When Tabitha Brown is looking to add some un-vegan flavors to her totally plant-based dishes, she turns to a few ingredients from the Eastern Hemisphere to bring delicious depth to her comfort food. Brown told us that one of her favorite vegan ingredients is the Japanese seasoning blend, nori furikake. “I talk about this a lot in the book, too, and I feel like I’ve made it very popular,” said Brown.
Nori furikake is a mixture of dried seaweed, sesame seeds, and a blend of other herbs and spices “that makes things taste like fish,” according to Brown. She says she loves to add “that flavor of seafood” to all kinds of ocean-inspired vegan dishes. “I add it to my vallops, as I call them, which is oyster mushrooms or king trumpet mushrooms to make vegan scallops. I also add it to my chickpea tuna salad or un-tuna salad.”
Another go-to vegan ingredient for Brown is something known as kala namak, or black salt. The South Asian spice, which is actually much more pink in color (and not to be confused with Himalayan salt), “makes things taste like eggs,” said Brown, who calls this ingredient “a game-changer.” She warned that “you only need a pinch” of this strong, eggy seasoning, which “smells like sulfur” right off the bat. While that smell may not tingle your taste buds, Brown says to trust her and try this out for yourself. “I actually use this in [my] deviled egg recipe,” said Brown, adding, “I put a pinch of the black salt even in my pickle juice so that when I soak my mushrooms, it gives them a pickled egg flavor.”
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