you on the good life, lounging by a sparkling blue pool this weekend (just tell me what time to arrive) and saving you from concession stand lines — which, according to my own personal rules, are only acceptable for funnel cake.

poolside sesame slaw-11

* Well: … I *was* excited about the opening day of slaw season, intended for yesterday. But, like millions of other parents in this country, I had to drop my 6 year-old off at elementary school yesterday and today it was any other day and not think about the knot of doom and dread in my stomach at the possibility that she would not return to me later, or my son, away on a school trip he’s been excited about for months. I cannot fathom it and I don’t want to and I shouldn’t have to, nobody should. I don’t need to tell you that we have a problem in America that’s unique to us in its frequency and in our inability to do a damned thing about it. I don’t need to tell you that it’s not okay that we’ve had more mass shootings that days in the year so far. It seems clear to me that there are plenty of sound (NYT) solutions out there. Here are a few places you can donate if you agree: Everytown for Gun Safety, Sandy Hook Promise, and many more listed in this article.

** I know this salads like this are sometimes called an Asian Chicken Salad or the like but I think it’s worth mentioning that there’s been a lot of pushback about it in the last few years (NYT, an unlocked article), as the presence of miso or ginger doesn’t make something of a 48-country continent.



6 months ago: Cranberry Pecan Bread
1 year ago: Soy-Glazed Chicken
2 years ago: Simple, Essential Bolognese
3 years ago: Austrian Torn, Fluffy Pancake
4 years ago: Chilaquiles Brunch Casserole
5 years ago: Rhubarb Upside-Down Spice Cake
6 years ago: Perfect Garlic Bread, Shaved Asparagus Frittata and Palm Springs Date Shake
7 years ago: Potato Scallion and Kale Cakes, Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and Crispy Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic
8 years ago: Blue Sky Bran Muffins and Fresh Spinach Pasta
9 years ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers and Essential Raised Waffles
10 years ago: Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto
11 years ago: Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo and Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon
12 years ago: Radicchio, Apple, and Pear Salad, New York Cheesecake and Shakshuka
13 years ago: Black Bread and Ranch Rugelach
14 years ago: Chocolate Walnut Cookies + More Flourless Dessert, Almond Cake with Strawberry-Rhubarb Compote
15 years ago: Corniest Corn Muffins and Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Poolside Sesame Slaw

I wanted this salad to be as flexible as what’s in your fridge. I’ve made it with all and some of the vegetables below, but it would be unquestionably excellent with thinly-sliced raw asparagus, radishes, barely-cooked green beans, and more. For the crunch element, you could use salted cashews, sunflower seeds, or even toasted black and white sesame seeds (I’d use just a few tablespoons of seeds). For protein, we brushed 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken thighs with a 1:1 mixture of dark soy sauce and honey, grilled them, then sliced them thin, but you could also do the same with tofu here, for an entirely vegan salad.

  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • 2 tablespoons white miso
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive or a neutral oil
  • Salt and Sriracha to taste
  • Slaw
  • 4 cups thinly sliced mixed carrots, cucumber, celery, bell peppers, sugar snaps, and/or snow peas
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red, green, savoy, or napa cabbage
  • 1 cup chopped salted peanuts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced scallion (white and green parts)
  • Handful chopped fresh cilantro, if you wish
  • About 1 cup Miso-Sesame Dressing (above)
  • 1 pound grilled chicken thighs, thinly sliced (optional, see Note)
Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and run until smooth, scraping down sides once. You can also hand-whisk the ingredients in a bowl, but be vigorous so the chunky ingredients smooth out. Taste and adjust ingredients to your preference.

Assemble the salad: Holding back a little of the peanuts, scallion, and herbs for garnish, add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss with half of the dressing, adding some or all of the remaining dressing to taste. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle with reserved peanuts, scallions, and herbs for extra prettiness. Eat right away or bring it somewhere wonderful in a cooler and eat it in a few hours.

Do ahead: The dressing and chopped vegetables (except the cilantro, which might wilt faster), stored separately, will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.

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