And the Secret Ingredient Is..: Chit Chat #21

My favorite oil for wok cooking.


Have you ever tried to recreate a food you’ve eaten at a restaurant, only for it fall flat at home? Like you’re missing the secret ingredient?

I’ve been there. And there are a few ingredients that can take a so-so dish to symphonic levels.

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One of them is toasted rapeseed oil.

Also called roasted rapeseed oil or Caiziyou (pronounced sigh-zuh yomore ), it’s essentially a toasted, more acidic version of canola oil. When I’m wok frying, I use toasted rapeseed oil. It gives wok cooking the most incredible toasty aroma. When you smell it, you will instantly identify a flavor that your wok-fried food is probably missing.

Here’s a good toasted rapeseed oil from Mala Market— not sponsored!

Which leads me to this week’s question: What’s your favorite “secret ingredient”?

I'm talking about the things you add to a dish to crank it up to an 11. Some of my other favorites are Turkish oregano (sprinkle it on pasta, or chicken after you take it off the grill and WOW), toasted rice powder (secret ingredient in many Thai dishes), lemon zest (try it on roasted vegetables or in salad dressing), and don’t even get me started on anchovies.

So what’s your secret ingredient? Share in the comments!

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